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National Animal

The Arabian Oryx

“When I look into the eyes of an animal, I see a living being, I see a friend, I feel a soul”

A.D. Williams

Animals commonly seen in the wild

Marine fauna:

Dugongs, fin whales, porpoises, dolphins, orcas, turtles.


Flamingos, falcons, warblers, chukars, cranes, buzzards, pigeons, ospreys, sand partridges.

Land mammals:

Caracals, hedgehogs, gazelles, bats, golden jackals, sand cats, striped hyenas, oryx, and leopards, camels.

Snakes and insects:

Arabian cat snakes, Arabian horned vipers, Arabian sand boas, geckos, common sandfish, desert monitors, lizards, bees, wasps.

Common sights you will not like

In the city and
on the road

It's quite common to see stray cats on the streets. Pet markets have animals in cages waiting to be sold.

In the

Camels and lambs are kept in the countryside. Camels are often used for transportation, both for people and supplies.

General animal welfare issues

Livestock such as sheep, goats, calves and camels are used as sacrificial animals (the practice is called Qurbani). Some meats from the animal are given to the poor. Due to the demand, some animals are imported. Camel racing is a traditional sport in UAE. The use of camels for transport and other activities is sadly part of heritage of the country.

Hunting or poaching:

Common animals hunted are gazelles, oryx, and some birds.

Animal fights:

Dog fights are illegal.They still happen away from the public eye and in remote areas. Weaker dogs are used to train fighting dogs. There are seven breeds of dogs banned for import.

Main organization for animal rescue and sheltering:

Abu Dhabi Animal Shelter PARA Rescue UAE

Sanctuaries to visit or volunteer:

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

We have not included the treatment of animals in the meat/fur/leather industries, zoos or circuses, animal testing as it unfortunately still happens in most countries.

Traveling Around the World, the Vegan Way

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