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Friday 31 January 2020

UAE 2020 Day 11: Al Jubail Mangrove Park

Our 11th and penultimate day in the UAE promised to be a fun-filled adventure with plenty of thrills and spills (and we mean it literally, more of that later).

Ginny squealed with delight when she read the news last night that Al Jubail Mangrove Park would be opening its doors today. We would be among the first to visit this mangrove sanctuary!

The Al Jubail Mangrove Park is (obviously) located on Abu Dhabi's Al Jubail Island, a 15 minute drive away from Al Reef Villas so we arrived pretty early in the morning. A crowd had already gathered as we counted at least 20 cars in the parking lot. Word got around really fast.

arriving at the Park

there were plenty of people

The main attraction of the Jubail Mangrove Park is its boardwalk, which consists of three different routes. The longest one is 2 kilometres, the mid-range one is 1.6km and the shortest route is 1km. According to a ranger, depending on the pace, the longest route can take anywhere between 35 to 90 minutes. We of course elected to take the 2-kilometre route.

we were excited

we elected to take the longest route

making sure we're headed the right way

everything's brand spanking new

no fixed time limit wherein one has to enter and leave

some people took a brisk walk

while others (like us) took a leisurely stroll

this is a photographer’s paradise

and I did go overboard with the photos

but can you blame me?

Early in the walk I had almost fallen due to an uneven part of the boardwalk, taking a tumble backwards but managing to grab a hold of the railing to keep from falling. In the process I twisted my right knee and as time wore on it began to ache.

platform with a net through which one can... 

catch a closer glimpse at the marine life

it was here that I tumbled backwards

We meandered (I limped) along the boardwalk taking us through the mangroves discovering Abu Dhabi in its essence. This is indeed a haven for avian and marine species native to Abu Dhabi. But foremost, this is a mangrove sanctuary, as evident in our photos:

this must be the 'salt collector'?

still headed in the right direction

above everything else

this is a mangrove sanctuary

Ginny and Sern used to go kayaking here

just to be able to experience the mangroves

now that the Park is open kayaking won't be necessary

an area dedicated to the roots of the trees

About half-way through our walk we came across a viewing tower, located at the centre of the park for those who want a higher vantage point. The tower gave us an excellent overview of the Park. I did not go up due to the aching right knee that surely and slowly was getting swollen. But no matter, it will not derail me from continuing with this lovely morning excursion along the mangroves.

the viewing tower

located at the centre of the park

for those who want a higher vantage point

with an excellent view all around

The park is an ecological site first, and so it has a number of rules to maintain. These include:

  • No swimming
  • No littering
  • No smoking
  • No food or beverages (on the boardwalk)
  • No pets allowed
  • No fishing
  • No toys, skating, use of scooters/ bicycles.
  • No touching/ removing plants or wildlife
  • Appropriate attire must be kept in mind

The park also reserved the right to remove any persons according to its rules or due to inappropriate behaviour.

we were modestly attired

and did not smoke

so we were fine

silly us, this must be the 'salt collectors'

visitors can get up close and personal...

local wildlife including water and sea birds

herons and flamingos are some of the birds found

and even fish species and crustacean species

a viewing space with greater access to the water

my right knee was beginning to throb

at the end of the 2-kilometre 1 hour walk

An hour later and we got back to where we started at the start of the boardwalk. We waved goodbye to the Park as we got into Timah and headed to Al Saadiyat Island for breakfast.

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