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Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is set to reopen on New Year’s Day


Wildlife lovers will once again be able to  head to the wetlands to discover Abu Dhabi’s birds, reptiles and plant life all for free.

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve will reopen to the public from Friday, 1 January, 2021 to Friday 30 April, 2021, according to The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD).

The reserve was closed in mid-March as a precautionary measure in line with Covid-19 restrictions.

Free to enter, the reserve will be open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays every week, from 8 am until 6pm, with the latest entry time at 4pm.

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is one of the first natural reserves to be established in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It was officially declared as a protected area in 1998 by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as it proved to be the ideal habitat for migratory birds and a significant breeding site for the Greater Flamingos.

The reserve is home to more than 260 migratory bird species, including its star attraction the Greater Flamingo, as well as some 230 species of invertebrates, 11 mammals, 10 reptiles, and 35 plant species.



Since its opening to the public in October 2014, Al Wathba has attracted more than 20,000 visitors.

Many are bird watchers, photography enthusiasts, and those seeking to learn about the important species found in the reserve.

The reserve’s designated walking trails (1.5km and 3km) allow visitors to closely observe its natural habitats and wildlife. The reserve also includes a visitor center, a Bird Hide and a viewing platform.

Visitors can expect to encounter fascinating species including the Cuckoo Wasp, Black Fat-tailed Scorpion, Greater Spotted Eagle, Red Fox, Egyptian Spiny-tailed Lizard, Desert Monitor Lizard, Cape Desert Hare, and Purple-blushed Darter.

Visitors will need to adhere to measures related to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as wearing face coverings, keep to safe distances, and follow guidance issued inside the reserve.

Visitors must show a negative Covid-19 PCR test for a period not exceeding one month, with the exception of children under 12 years old.

For more information, visit Al Wathba Reserve

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