UAE | Environment

Al Ain game resort won’t allow hunting of endangered species such as Arabian Oryx

Project developer dismisses reports of threats to endangered species such as Arabian Oryx

  • By Aftab Kazmi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 22:27 March 27, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Karen Dias/Gulf News
  • Arabian Oryx will not be hunted at a planned Al Ain game reserve.

Al Ain: The UAE’s first game resort that is coming up near Al Ain will not allow the hunting of endangered species like the Arabian Oryx.

The project’s developer has promised full compliance with environmental laws. “I have received hundreds of calls, particularly from the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, inquiring about the project,” Tariq Al Sherif, managing director of Mourouj Hotels and Resorts, said. 
 “The facility also has not yet obtained a licence… the owners are in the process of getting one from the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi.”

The project has sparked concern among conservationists following reports in a section of the media

“Oryx are a endangered species and are very much protected under the UAE laws,” Al Sherif said. “I can assure you that the resort would be 100 per cent in conformity with the environment laws, with only the legally allowed animals,” he noted.

Opening

The resort will open its doors in September in Al Ain, attracting hunting enthusiasts from all over the GCC and the world, said Al Sherif.

Located near Remah, a town to the west of Al Ain, the resort will have 15 royal villas with separate swimming pools, jacuzzis and saunas.

The resort, said Al Sherif, will operate on a seasonal basis from September to April and attract people not only from within the GCC countries, but also from the US and Europe. Hunting enthusiasts normally travel to South Africa and some Asian countries to enjoy the pastime, he said.

Safety and security aspects of this VIP resort had been given special attention and people would love to enjoy their stay.

Heritage village

A heritage village will also come up adjacent to the game resort at a later stage, offering chalets, rooms and other facilities, said the managing director.

The Oryx is valued in Arabian culture and heritage. The Arabian Oryx became extinct in the wild in the early 1960s. Some of the last surviving Oryx were captured shortly before this and captive breeding commenced.

The late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s founding father, was among those involved in saving the Oryx at the very outset.

Abu Dhabi has one of the largest reserves of this species in captivity. In April 2007, the Al Ain Zoo, operating under the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, released a number of Arabian Oryx into their natural habitat as part of its reintroduction programme.

Comments (11)

  1. Added 16:44 March 28, 2013

    It just does not seem right, hnting for no outcome just for the pleasure. I call it cheap thrills and pleasure.

    SJ, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:32 March 28, 2013

    It is very nice to hear views from these armchair conservationists, what they dont realise is that one of the only reasons that so many species have survied is the revenue generated by hunting. Loss of habitat results in the loss of a lot more wild animals then hunting. In protected areas culling/hunting is required to keep the numbers sutainable. If the numbers are not kept in touch we would be doing a lot more than damage than good. I enjoy responsible humting and shooting, the only operative word over here is responsible.

    Dennis, Duabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 13:30 March 28, 2013

    Why kill those animals which you wouldnt need or eat? We are not living in stone age where hunting was a necessity for survival. What pleasure do you thrive on in chasing these poor things for pleasure. I really do not want to see this game resort coming up.

    Ramya, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 12:36 March 28, 2013

    I think Some people didn't get the reason for the public outcry straight ... we have a general problem with animals getting killed and tortured for fun reasons only - be it endangered or not. We fully understand that VIP resorts are financially attractive but are they considering moral and social values?? Just because people travel to other countries doing these things it doesn't mean that they should be allowed to do this in our region as well. I pray that authorities will reconsider this project!!!!

    Monica, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 12:32 March 28, 2013

    Such hunting for fun should not be allowed anywhere in the world. someone's joy (if at all it is!) should not be at the expense of these innocent animals.

    Ahmad Moazzam, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 12:24 March 28, 2013

    It should never be this way that the animal should be taken in category where some are extinct and some are not. There should not be any killing but rather an open area where people can come and have safari kind of trip to see the animals in there natural habitat rather than caged but within an boundary.

    JOHNY, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 12:22 March 28, 2013

    Animals can only be hunted for food. They should not be hunted for fun/sport because it's merciless. I do hope the Resort thinks about this. Indeed, what exactly is it that people hope to attain by hunting animals for sport? If it's money its mercenary, if it's thrills it's heartless, if it's tradition, well, there's no harm breaking with tradition when it's an established fact that it' cruel to hunt for sport.

    HN, Shj, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 12:06 March 28, 2013

    So in other words these guys have a license to kill and take a life of a living creature, an action which they cannot reverse.

    Savio Almeida, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 10:24 March 28, 2013

    The idea that you can make money out of people wanting to kill animals "for fun" is absolutely disgusting.

    John, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 10:19 March 28, 2013

    It's sad that some animals are being legally allowed to be hunted. Even if they are not endangered, there is no need to kill them.

    Fazal Wadood, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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