Standing in my hallway looking at my luggage all packed and I know that at that moment that the rest of the EDA team are well and truly on their way to Malaysia. On my way to the airport four hours earlier I received an urgent call reporting a problem that needed my immediate attention. With no other choice I had to turn around, put plans on hold and take care of the problem that I was faced with. Three hours later and with the problem resolved, I called the EDA team to find them checking in and only minutes away from boarding the plane. I had been watching the clock as my problem had slowly resolved itself, but by the time I had made this last call to the team, I had resigned myself to the fact that there was no way I was getting on a plane and flying to Malaysia. With confirmation that the flight had been especially arranged for this trip and that there was no way that it could be extended I picked up my luggage and headed upstairs to unpack. Minutes later and unexpectedly my phone rang and upon answering I was pleasantly surprised when Mr “A” from Malaysia airlines introduced himself informing me that he could help me. Hanging up after a brief conversation I started to smile – “be at the airport for 3.30pm tomorrow with all of your documentation and I will see if we can’t get you on that flight”. Continue reading
On June 16th, Burj Al Arab kindly provided a satellite transmitter for a 35kg rehabilitated green turtle so that we could track her journey and to help with our research of the movements of turtles within the Arabian Gulf. This is the Dubai Rehabilitation Project’s fourth satellite tag application and all of our tags so far have been sponsored by Jumeirah Group. Moonlight was the name given to the turtle and she was released on June 8th along with another green turtle weighing 110kg, called ‘Sabri’ (which means endurance in Arabic), and 23 critically endangered juvenile hawksbill turtles that had all been through rehabilitation at the Project. Continue reading
Nestled within Madinat Jumeirah’s Mina A’ Salam, turtles can be seen contently paddling in the resort’s aquamarine waters. Shortly, these placid reptiles will be swapping resort life for the great outdoors when they are returned to the wild. Established in 2004, the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project is run in conjunction with the Wildlife Protection Office and the Burj Al Arab Aquarium. The group aim to rehabilitate turtles in their natural habitat, while at the same time raising awareness of the species’ plight. All the turtles at the sanctuary have been rescued from the waters of the UAE, having been injured or fallen sick. Within their care are the Green and critically endangered Hawksbill species of turtles, both of which are commonly found in the Arabian Gulf. Injured or sick turtles are initially taken to a partnering local veterinary clinic to receive primary treatment, before being moved to the Burj Al Arab Aquarium, where their recovery is monitored closely. Once the team is satisfied with their progress, the turtles are then relocated to the Mina A’Salam turtle enclosure for the remainder of their recuperation. There are various reasons why turtles require treatment. Some become entangled or ingest plastic bags and cigarette butts, while others have been injured by boats and jet skis. Turtles can also get sick due to a significant amount of barnacle growth on their shells. Relying on gaining body heat from their surrounding environment, the reptiles are also more vulnerable during the cooler months, when the ocean’s temperature dips. The length of time the turtles remain at the enclosure very much depends on the extent of their injuries or type of illness, but most stay on average for a year. Anyone can come and visit the Mina A’ Salam’s turtle sanctuary, and during Friday brunch at Al Muna and Zheng He’s, diners are treated to a feeding at 1pm. Similarly, a feeding takes place at 1pm on Wednesday’s for children and parents staying within the resort. Once the turtles are fully recovered, they are released into the wild, but are first fitted with satellite transmitters to allow the project’s team to track their journey and collect data on migration patterns. With the help of the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project, these turtles now have a future – and hopefully their species as a whole will too.
Souq Magazine – Sumer 2010