Protection and enhancement of the Saadiyat Beach dune ecosystem has been implemented to maintain increasingly rare coastal dune habitat for native flora and fauna. In particular, the protection measures and enhancement will allow nesting of endangered hawksbill turtles to continue on the island.
These measures include:
- TDIC has restricted resort development on the island’s four kilometers of beach to within 60 meters of dune lines to protect the breeding grounds.
- This buffer zone will provide a physical barrier between the proposed construction and operations and the nesting beach. During construction, access to the beach is prohibited, except for those monitoring the breeding activity of the turtles.
- Design and construction guidelines have been issued to developers to ensure that aspects such as lighting and disturbance are mitigated for, and impacts to turtles minimised.
- TDIC is also currently restoring areas of the dune ecosystem where beach dunes once existed and also in areas where the current dunes are degraded.
- Operational management plans and guidance documents have been developed for all operators utilising Saadiyat Beach. Compliance with these requirements aims to minimise the impacts to turtles.