The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP) has successfully returned 101 critically endangered hawksbill turtles back to their natural habitat following several months of rehabilitation at Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah.
101 children, including competition winners, pupils from a local school and hotel guests, released the turtles last week from the beach of Madinat Jumeirah back into the Persian Gulf.
The DTRP is based at the Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah and run in conjunction with Dubai’s Wildlife Protection Office. It has been running since 2004 and has so far released over 500 rescued sea turtles back into Dubai’s waters. This year alone, over 350 sick or injured sea turtles have been treated by the DTRP’s team of marine biologists after washing up on the region’s beaches.
The event, which attracted a large crowd with children’s activities and a taste of Jumeirah hospitality, was designed to raise awareness of the importance of the turtle rehabilitation programme, issues facing turtles, their risk of extinction (with an 87% decline in the hawksbill turtle population in the last three decades) and conservation of the marine environment.
Burj Al Arab, which in its relatively short tenure on the Dubai coastline has become a symbol of Dubai, attracted international attention and awe. The success of the property has been celebrated by Virtual World Internet, which has developed a virtual tour.