101 children, including competition winners, pupils from a local school and hotel guests, released the turtles from the beach of Madinat Jumeirah back into the Arabian 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.
Dubai’s only turtle rehabilitation project is a collaboration between Jumeirah’s Aquarium team and the Wildlife Protection Office, with essential veterinary support provided by the Dubai Falcon Clinic and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory. Since the project started in 2004, the project has rehabilitated over 500 turtles with over 370 rescued this year.