Sir Abu Nu'air
island of Sir Abu Nu'air is one of the UAE's larger offshore islands,
with an area of nearly 10 sq km. Formerly unihabited except for a few
transient fishermen, it has been extensively developed in recent years.
It rises to 81m above sea level and is a typical salt-dome island. The
central area is hilly and has many igneous intrusions, while the landscape
is heavily gullied and vegetation remains sparse. There is a single, now
apparently brackish, well in the interior of the island, this once providing
sweet freshwater to visiting fishermen.
turtles (Chelonia mydas) come ashore to nest annually, an activity
apparently unaffected by modern day development. Nesting seabirds have
not fared so well, however, with the numerous feral cats being a major
problem. The red-billed tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) formerly
nested in some numbers but appears now to have abandoned the island.
At the present day the island has a strategic importance, lying as it
does alongside one of the world's busiest oil-shipping lanes.