UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory

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UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory

UAE

Wadi Wurayah

Wadi Wurayah, named after the giant reed in Arabic, is marked by a unique waterscape network made up of riffle, stream, waterfalls and abandoned oases. The biosphere is marked by the recent discovery of two amphibian species new to science. The deep gorges are a safe haven for the Omani blind cave fish, an endemic freshwater fish that thrives only in Al Hajar Mountains. The mix of plants is made up of umbrella thorn acacia, Arabian moringa, common fig, and Nabk (Ziziphus spina-christi) along with the endemic orchid, Caralluma arabica locally known as ‘khansur’ and the Arabian boxthorn. Wadi Wurayah is a refuge for the rare Arabian leopard, Bonelli’s eagle, Barbary falcon, Asian Houbara bustard, Arabian tahr, caracal, desert basker and Blanford's fox. The reserve is home to medicinal plants such as the umbrella thorn Acacia and Sorrel, the ‘Nabk’, succulent spurge and reed. Reed is used in the area to make musical instruments and as bobbins for weaving. The biosphere holds twenty-nine (29) archaeological sites with the unexplored pre-Islamic tombs, Bedouin settlements, ancient Islamic graveyards, rock carvings and remains of pottery dating back to the period between the 14th and 18th centuries. 

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