Off the coastline of Abu Dhabi lies a unique wonder of Nature, wild and undisturbed by human activity, Bu Tinah Island. Not many people in the UAE are familiar with this natural treasure. It is now one of the 28 official finalists for the New7Wonders of Nature, a worldwide campaign where people can nominate and vote for the seven most remarkable, awe-inspiring natural locations and features on our planet.
Bu Tinah is host to critical marine habitats. Seabirds, such as the flamingo and osprey, diverse species of dolphins and critically endangered turtles like the hawksbill, can all be found in and around the island.
The island's waters are also home to the planet's second largest population of dugongs, a large marine mammal which is globally threatened.
It is rich in biodiversity and lies within the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve, the region's first and largest Unesco-designated marine biosphere reserve. Fishing and the collection of turtle eggs are prohibited on the island, which is closed to visitors, to ensure its continued survival and protection.
A special campaign to make Bu Tinah one of the new seven wonders of nature has been initiated by the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD). People may visit www.vote7.com and use the "vote now" option to choose their seven wonders.
They have also organised an exhibition, which is held daily at the Abu Dhabi Corniche to create awareness about the campaign.
It is extremely interesting and informative for children and adults alike. Visitors can also vote in designated kiosks set up inside a dome-shaped replica of this natural wonder.
— The reader is a technical officer based in Abu Dhabi