The Al Wathba Fossil Dunes, one of the most amazing natural wonders in Abu Dhabi, have finally been granted protected status as ‘Al Wathba Fossil Dunes Protected Area, which was inaugurated on Tuesday.
The inauguration of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, which will be open to the public starting February 5, was done by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and chairman of the board of directors.
The Al Wathba Fossil Dune dates back 120,000 years and contains more than 1,700 rare fossil dunes. It covers a surface area of 7 square kilometers. The fossils here are caused by a combination of the strong desert winds and sand held together by strong salt crystals, making it a sprawling beauty spot.
The striking fossil dune site is also the first such protected area in the country and one of a small number to be established across West Asia.
The Al Wathba Fossil Dunes Protected Area is a vital asset of the emirate’s heritage and with the recently given protected status, it will transform the dunes into a major eco-tourism attraction in the coming times.
The protected area is also said to be nominated for listing on UNESCO’s Global List of Geoparks.
The protected natural area will be open to visitors from Monday to Thursday, with opening times extended by an hour from Friday to Sunday and on official holidays. Entry to the area is free.