Coral Reefs of the Emirates

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Coral reefs represent the most biodiverse ecosystem in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and these habitats support high fisheries productivity, an economic resource sector second only to oil, and a burgeoning ecotourism sector. Corals occur in all seven Emirates, with the highest coral diversity occurring on the east coast along the Sea of Oman and declining along a gradient from the Strait of Hormuz to western Abu Dhabi, reflecting the more extreme environmental conditions towards the southwestern Gulf. Coral reefs of the Emirates are among the most heat tolerant in the world, and as a result have come to represent an important natural asset for international science. However, impacts from coastal development and recent severe marine heat waves have pushed these robust corals past their physiological thresholds, and reefs have become heavily degraded in the past decade across much of the UAE. Active management intervention is needed to conserve and restore the important reef ecosystems to ensure these vibrant habitats are retained for the next generation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Natural History of the Emirates
EditorsJohn Burt
PublisherSpringer Nature
StatePublished - 2023


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