With a rich diversity of marine and bird life, nature lovers will delight in Ajman’s beautiful stretch of coastline and the sprawling mangrove forest of Al Zorah Nature Reserve to the north of the city. The emirate also has two inland enclaves – Al Manama, east of Ajman, and Masfout, located in the south of the UAE near Hatta – in the shadow on the Hajar Mountains.
Declared a nature reserve in 2004, Al Zorah’s pink flamingos steal the show, but birdwatchers can also spot nearly 60 species in the mangroves and lagoons. Meanwhile, the small Al Naseem Nature Reserve in the plains of Manama is being developed to allow visitors to appreciate the resilient flora and fauna of the interior.
And while the jagged peaks of the Hajar Mountains, formed by tectonic uplift some 65 million years ago, may appear quite barren, hidden wadis and the high mountain plateaus can support relatively lush vegetation. Keen-eyed hikers may spot reptiles and bird species like the desert lark, while conservation programs aim to protect endangered species such as Arabian leopard and Arabian tahr.
Ajman and the UAE is a haven for birdwatchers: in addition to the more than 100 species that regularly breed here, large numbers of migratory birds also visit the UAE en route between Europe, Asia and Africa. And it is particularly important for many regionally and internationally important breeding colonies of seabirds, bringing the total number of bird species to date to over 450.
The tropical seas off the coast of the UAE are home to a rich diversity of marine fish, with over 500 species recorded, ranging from 29 species of sharks to minute coral-reef dwellers.