Marine divers from across the Gulf region expressed their support forBu Tinah Island at the recent Dubai International Boat Show. Hundreds of divers, including H.E Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, President of the United Arab Emirate’s Federal National Council, and a member of the Emirates Diving Association visited the Bu Tinah voting booth to help the island become one of the New7Wonders of Nature.
Held in conjunction with the Dubai International Boat Show, the Dive Middle East Exhibition, is the region’s only dive exhibition. It showcases the latest in diving supplies, services and techniques.
Laila Yousef Al Hassan, Manager of Communications and Marketing of the Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi, said: “The campaign so far has a large following all over the UAE. The support received from the diving community is something we value; divers spend the majority of their time underwater and so they can appreciate our diverse marine environment and how important it is to protect it. Voting for Bu Tinah is voting for conservation and protection. We’re grateful to all those who have voted so far and hope they continue to spread the word.”
Should Bu Tinah Island become one of the New7Wonders of Nature, it will continue playing a large role in the overall marine environmental conservation in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, as well as the region, say the campaign organizers.
Bu Tinah Island, located around 130 km west of Abu Dhabi, is a unique island and a core area of the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve — the first marine biosphere reserve in the region. Being a protected area, it is not open for public visits which help its inhabitants live and flourish in peace. In spite of the harsh temperatures and salinity, its habitats and species, including mangroves, dolphins and the Socotra Cormorant bird, continue to thrive, making the island an important location and living lab for climate change studies, a success story for divers across the region. The Island is also home to one of the world’s densest populations of dugongs, a gentle seal-like mammal that grazes on sea grass.