Who would think that you would find such beautiful species of birds in the middle of the desert. Dubai being popular for it high-rise buildings and highways it is hard to believe that this sanctuary is located to close to the city. Also known as the ‘Cape of the Creek’, this area is protected by the municipality and is fenced off to protect the area.
I have known about this place for a long time now and have also mentioned it in my article 20 places under Dh20 to visit with kids in and around Dubai on Baby & Child magazine.Since then I have been waiting for winter to take my kids there.
Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 6km and features a variety of salt flats, intertidal mudflats, mangroves, and lagoons for the birds to use for their nests and individual habitats. (www.visitdubai.com)
The sanctuary has 3 different hideouts for the public to view the birds. I would recommend to go to all the 3 hideouts as they have different views of the mangrove & lagoons and different spices of birds. Of course the highlight of the sanctuary is the beautiful pink flamingos but you can also spot more than 170 species of birds in this lagoon.
We visited the place on a Saturday at around noon and it wasn’t too crowded. My kids had a wonderful time exploring and learning about the birds in their natural habitats. Also, we got to see the birds in close up with the binoculars placed in each hide. The best time to visit this place is during winter months between November to March.
These hides include information on the various species of birds that can be viewed there and they also have sharp binoculars to view the birds. The hides provide the perfect way to watch and photograph the birds in their natural habitat without disturbing them.
The Flamingo Hide on the sanctuary’s western edge near the flamingo roost off the junction of Al Wasl and Oud Metha Rds; the Al Buhaira Lagoon close to Al Jadaf; and the Mangrove Hide overlooking the mangrove forest off Ras Al Khor Rd on the southern edge. Besides the flamingos there are common sightings of broadbilled sandpipers and Pacific golden plovers; in winter, great spotted eagles and other raptors may be patrolling the skies.
This place is a must visit for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts!
Best time to visit: November to March
Age group: Though there is no min age requirement to visit this place, I feel kids of 4 years and above would enjoy it the most.
Time: 1.5 hr (if you visit all the 3 hideouts)
Visiting hours: Saturday – Thursday 9am – 4pm