That Jean Nouvel dome does actually look a bit like a turtle shell…

The turtles that visit the shores of our emirate are undoubtedly some of the best loved fauna indigenous to the region. These gentle ocean-navigating creatures just seem to evoke within us that *David Attenborough voice* joy for the mystery and wonder of nature.

And it’s something Abu Dhabi takes very seriously, operating a number of conservation projects across the emirate — with the Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi (EAD) and now The National Aquarium (TNA) leading the way with the rehabilitation of individuals in need sanctuary and shell-ter.

The art of nature

But in an exciting development, that will make the fruit of these efforts more accessible to the public, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the EAD to create a turtle rehabilitation area at Louvre Abu Dhabi, in those gleaming pools surrounding the museum.

The turtles headed for the waters will be on the last stage of their rehabilitation journey, the ‘pre-release’ phase.

Louvre Abu Dhabi wasn’t chosen as the staging location because of the fact it, if you squint and tilt your head slightly, looks a bit like a turtle. It’s also nothing to do with any sort of avantgarde living art amphibious flashmob. It was picked because its waters are largely the same as the those the turtles will eventually be released into. And because it provides a chance for the public to see these little rehabilitated heroes in a half-shell up close and learn about the importance of this conservation effort.

Talking about the project, HE Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi  said “by supporting this programme, which thus far has led to the rescue and release of more than 500 sea turtles, we are showcasing our conservation efforts and highlighting Abu Dhabi’s role in prioritizing sustainable tourism-focused initiatives.”

Images: Unsplash