Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary (Khor Dubai)

IBA Justification

The site was identified as important in 2017 because it was regularly supporting significant populations of the species listed below, meeting ('triggering') IBA criteria.

Populations meeting IBA criteria ('trigger species'):
Species Current IUCN Red List Category Season Year(s) Population estimate at site IBA criteria met
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus LC non-breeding 2014-2017 1,500-6,000 individuals A4, B3a
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus LC non-breeding 2014-2017 700-4,000 individuals A4, B3a
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus LC winter 2014-2017 2,000-10,000 individuals B3a
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga VU winter 2014-2017 20-30 individuals A1
A4iii Species group - waterbirds n/a winter 2014-2017 8,150-27,800 individuals B3b

The current IUCN Red List category may differ from that which was valid at the time of IBA criteria assessment (2017).

IBA Conservation

IBA conservation assessment
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2017 very unfavourable high high
Was the whole site assessed? State assessed by Accuracy of information
yes population medium

State (condition of the trigger species' populations)
Scientific name Common name Reference population Actual population Units % of population remaining Result
Phoenicopterus roseus Greater Flamingo 3750 3750 individuals 100 favourable
Pluvialis squatarola Grey Plover 440 400 individuals 91 favourable
Charadrius alexandrinus Kentish Plover 1300 2350 individuals 100 favourable
Charadrius mongolus Lesser Sandplover 1900 700 individuals 37 very unfavourable
Numenius arquata Eurasian Curlew 250 50 individuals 20 very unfavourable
Limosa lapponica Bar-tailed Godwit 1000 350 individuals 35 very unfavourable
Calidris falcinellus Broad-billed Sandpiper 530 200 individuals 38 very unfavourable
Calidris alpina Dunlin 2000 3000 individuals 100 favourable
Tringa totanus Common Redshank 460 100 individuals 22 very unfavourable
Larus ridibundus Black-headed Gull 2500 6000 individuals 100 favourable
Clanga clanga Greater Spotted Eagle 8 25 individuals 100 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 19000 18000 individuals 95 favourable

State (condition of the trigger species' habitats)
Habitat Habitat detail Reference area (ha) Actual area (ha) Habitat quantity (% remaining) Habitat quality (carrying capacity) Result
Marine Intertidal 0 0 good (> 90%) poor (40-69%) unfavourable

Pressure (threats to the trigger species and/or their habitats)
Threat level 1 Threat level 2 Timing Scope Severity Result
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - sewage likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium

Response (conservation actions taken for the trigger species and/or their habitats)
Protected-area designation Management planning Other conservation action Result
Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive The conservation measures needed for the site are being comprehensively and effectively implemented high
For more information about IBA conservation status, please click here

IBA Protection

Protected area (PA) PA designation PA area (ha) Relationship of PA with IBA Overlap of PA with IBA (ha)
Ras Al Khor Ramsar Site, Wetland of International Importance 1,013 is identical to site 620
Ras Al Khawr Wildlife Sanctuary Wildlife Sanctuary 620 is identical to site 620


Habitat (IUCN level 1) Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Marine Neritic -
Marine Intertidal -
Forest Subtropical & tropical mangrove -
Marine Coastal/Supratidal -
For more information about the IUCN Habitat classification, please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
urban/industrial/transport -

Land ownership
Dubai Municipality.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary (Khor Dubai). Downloaded from on 07/12/2023.