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Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi brings Bu Tinah Island to the public

posted on 28/09/2011: 2131 views



The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) is bringing Bu Tinah Island - which is otherwise restricted to visitors except for scientific research - to the general public. The white dome on the Abu Dhabi Corniche - that has been generating interest on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter and also passersby - has finally been revealed as an EAD initiative which will allow people to experience Bu Tinah Island.

The uniquely designed dome, called the ‘Bu Tinah Experience', is located on the Abu Dhabi Corniche and will be open to the public from Friday September 30 until Sunday November 13, 2011. Entrance to the dome - open every day from 10 am to 10 pm - will be free. The initiative has been introduced to drive greater awareness on the importance of conserving the UAE's biodiversity and to support the UAE's bid for the island to become one of the New7Wonders (N7W) of Nature. The N7W competition will draw to a close on November 11, 2011, giving people only 44 days left to vote. Officials at EAD are urging members of the public to remember to SMS their votes by sending the word ‘Butinah' to 3888.

Visitors will be given once-in-a-lifetime insight into what life on Bu Tinah is like and what makes this marine protected area so unique. The ‘BuTinah Experience' features a lagoon with live turtles and mangroves, and a reduced-scale model of BuTinah Island featuring special effects to bring it to life for visitors. The turtles are part of a rehabilitation initiative which aims to rescue injured animals and then return them to their native habitat. Families will be able to learn all about the UAE's unique coastal environment and natural heritage.

The ‘Bu Tinah Experience' will also give visitors the chance to get up close and personal with marine conservation projects run by EAD and other groups such as the Emirates Wildlife Society in association with World Wildlife Fund (EWS-WWF).

Director of Biodiversity Management Sector at EAD Thabit Zahran Al Abdessalaam commented: "Bu Tinah Island is a thriving natural haven for many species. Since Bu Tinah is a marine protected area, we wanted to capture the beauty of the Island and bring this national treasure to the people of the UAE in an informative and highly interactive way. While we're proud that Bu Tinah has made it this far in the competition, we want to continue to raise awareness and create pride in our natural heritage, and encourage people to actively support its conservation."

Bu Tinah Island, located around 130 km west of Abu Dhabi, is a core area of the UNESCO-designated Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve-the first marine biosphere reserve in the region. The island is situated in the western region of Abu Dhabi Emirate and is closed to the public which has been a critical factor in protecting it from the negative impacts of development and human-related activities and allowing its biodiversity to flourish in peace. Bu Tinah is home to unique coral reefs, healthy mangroves, endangered Hawksbill turtles and dugongs, dolphins, Ospreys and Socotra cormorants, and is the only finalist from the Arabian Gulf.- Emirates News Agency, WAM

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