Brief History of Flamingos: Not in Vegas but in Dubai


                                 “ When the silent flamingo dances pink with desire,
                                    I’ll be there, sipping on owl stares and kitten curls” ― Jarod Kintz from Whenever You’re Gone, I’m Here For You   flamingos2 The pleasant winter climate of Dubai attracts not only millions of tourists but is also a stopover for many of the migratory birds, most famous among them being the Greater Flamingo which takes its migratory route from East Africa and East Asia. They can be spotted in thousands along the Ras Al Khor region in Dubai. Though Dubai may be known for its desert sands, Ras Al Khor is a 620 hectares of saline waterland surrounded by mangroves, lagoons and reed beds making it a amicable place for the Flamingos. Ras-Al-KhorDubai    ras-al-khor-wildlife    Flamingo Park Locating the Bird Sanctuary has been a common complaint among many visitors. While you are driving along the Al Awir Road, try to look towards your left to notice the flock of Flamingos near the lake waters. Continue driving on al Tawir road, take the second service exit road you see. As you continue on this road you will come across three flamingo hide sheds build by the Dubai municipality. . The hides have been named as Gurm (mangrove), Fantir (flamingo) and Al Buhaira (lagoon). They are designed as traditional wind towers, offer a panoramic view of the sanctuary. The hides are equipped with telescopes, binoculars and other gadgets to facilitate bird viewing. The best time to visit is 9am to 16.00 pm from Saturday to Thursday. If you prefer public transportation, the RTA offers water bus ride from Festive City Dubai marina which can be booked from the mall. Taxi from Oud Medha metro station will cost around 19AED. Feeding time for these birds are 9.15 am and 16.00pm hence making it the best time to watch these pink beauties up close. The entry is free, but if you are a group of more than 10  people then you need to take permission from the municipality prior to visiting. The other birds you will find here are grey herons, Kentish plovers, reef herons, egrets, storks and much more. Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary (RAKWS) is home to over 270 species of birds. There is a tall tale which says a multi millionaire rich Arab had brought the flamingos as he wanted to have them as pets. But theres not backing to it, the marchland at Ras Al Khor makes it a favourable location for the flamingos to  stop by on their winter jorney. Most of the flamingos here are those from the breeding grounds in Lake Uromiyeh in north-west Iran and Abu Dhabi. During winter their numbers rise to 3000, but as the temperature rises a fewer than 1000 remain in Dubai. There is lot of work being done by the RAKWS authorities to encourage breeding in these areas by the flamingos. Few of the measures are keeping the area safe from predators and hunters, maintaining the eco system and also providing feeds twice a day. Nonetheless, this place is a definite eye candy to both the localities and the tourist.

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