It has become a destination for nature lovers in the capital

Salt Lake in Abu Dhabi... a breathtaking beauty in the heart of the desert

  • The lake was formed recently as a result of drilling operations in the area.

    Photography: Eric Arrasas


Abu Dhabi includes many natural tourist attractions, which include models of natural phenomena and geographical formations that reflect the diversity and richness of the region, and among these formations is the Salt Lake, which has become one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the Al Wathba area, after it was able in the recent period to attract visitors of different nationalities As a destination that enjoys a breathtaking beauty, the salt blocks surrounding the water bodies look like pieces of ice in the middle of water bodies of different sizes, and the color of the water varies between blue and green.

Salt Lake, which looks like an ice-colored plate in the heart of the desert and is approximately 50 km away from the capital Abu Dhabi, and access to it may require a period of research to identify its exact location. The salinity of the region, with high rates of evaporation in the dry climate, which led to the accumulation of excess rainwater, in addition to the water leaking from the neighboring agricultural areas, and its water is affected by the groundwater level and tidal movement.

Previously connected to the sea

A salt lake is defined as a landlocked body of water that contains a much higher concentration of salts (usually sodium chloride) and other dissolved minerals than most lakes, and salt lakes sometimes contain a higher concentration of salt than sea water.

In certain cases, salt lakes are formed when flowing water containing salt or minerals accumulates in the lake, and then some of the water evaporates leaving dissolved salts behind, and thus the salinity of the water increases, which makes the salt lake an excellent place for salt production.

Other times, salt lakes are formed as a result of high rates of evaporation in a dry climate with no outlet to the ocean, and the high content of salt in these water bodies may come from minerals deposited from the surrounding land, and there may be another source of salt, such as the lake being connected Previously by sea or ocean.

The high salinity may lead to the presence of unique flora and fauna, but most of the time we find the absence of life near the salt lake.

If the amount of water flowing into the lake is less than the amount that was evaporated, the lake will eventually disappear and leave a dry lake.

The phenomenon of "marsh"

Salt lakes in nature are linked to another geographical phenomenon known in the region as “sabkhats”, which are areas whose level is lower than the sea level, so water collects in them, and due to the high temperature in those areas, the water evaporates greatly from the surface of the soil, leaving behind salts On the surface of the soil, and with the repetition of this process, a gradual accumulation of salts occurs, and a cover known as the salt crust is formed, which is a white crust of salt crystals, and this crust is often weak and fragile.

The marshes appear clearly in the western region on the borders of Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, as the coast follows to the borders of Abu Dhabi - Dubai.

The largest and most continuous area of ​​sabkhas is found in the area extending from the mainland of Abu Dhabi city to the port.

two types

There are two types of sabkhas in Abu Dhabi, namely the coastal sabkhas and the salt sabkhas, or salt sabkhas, which are known as areas dominated by visible salty herbaceous plants and shrubs. They are distributed within the emirate over an area extending from east to west along the coast and islands from Khalifa Port to the borders of Saudi Arabia. The density of this habitat is around the islands towards the east and west of Abu Dhabi Island.

The coastal sabkha is a salt-covered desert close to the coast that covers large areas. It is devoid of vegetation due to the high salinity of the substrate. However, halophytes may appear in places where there are thin carpets of sand on the surface.

The only one in the world

The coastal sabkha in Abu Dhabi is one of the best documented sabkhas in the world. The sabkha, located to the south of the islands of Al Dabiya and Abu Al Abyad, is the only complete sabkha in the world, which includes four major prominent layers of flats, all in one location.

The salt blocks look like pieces of ice in the middle of different sized water pools, and the color of the water varies between blue and green.

The lake is about 50 km away from the capital, and access to it may require a period of research to know its exact location.

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