Mangrove on Marawah
Marawah island lies around 100 km west of Abu Dhabi and is privately owned. The island is composed of Pleistocene limestone platforms linked by recent sand and beach deposits as well as by sabkha (saltflats). Mangrove trees, many apparently of considerable age, grow along sheltered shorelines and bays, with numerous tidal channels fringed by healthy stands. Marawah is one of few sites in the UAE where mangrove is spreading naturally. Little green herons (Butorides striatus), western reef herons (Egretta gularis) and clamorous reed warblers (Acrocephalus stentoreus) all feed and nest in this habitat.
Dugong, turtles and dolphins occur in the surrounding waters, with the vast extent of intertidal mudflats host to internationally important numbers of migratory waterbirds in winter and during passage periods, including many hundreds of great knot (Calidris tenuirostris), a species which breeds only in far eastern Siberia and which otherwise migrates to Australia for the winter.
Marawah has a long history of human occupation, dating back to the Late
Stone Age, over 7000 years ago. Other archaeological sites dating to the
local Bronze Age through until the Islamic period are also found here.