As part of the Atlantis Atlas Project and underlining its commitment to marine conservation, Atlantis Dubai recently released four Honeycomb Stingrays and 10 Arabian Carpet sharks into the Arabian Gulf. This is part of the destination’s ongoing efforts to support conservation initiatives and give back to the local environment. Gulf waters are home to many sharks, rays, and fish species, with more than half now considered threatened.
Situated on the Arabian Gulf within a rich coastal ecosystem home to a multitude of marine species, Atlantis Dubai remains committed to supporting and advancing conservation efforts locally, regionally, and globally. Atlantis colleagues regularly participate in numerous programmes, including beach cleanups, tree plantings, and wildlife releases.
The latest effort saw four juvenile Honeycomb Stingrays and 10 young Arabian Carpet sharks released into the Arabian Gulf at the Jebel Ali Marine Reserve, bringing the total number of releases from Atlantis Dubai to 38 sharks and eight rays since 2019. Arabian Carpet sharks and Honeycomb Stingrays are native to the Arabian Gulf region and can be found off the coast in coral reefs, lagoons, rocky shores, muddy bottoms and mangroves.
Allowing sharks and stingrays to breed is a natural process, as well as an indicator of a healthy ecosystem, and Atlantis Dubai encourages natural behaviours. Aged between 8 to 10 months, each marine animal released was born at Atlantis, The Palm and cared for in the resort’s dedicated fish hospital. The Animal Care team carefully assessed each shark and stingray before deeming them healthy and suitable for release. To prepare for their journey into the wild, the animals were encouraged to explore and interact with other compatible marine life and forage for their food.
“Home to more than 65,000 marine animals, Atlantis Dubai recognises the crucial role that aquariums play in helping to improve the conservation of biodiversity, which includes breeding and reintroduction programmes,” said Kelly Timmins, Director of Sustainability and Marine Animal Operations, Atlantis Dubai. “We remain dedicated to working with local government agencies and non-profit organisations to advance marine conservation and to ensure future generations are able to benefit from a healthy and productive ocean.”
Atlantis Atlas Project endeavours to positively impact sustainable development through economic, social, and environmental initiatives as a leader in responsible tourism. Atlantis Dubai was the first destination in the Middle East to achieve accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the internationally recognised gold standard in animal care and welfare. The destination is also a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), which brings together world-class zoos and aquariums, associations, as well as leading wildlife experts, academies, and universities, to encourage the highest standards for global animal welfare among its member institutions while leveraging support for species conservation management.
As a destination with world-class aquariums and scientific facilities, Atlantis Dubai delivers high-quality educational programmes to encourage guests to build a lifelong appreciation for marine life. For every marine animal experience participated in by a guest, Atlantis Dubai contributes $1 (USD) to conservation and sustainability projects that help protect the ocean and the environment. Since launching in June 2021, the 1 USD contribution initiative has raised over a quarter of a million dollars.