Abu Dhabi's latest attraction, the Jubail Mangrove Park opened on Thursday, 30 January 2020.
The aim of the park and mangrove walk is to provide cultural and ecological information on the trees which have been in the region “since the early days of the emirates”, while focusing on the protection and preservation of the natural environment and all the wildlife connected to it.
Everything you need to know ahead of your visit to the Jubail Mangrove Park:
Location: The Jubail Mangrove Park is located on Abu Dhabi's Al Jubail Island. It is a 22 minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport; 14 minute drive from Yas Island; 21 minute drive from Reem Island; 24 minute drive from Al Khalidiyah and 60 minute drive from Dubai Marina.
Timings & parking: The park is currently open daily, from 8am to 6.30pm. It will be closed to visitors in the summer months. The attraction currently has free parking.
Best time to visit: This depends largely on the tides. A visit during the high tide will give guests water views. Those visiting during low tides may find the attraction dry. For more information on the tides, see the forecast here.
Who can visit: While the park is open to all, children under the age of 12 should be supervised. According to representatives, one of the biggest targets will be schools, so that students can come and learn more about the importance of mangroves.
Bookings can be made for larger groups, including school tours and tourists, in which case a ranger can take the group on a tour.
Facilities: Some of its current facilities include a visitor's centre, with toilet and shower facilities, and a cafe that serves teas, coffees and baked goods. There will also be kayaks to hire.
Wildlife: Through the park, visitors can hope to get up close and personal with local wildlife including water and sea birds (herons and flamingos are some of the birds found), fish species and crustacean species.
What to expect: The main attraction of the Jubail Mangrove Park is its boardwalk, which consists of three different routes. The longest one is 2 kilometres, the mid-range one is 1.6km and the shortest route is 1km. According to a ranger, depending on the pace, the longest route can take anywhere between 35 to 90 minutes.
There is no fixed time limit wherein one has to enter and leave the attraction. “Some people might want to take a brisk walk, some would want a leisurely stroll and there will be people coming in to take pictures as this is a photographer’s paradise,” a ranger says. “There are opening and closing hours but we don’t want to rush anyone.”
Those taking the routes will encounter educational nodes (areas) along the way, each with an teaching aspect to it. These areas include:
- The floating platform: A platform with a net through which one can catch a closer glimpse at the marine life
- Power of the sea: A viewing space with greater access to the water
- Roots of the mangrove: An area dedicated to the roots of the trees
- Viewing tower: Located at the centre of the park for those who want a higher vantage point
- Salt collector: A node with "water collectors" at different levels that highlight the changing tides
- Beach tower: A low-level platform that gives visitors a chance to get their feet wet
The boardwalk also has viewing platforms for those who want to sit down and enjoy the views.
Meet the rangers: The mangrove park has a series of rangers, all of whom have a background in various aspects of ecology. The rangers will be moving through the park or located at one of the six nodes, and will be happy to answer questions, share information about the park, its trees and wildlife, and will also give occasional talks.
What not to do
The park is an ecological site first, and so it has a number of rules to maintain. These include:
- No swimming
- No littering
- No smoking
- No food or beverages (on the boardwalk)
- No pets allowed
- No fishing
- No toys, skating, use of scooters/ bicycles.
- No touching/ removing plants or wildlife
- Appropriate attire must be kept in mind
- The park also reserved the right to remove any persons according to its rules or due to inappropriate behaviour.
For more information, visit park.jubailisland.ae