Unbeleafable scenes…

Earlier in the month, we brought you the news, location and all the secondary school sciency stuff behind Abu Dhabi’s gram-busting Long Salt Lake.

It’s now time to get fanatical about the botanical, because we’re predicting Abu Dhabi’s next big landmark-thirst, will come in the form of Plant Lake.

We know, unbeleafable right? Just when we think we’ve seen it aloe, Abu Dhabi branches out with another beautiful work of nature.

OK, we’ve got it all out of our sy-stem. No more plant puns. We promise.


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It’s found at the eastern edge of Al Jubail Island, close to Zeera Island and across the water from Khor Laffan.

The fluvial inlet doesn’t appear to have an official name ‘Plant Lake’ was the name attached to it by intrepid Abu Dhabi photographer, Amar Habeeb (Insta handle: @amarhabeeb).

The stunning depth of green is no Photoshop trickery, it really is that lucid. When the beguiling natural feature popped up on the digital viewfinder of his drone remote, Habeeb recalls immediately thinking “Emerald Green. I couldn’t believe my eyes”.

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As hinted at here, if you want to get the best pictures, and save yourselves some mangrove clambering injuries — you will of course need a drone.

Why so green..?

There are a number of reasons why areas of water might appear green to the eye, most of them biological rather than geological. Though it’s unlikely to be the case here, algal blooms can spread with electric pace, dramatically plunging entire lakes into hues of chlorophyll green in the space of days.

And it’s likely biology that’s at play here too. The jade channel is a shallow inlet from the adjacent khor waterway and is surrounded by the verdant canopy of Al Jubail and Zeera mangroves. It’s possible that this translucent green (markedly different from algal greens, which tend to create more opaque greens) owes its colour to the reflection of, and protruding roots that are a feature of, the local high salinity-adapted vegetation. But we can’t be certain.

Not just the green

It’s more than that. The dendritic (or ‘tree-like’ if we’re not trying to beat ourselves in a mental game of Scrabble) tendrils of the stretch of water, really give it that big leaf energy. Gnarled veiny offshoots cutting into the mangrove mud, make it reminiscent of a kale floret or lone sprig of arugula. Anyone else hungry for Nicoise now?

Abu Dhabi really does keep surprising us with these incredible, hidden lake landmarks. We’ve had the salt and lettuce, so if anyone tracks down a balsamic dressing one, drop us a line, we’d like to complete the set.

Images: @amarhabeeb / Getty