The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project in Jumeirah aims to rehabilitate sick and injured turtles and eventually return them to their natural habitat. To promote awareness and better understanding to the issues with this endangered species, the project allows the rehabilitation enclosures to be open to public at all time at the Mina A’Salam hotel. There are also scheduled feeding sessions of Wednesday at 11am for a chance to feed the turtles yourself.
SHOW ME THE TURTLES!
This is a fantastic thing to do with the kids. They love being up close with the creatures and actually get to feed them with lettuce and carrots as the starter, then on to ‘stinky squid’ as little M calls it. The best part is, it’s FREE!
TURTLES FED, NOW SNACK TIME FOR KIDS!
Afterwards, we usually head down to Shimmers for some lunch. The kids can play on the beach right beside your table until the food arrives which means nobody gets bored and nobody gets grumpy. With a table in front of the Burj Al Arab, one can’t really grumble about anything.
From start to finish our little adventure lasts 4 hours door to door and makes such a pleasant alternative to soft play areas for little ones. There’s still time to check this out before it gets too hot and then we will all be forced to seek out indoor activities.
More on the turtle rehabilitation.
The Madinat Jumeirah turtle rehabilitation unit is run by the Wildlife Protection Office based here in Dubai and in conjunction with the National Marine Aquarium based in Plymouth, UK. The unit is monitored and looked after on a day to day basis by the staff of the Burj Al Arab Aquarium team.
The large enclosure forms what is hoped to be the final stage in their rehabilitation process, to allow a final period of feeding and monitoring before release back into UAE territorial waters. At release, it is hoped to satellite tag the turtles to assess the viability of the rehabilitation programme and provide important scientific data on our native turtles and their movements.
The turtle is a flagship species for the conservation of the marine environment, and is protected throughout much of the world. Of the two species of turtle found in the Gulf area, the Hawksbill and the Green turtle, both are classified by CITES as endangered.
Without exception, all of the turtles in the Madinat Jumeirah turtle rehabilitation unit were at one stage very sick or injured. They are brought to the aquarium team at the Burj Al Arab or to the Wildlife Protection Office here in Dubai by members of the public. Turtles are subjected to veterinary examination with the help of the Al Wasl Falcon Clinic and are then monitored throughout the recovery process, with appropriate medication or surgery being administered.