What’s On has video and pictures of the Dubai Turtle Rehab Project at Madinat Jumeirah and Burj Al Arab. See turtles released back into the wild in Dubai.

More than 100 turtles were released back into the wild on Monday morning as part of the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project. And What’s On was in the water with them as the cute creatures took their first tentative paddles in the sea.

In the shadow of the Burj Al Arab, the event, which is run in collaboration with Dubai’s Wildlife Protection Office and is the only project of its kind in the Middle East and Red Sea region, was attended by hundreds of eager onlookers, including local schoolchildren, all of whom helped ease the little critters down the beach. 

It’s a decade since the project first operated in this guise, with around 700 sea turtles having benefited from the work. In 2011 alone over 350 sick or injured were treated by the DTRP after washing up on the regions beaches. According to recent figures, the most endanged breed are the juvenile Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), which have seen around an 87 per cent drop in the global number of nesting females in the last three generations.

Warren Baverstock, the hotel’s aquarium Operations Manager, said: “We are enormously proud that the project has reached the ten year milestone and would like to thank the public for their help as without their support, there would be less sea turtles swimming round in our waters.

“Over the last decade, the DTRP has had a positive impact on national, regional and international sea turtle populations by increasing the number of animals in the environment that would have otherwise perished. It is estimated that only one out of 1000 sea turtle hatchlings will reach sexual maturity and so by saving these animals and releasing them back into the wild we are in effect increasing the number of turtles that could possibly reach breeding age.”