DALMA ISLAND // Walk up Dalma’s rocky hills and it soon becomes clear that the island, 42 kilometres off the coast of Abu Dhabi, has geological as well as cultural value.
Dalma is a salt dome island, with the characteristic dome shapes of rocks formed over millennia as salt slowly rose to the Earth’s surface, reshaping overlaying rocks.
Similar geological features can also be seen on Sir Bani Yas Island and in the area of Jebel Dhanna on the mainland.
Offering excellent panoramic views of the island and coastal waters, the salt domes of Dalma are well preserved and easily accessible.
The National has learnt of plans to extend an area nearby allocated for the upkeep of domestic cattle, for the island's residents,a move which may have a negative impact on the domes.
Asked about the need to protect the salt domes, Dr Shaikha Al Dhaheri, the executive director of terrestrial and marine biodiversity at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, said the department was busy studying “the critical habitats that need to be included” under the current network of protected areas.
“As such, if the salt domes were to be highlighted as potential then of course they will be added,” she said.
More information regarding the future management of the island is available in the Plan Al Gharbia 2030, which was developed by the Urban Planning Council.
Organisation representatives said they could not offer further information as the plan was under review.
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