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Al Warsan Lakes are two lakes connected to each other in the Dubai International City.
This used to be one of Dubais star birding sites situated in the desert, then called called Wimpey Pits. Since construction of International City finished in 2005 it has shrunk dramatically in size and lost 90% of the birds that used to frequent this area.
The Al Warsan Lakes was formerly called Wimpey Pits due to the Wimpey Construction Company that started the first digging out here in the empty desert. Massive amount of spillwater was dumped in the desert, creating a large body of water. It is now the site of a mega-construction site called Dubai International City and Dragon Mart, and the area is officially named Al Warsan.
Since early 2009 the lakes are walled in by a solid cement fence, and it looked like it would be turned into a nature reserve, but as of today no information is available as to how this will be managed.
Since early 2012 local security have asked birders to leave the area and to get access permission from the office at Dragon Mart, but the details on how to do this is unknown. Some birders manage to access without being chased away, so it's still worth a try.
A link from the master developer
Directions and access:
Update from Stewart Kirckaldy March 2020:
Since the unexpected turn of bad weather in January 2020, Al Warsan Lakes are now experiencing the highest water level in over 5 years.
There is a constant procession of water trucks removing water from the lake, it is unclear if the intentions are to completely drain the lake; or where the water is being taken to, although it is most likely being used for construction purposes.
The small side lake on the east side is suffering heavy loss of water as there are 3 pumps filling the trucks, however the small lake on the south-west side is very full; the resident Common Snipe, White-tailed Lapwing and Green Sandpipers have moved on from this location now. There is a new nursery at the entrance to the lakes, but this does not affect entry or birding.
Access is possible by car via the entrance off the roundabout at 25.155020, 55.420865, security has not been seen in the area since the 2018/19 season, the birding strategy remains the same.
Access also possible:
Park at the southwest corner in the public parking area in front of the residences. Then walk across the southernmost roundabout and past the cement blocks, blocking access to cars. See detailed map below.
To cover the area thoroughly, plan to spend 1-3 hours.
Explore the area as directed by red arrows, as well as any pathways that lead you towards the northeast corner of the area.
192 species (excluding escapes) have been recorded during the period January 2005 (when the site changed name) to December 2018.
Rarities since 2005 have included Marbled Duck in 2012, Mediterranean Gull, Common Gull, Little Swift, Asian Koel, Streak-throated Swallow, etc.
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