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exploring the wadi wurayah national park

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It is a matter of fact that there would be one in UAE who is not aware of one of the famous National Park, Wadi Al-Wurayah, known for its serene and well-maintained ecosystem for the conservation of numerous varieties of plants and wildlife species. It is also particularly recognized and identified as the Biosphere Reserve of UAE declared by UNESCO. It is also one of the last Emirati places where traditional farming practices are still maintained. With such a rich description, let’s navigate into the land of Wadi-Al Wurayah to get a glimpse and detailed insights into this beautiful ecosystem-

Unique Regional Characteristics

  • Wadi Al Wurayah is located in Fujairah, a wadi between the town of Masafi, Khor Fakkan, and Bidiyah which is also a part of the Hajar Mountain range in the United Arab Emirates.
  • The Wadi road starts on an E99 coastal road, 4 kilometers north of Khor Fakkan, and 4.3 kilometers south of Al Bidiyah Mosque.
  • What is Wadi? Well, the word Wadi can be described as a stream that can only flow at particular times of the year as per the rainy season. In the Arabian peninsula, there are many wadis where water flows for only a few days or for a few hours.
  • Geologists around the world described it as one of the valuable gems and magnificent scenic beauty, nature has to offer for UAE.
  • The Wadi-Al Wurayah is a combination of ophiolitic structure surrounded by lush green trees and vegetation complimented with freshwater stream beds and waterfalls to support its flora and fauna that unanimously resides in this beautiful ecosystem.
  • Well, in order to understand this unique word ophiolite it simply means a rare sequence of rocks formed when tectonic surface pushed upward a section of the Earth supper mantle, oceanic crust, and overlying sediments.
  • A permanent freshwater stream bed created ridges that contain 371 separate streams that run a total of 301 km branches out from six main wadis, according to the Hydrological Science Journal.
  • One can also discover archaeological sites dated as far back as 300 BC revealing its presence of rich civilization as well as archaeological and ecological importance.
  • It comprises of Arabian Highlands, shrubland ecosystem, alluvial plains, the ophiolitic structure of the mountains, unique hydrogeological systems, well-adapted aridity of the region followed with low rainfall in these areas.

Rich and Diverse Flora and Fauna

Wadi Al Wurayah along with its splendid mountain views and attractive greenery is also an abode to many of that unusual wildlife and endangered species.

  • A total of 806 species is identified in the national park area. More than 100 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians can be found along with 208 varieties of species of plants. Statistics state exactly 19 mammals, 17 reptiles, 3 fishes, 2 amphibians, and 94 birds while the rest all are invertebrates found in total.
  • Some of the rarest of the wildlife animals such as Blanford’s fox, Arabian Leopards, hedgehogs, Arabian Tahr, Gordon’s wild cat, mountain gazelles, and caracals, Garra Barreimiae (rare fish species) to name a few can be found in this exquisite Mountain protected area.
  • Amongst the 300 species of plants and natural vegetation, there is a presence of wild orchid species named, Epipactis veratrifolia popularly found in these areas.
  • Wadi Al Wurayah serves as a grazing hotspot, symbol of biodiversity, and provides the right kind of habitat/ecosystem for these species to co-exist supplemented with alluvial plains, a unique hydrogeological system, and wide mountain ranges as a protective shield.

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Significant Facts

Apart from its amazing habitat and known to be a natural wonder of the UAE, here are some of the amazing facts of Wadi- Al Wurayah that needs to be highlighted to attain perspective and take time out to revere its beauty- 

  • It was indeed a moment of pride when Wadi Al-Wurayah had been officially declared as a Biosphere Reserve” in the United Arab Emirates by the UNESCO (United Nations, Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) by establishing the fact that it is one of the most well-known National Park in the UAE for consistently preserving and maintaining the sustainable quality, standards and environment-friendly ecosystem for all kinds of flora’s and fauna found here, thus positioning the country on the global map.
  • Yet another interesting and mind-blowing secret of Wadi-Al- Wurayah that can amaze anyone is regarding dragonflies. 24 out of 30 varieties of dragonfly species have been discovered alone in Wadi Al Wurayah. The most prominent ones spotted regularly is the Bloody Darter dragonfly (Crocothemis sanguinolenta).
  • Wadi Al- Wurayah is the second protected area in the UAE to receive the recognition after Marawah Marine Protected Area and was declared the first Mountain Protected Area in the UAE.
  • According to the wildlife survey, the park also notably recorded to have 94 endangered bird species within the area. 
  • The visitors to the national park account for those people living as permanent residents and those seasonal visitors from different areas or countries. The local community comprises Emiratis, South Asians, Arabs, etc. The population existing around this region may be part of the skilled workers, technical support, farmers, fisherman, and household under the public and private sector employment. The main occupation carried out includes agriculture, fishing, small-scale handiworks, and commercial activities.


  • Wadi Al Wurayah is not only a national park but it also serves as an attractive spot and a popular go-to place for trekkers and mountaineers. 
  • While on a visit to this splendid National Park one can also observe the nuisance of some of the visitors who have covered the rock with graffiti and carelessly spread around litter around the area. Thus, authorities of the national park have to take extra precautions and need to impose heavy fines and strict laws to abide during the visit.
  • Apart from its geological importance it also represents a rich civilization, ecological as well as socio-economic characteristics of Wadi-Al Wurayah
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