Wadi Wurayah, Fujayrah Khor Fakkan, UAE | CruiseBe
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Wadi Wurayah

Natural sights
protected area, wildlife

Wadi Wurayah is a 12,700 hectares (31,000 acres) area between the towns of Masafi, Khor Fakkan and Bidiyah in the United Arab Emirates. It has been designated as Ramsar Wetland of International Importance.

Flora and fauna

Wadi Wurayah is home to more than 100 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians as well as more than 300 species of plants. Famous for its scenic waterfall set amid the Hajar Mountains, Wadi Wurayah is recommended as a must-see in UAE off-road and tourist guides. It is a spectacular location with streams and pools dotted around the rocky outcrops. It is one of few remaining places in the world where the endangered Arabian tahr still roams free. Conservationists believe it to be among the last places in the UAE where the Arabian leopard, which has not been seen in the UAE since 1995, still survives. The same is true for the caracal lynx, a small, shy predator, which like the leopard is persecuted by farmers who believe it targets chickens and goats. The wadi is also home to the Garra barreimiae, a type of freshwater fish that lives only in the Hajar Mountains. Among the 208 species of plants is a species of wild orchid unique to the UAE, the Epipactis veratrifolia.

Protected area

On 16 March 2009, the Wadi Wurayah became the first protected mountain area in the United Arab Emirates, after a three-year campaign by the Emirates Wildlife Society in Association with World Wide Fund for Nature, with the support of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited. In addition to the conservation of the area's delicate ecosystem, EWS-WWF have also set up camera traps to photograph the more elusive wildlife, and arranged field trips for students to help raise awareness of the area.

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