Outside of the big cities and the hustle-bustle of the UAE’s urban areas lies a variety of unique and delicate ecosystems that swell with biodiversity such as plants, mammals, fish, and birds. One such ecosystem is Wadi Wurayah in Fujairah. Wadi Wurayah is truly a regional treasure and one of the few areas in the UAE that is bursting with intact freshwater resources. The area also holds significant cultural and historical importance, with archaeological sites dating as far back as 300 BC.
However, in spite of this decorated history, Wadi Wurayah is facing threats to its rich biodiversity and is dependent on the ongoing conservation efforts by the government of Fujairah, as well as local and international environmental organisations. The area of 129 square kilometres was declared the UAE’s first Mountain Protected Area by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah in 2009.
Under the leadership of His Excellency Engineer Mohammed Al Afkham, Managing Director of Fujairah Municipality, Fujairah Municipality has been taking active steps to establish the county’s first National Park and has been working extensively to understand and protect this unique place in partnership with the environmental organization EWS – WWF and support from the community and other organisations.
A critical component of successful conservation efforts is the ability to monitor wildlife and other features inside large areas, such as national parks. Until now, however, such important information can take a long time and be expensive to collect. With the drones, it is possible to quickly, safely, and efficiently collect information about wildlife and the environment to the greater benefit for the ecosystems and those who are making an effort to protect them.