The UAE Dolphin Project was  at the First Charette workshop of the Abu Dhabi Plan Maritime 2030! And  thank to everyone that have reported sightings, we were able to contribute with invaluable information regarding the dolphin occurrence in Abu Dhabi waters. Dolphins appear far more frequently than we first thought! It is a clear demonstration of how important the citizen contribution can be. The Maritime Plan 2030 has the goal to produce a plan to optimise the utilisation of Abu Dhabi marine spaces with the long-term vision of a ‘safe, secure and sustainable maritime domain for Abu Dhabi’.

The Charette, held in Abu Dhabi on the 9-11 June 2014, gave the possibility to meet the representatives of major stakeholders involved in the planning such as UPC (Urban Planning Council) and EAD (Environmental Agency) but also private stakeholders such as ADNOC, ENEC and Port Khalifa representatives. It has been an extremely interesting process and we were glad to be able to contribute. Indeed most of the participants were surprised by the number of sightings reported in the City area. We highlighted the importance of gathering scientific data about the local dolphin population to be able to provide information on how to best protect it in line with the vision of the Plan.

Not many leading cities in the world have a local dolphin population at their doorstep! We hope that our effort will raise awareness among the critical stakeholders about the importance of protecting these species and their environment in Abu Dhabi and the whole UAE.