Raising awareness among lifesavers and the public at Saadiyat Island
It all started with an interesting high number of sightings reported by the public, and in particular, by Arabella Willing from Park Hyatt Hotel and Villas Abu Dhabi. It really looks like the dolphins are also enjoying the fancy resorts! Along Saadiyat beach, lifesavers are permanently present to ensure the safety of bathers, but they also regularly spot dolphins, sometimes coming very close to shore. From this came the idea to raise awareness amongst the lifesavers about the dolphins they see. We delivered our first presentation to the staff of Park Hyatt last December. In the frame of the Abu Dhabi Environmental week, we were invited by the Monte Carlo Beach Club and the Bake Public Beach, in collaboration with the Institute Français, to present to lifesavers and the public.
We illustrated how to report a sighting and how this can help researchers (and the business!) but more importantly, how to ensure the safety of the public if dolphins come close to shore. The general perception of dolphins is one of a cute gentle animal that always smiles, and the public is used to the ideas of dolphins in captivity that are somehow accustomed to interact with humans (although accidents can still happen). The reality is different: despite being among the most intelligent animals on Earth, wild dolphins are still wild animals. To be precise they are carnivores, 250 kilos on average, and with lots of teeth!! Please think twice when you are temped to swim with them!
Thank you to Arabella, Park Hyatt Hotel and Villas Abu Dhabi,pioneer of this initiative, Charlotte, Monte Carlo Beach Club, Marion from the Institute Français Abu Dhabi and Bake Public Beach to provide us with this opportunity!