7 Natural Wonders of the World
New Seven Wonders of Nature-One
of 28 nominees. Winners will be announced in 2011.
Bu Tinah is a tiny archipelago amid
extensive coral formations and seagrass
beds some 25km south of Zirku and
35km north of Marawah. It remains
relatively untouched by man and is
protected as a private nature reserve.
Fishing and collection of turtle
eggs is prohibited and the ban is
enforced by patrols. Bu Tinah is actually
a cluster of islands and shoals found
in shallow waters. The main island
has a sheltered lagoon opening to
the south while the low energy environment
permitting stands of mature mangrove
to flourish. 
The main island has a sheltered lagoon
opening to the south, lined with mature
The area is part of the Marawah Marine
Biosphere Reserve, the largest protected
area in the country, with a territory
of more than 4,000 square kilometres.
The archipelago is a core zone within
the protected area, meaning fishing
is prohibited and only a limited number
of supervised visitors is allowed.
Besides flamingos, Bu Tinah is also
visited by a number of rare migratory
birds such as the Socotra cormorant
and some species of tern. The area
is one of the country?s best places
for dugongs ? large but timid marine
mammals that feed on seagrass. Some
600 out of the estimated 3,000 dugongs
in the country live in the waters
around Bu Tinah.
The archipelago is important for
turtles, too. Its waters are foraging
grounds for the two species of turtles
most common in the UAE, while the
shoals? sandy banks provide nesting
habitat for the hawksbill turtle.
There are also healthy coral reef
habitats with as many as 16 species
of coral recorded in the area.