UAE Dolphin Project lands in Saadiyat

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    Dolphins regularly seen from the shores of Saadiyat Island
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    Volunteers conducting the survey, Saadiyat
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Following the high number of dolphin sighting reported by the public and the local businesses along the island’ shores, in September 2014 we investigated the possibility of setting up a land based survey in Saadiyat. Determination eventually pays off and after putting together all the pieces of the puzzle (methodology, research, permits, venues’ agreements) in December 2015 we finally started the survey!

Our target is to understand which species frequent the Saadiyat waters and how often, if they are always the same individuals coming in this area and what they come here for: good fishing spot or tranquil resting place?

Studying dolphins from land – although it sounds less exciting than climbing into a boat and cruising for hours on end – has its advantages. It is in fact the only way that dolphin behavior can be observed without any disturbance or interference. Dolphins can hear our boat engines from far before we can actually spot them, therefore potentially modifying their behavior! From a land post, it is easy to observe the group formation and the behavior and how this changes if there is disturbance.

Thank you to the TDIC (Tourist Development & Investment Company) for their support and granting us with the permit to conduct the survey, Park Hyatt Hotel and Villas Abu Dhabi that kindly granted us access to the Rooftop Bar Terrace, our land observation point, Bake Public Beach agreed to provide us with a kayak in case of sightings close to shore, the Emirates Natural History Group for providing us with the equipment needed, and New York University for supporting the volunteer recruitment. If you would like to volunteer please leave your details at:

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