Abu Dhabi is home to a handful of rich green desert Oasis. The well-known Oases are the Al Ain Oasis and the Liwa Oasis. The oases have been tendered for the past 3000 years and today the palm plantations with a thick cover of vegetation and green splendor offer a cool haven for the residents and visitors.
Lakes (Artificial Reservoirs)
An artificial lake at Al Mabrazah is part of eco-tourism project in the emirate’s Eastern Region. However, efforts are being made to build more bio diverse lakes in the developing land of Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi does not have any perennial rivers, though it has one permanent spring, at Ain bu Sukhanah (at Ayn Al Fayda), in Al-Ain. Short-lived seasonal flow of rain water feeds the many dry river beds surrounding the mountain area.
Seasonal waterfalls occur at Jabal Hafeet during winter and instantaneously during the rains.
There are several natural caves in Jebel Hafeet which are of archaeological importance. There is a network of caves in the Hajar Mountains, beyond Buraimi, near Al Ain. The largest and most impressive of these cave systems is the Magharet Qasir Hafee, which has 450 metres of shafts, passages and chambers reaching to a depth of 96 metres.
There are about 200 islands of which the largest one is the island of Abu al-Abyadh, some are natural wildlife reserves. Abu Dhabi is making efforts to make sustainable manmade islands namely the Lulu Island is one of the many proposed future projects.
Saxaul ‘dew forest’. A small belt of two to three metre high saxaul trees found inland to the south of Abu Dhabi has been dubbed the ‘dew forest’ on account of its foliage dripping. There are numerous sparse or dense mangrove forests on the islands of Abu Dhabi. With the guided assistance of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan, Abu Dhabi has undertaken afforestation programme with the ‘Barari project’ literally meaning ‘wilderness programme’.
The lagoon complex made of mangrove to the north-east of Abu Dhabi city is much-prized. Several low-lying islands exist and the area has considerable natural beauty. The Saadiyat lagoon is a good example of beautiful water rich land with green foliage. Then there is the Al Matar lagoon which is a very small lagoon with sparse mangrove patches and is separated by wire lines.