Al Marmoom Desert

Country/territory: United Arab Emirates

IBA criteria met: A1, A3 (2017)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 95,000 ha

IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2017 unfavourable medium medium
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2017 baseline)

The Marmoom Reserve project covers more than 10% of Dubai's land area. It will be the first unfenced desert conservation reserve in the country and will host more than 20 environmental, cultural and sports initiatives.

The reserve includes more than 40 hectares of shrubland and 10 km2 of artificial lakes (Al Qudra Lakes).

The new project will include 10 animal and bird observation platforms, star and sunset observations decks, areas for yoga, an outdoor theatre and will be powered by a 5,000 megawatt solar power complex.

The Saruq Al Hadid archaeological site, which dates back more than 3,000 years to the Iron Age, can also be found at the reserve.

Key biodiversity
Al Marmoom is home to more than 204 species of native birds, 158 species of migratory birds, 26 species of reptiles, nine mammal species, and 39 species of plants. It provides a sanctuary for 19 species of endangered animals and birds and houses between 300 to 500 large flamingos - the highest concentration in a desert region in the country.

Data-sheet compiled by: Junid Nazeer Shah, Esmat Elfaki Mohammed Elhassan, Jeruel Cabadonga Aguhob (Dubai Municipality).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Al Marmoom Desert. Downloaded from on 04/10/2023.