Terrestrial protected areas​​

Creeping degradation of Abu Dhabi’s biodiversity continues, despite initiatives to arrest the trend. We are taking positive steps to protect our biodiversity by setting up and maintaining a number of environmentally protected areas.

Protected areas preserve critical habitats and the species within them for future generations, serving as living laboratories to monitor the health of the environment.

This protected area network was named the “Sheikh Zayed Protected Areas Network” in 2018 in celebration of Year of Zayed.

Abu Dhabi Emirate has a total of thirteen terrestrial protected areas representing 15.4% of Abu Dhabi’s land areas:

  • Al Bida’a Protected Area: The protected area, with a total area of 417 square kilometers, is located in the Dhafra area and is considered one of the largest nature reserves one of the largest PAs dominated by sand sheets and dunes with shrub cover
  • Al Dilfaweya Protected Area : Located in the heart of the emirate of Abu Dhabi and dominated by sand sheets and dunes with perennial herbs. It has a total area of 186 square kilometers.
  • Al Ramlah Protected Area: This protected area covers a total of 544 square kilometres and is dominated by sand sheets and dunes with dwarf shrub cover.
  • Qasar Al Sarab Protected Area : Located in Al Dhafra with a total area of 1304 square kilometres, this is one of the most important protected areas in which the Arabian Oryx roams freely.
  • Arabian Oryx Protected Area : Home to the largest population of Arabian Oryx in the world. Located in Rezine with a total area of 5975 square kilometres.
  • Al Ghada Protected Area : It has a restricted distribution for the Ghada shrub (Haloxylon persicum) and it represents its eastern distribution limit in the Arabian Peninsula, with a total area of 1088 square kilometers.
  • Al Wathba Wetland Reserve : The first established Protected Area in Abu Dhabi and home to more than 4,000 flamingos. It was recognized by the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance and was declared a Ramsar site in 2013
  • Jebal Hafit National Park : Located in the Al Ain area, it stretches over 81 square kilometres. The only mountainous Protected Area in Abu Dhabi Emirate.
  • Yaw Al Dibsa Protected Area : The best representation and last refuge for the native flora in the far western part of Abu Dhabi, located in the Al Dhafra area with a total area of 212 square kilometers.
  • Al Houbara Protected Area: Hosts one of the biggest Houbara reintroduction programs in the region in Baynounah and surrounding areas with a total area of 774 square kilometers.
  • Badaa Hazza Protected Area : Located in the Al Dhafra area with a total of 77 square kilometers, more than 75% of its size is forestry area.
  • Barqa Al Suqoor Protected Area: An important breeding area for Houbara located in Al Dhafra area with a total area of 79 square kilometers.
  • Al Tawi Protected Area : One of the important breeding areas for Houbara with a total area of 46 square kilometers.
Last Modified Date : 7/8/2018 10:36 AM


preserving our heritage. protecting our future.