Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai
The Ras al Khor wildlife sanctuary is a wetland Ramsar reserve located between busy highways in the ever shrinking outskirts of Dubai at the cape of the Dubai Creek.
Ras al Khor is home to a wide selection of birds and small mammals but it is safe to say that the most famous and representative inhabitants of the Ras al Khor reserve are the over 500 Greater Flamingoes that can be seen at the reserve during winter.
Visiting Ras al Khor
The Ras al Khor site is open to the general public from Saturday to Thursday from 9 am till 4 pm, the opening timings are a bit odd considering that Friday is the day that most people are off in Dubai and for photographers sunset would be a great time to shoot the local fauna but on the other hand this timings could have been decided to protect the reserve from big crowds.
There are three bird hides scattered around the perimeter of the reserve, if you want to shoot the flamingoes at close proximity I suggest that you visit the bird hide near Oud Metha Road (E66), you can find the google map with the Ras al Khor location here: https://goo.gl/maps/5uk92
I recommend a morning visit to avoid the chance of getting there at the same time as the buses filled with tourists, particularly because the bird hides are rather small and the viewing windows are restrictive. The bird hides are equipped with binoculars that you can borrow from the guard on site and the dried palm leaved walls are covered with info on the flora and fauna of the Ras al Khor reserve.
There’s not much more information about the reserve that you can get from their official website (which definitely needs a redesign) but in case you are curious you can check it out here: http://www.wildlife.ae
If you want to kill a couple of hours and do something different than walking aimlessly through the countless malls around the Emirate take a quick drive down the road to Ras al Khor and who knows? maybe you end up becoming a bird watcher hobbyist.
Another plus is that the entry is free of charge which is a welcome change from the tendency to charge for absolutely every activity in Dubai.
Ras al Khor Photo Gallery
Here’s a selection of the photos I took on a cloudy Sunday at the Ras al Khor wetland reserve: