Central region (Dubai)
I have listed the most important Dubai sites for a visiting birder below, with a few more remote sites listed for visitors with more time on their hands.
I am working on making them as complete as possible, with access information and birding strategies.
This will take time, and needs feedback from our visitors.
Names in the individual location pages are linked to the eBird Hotspot for the location.
If you find yourself in Dubai, you can either rent a taxi for a half day or full day from Dubai Taxi, by ordering 24 hours in advance.
In 2019 the taxi rates are AED 900 for 6 hours and AED 1,800 for 12 hours.
Be prepared with instructions to the taxi driver, as few of the birding sites are known to them.
You can also flag down taxis on roads, and there are generally taxis outside parks. All UAE taxis are metered.
I suggest you start at at sunrise at the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, or at 8am in Al Mamzar Park (check for Ladies Day here, if you are of the non-female variety).
Then at stop at one or all of the hides at Ra's al-Khor Wildlife Reserve, starting with Mangrove Hide.
End the day in Mushrif NP or at Qarn Nazwa.
A desert conservation trip can be organized here
A trip up north to the Omani enclave of Musandam can be found here.
One of Dubai's top vagrant hotspots, if not THE best.
A must during migration, late August to early November and late February through May, but can also be good in winter.
Best during migration and winter; but good birds and great photo-opportunities all year round, especially from Mangrove Hide.
Greater Spotted Eagle guaranteed from October to April.
Best during migration or winter when anything can turn up. This site is greatly reduced in size since Sept 2014.
Best during migration or winter when anything can turn up. The most 'manicured' park in Dubai, but still worth a visit.
Mushrif National Park
For resident Pallid Scops Owl and wintering raptors. Can hold some interesting warblers during migration and in winter.
Al Warsan Lakes
Still good for resident White-tailed Lapwing and Clamorous Reed Warbler.
A great desert area only 40 minutes from Dubai's Mall of the Emirates, great for desert birds like Cream-coloured Courser, Chestnut-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Black-crowned Sparrow-lark, Greater Hoopoe-lark and a good possibility of Lappet-faced Vulture and other raptors.
Best known for resident Pharaoh Eagle Owls and wintering Variable Wheatear.
Can be good for passage migrants and wintering birds. Sociable Lapwings have been recorded.
The best spot in the country for Socotra Cormorant, can be good for wintering Pallas's Gull.
The wader hotspot of the UAE, with Crab Plovers and wintering Great Knot.
Access can be difficult, and a 4 wheel drive recommended.
Good for waders, esp. Broad-billed Sandpiper.
Wasit Nature Reserve
A reserve close to where the old Ramtha Rubbish Tip used to be.
A set of artificial wetlands inside an industrial site called the Ajman Sewerage Biorefinery, easy registration required before the first visit.
A green area on the coast, good for migrants and wintering birds.
Was THE spot for Hypocolius, but the plantation is no longer watered. The Polo club is still good for Cream-coloured Courser and other grass birds.