An ambitious plan to plant over 2,000 ghaf trees in Abu Dhabi was announced by the Maitha Bint Ahmed Al Nahyan Foundation for Community and Cultural Initiatives on 2nd December, 2020, marking the 49th National Day. This will not be the first time UAE plants trees in such a large quantity, however the decision to plant them in the shape of the great Sheikh Zayed’s fingerprint is a peculiar one.
Related: A Guide For Celebrating UAE National Day
According to reports, 2,082 trees native to the UAE are due to be planted over 36,000 square meters near the Al Dhafra Camel Festival site, just south-west of the capital city of Abu Dhabi. The exact design and shape of the plantation was developed by Al Reef Design Company.
The chairwoman of the Al Nahyan Foundation, Sheikha Maitha bint Ahmed stated that the reason for using Sheikh Zayed’s fingerprint as the shape of the plantation is to commemorate his strong ideals and opinions about the preservation of the environment.
Being one of the highly revered UAE Founding Fathers, Sheikh Zayed developed massive tree plantation initiatives during the 1970s, apart from the obvious environmental factor the Sheikh had three primary motivations for his tree plantation drives:
- To transform the barren desert landscape into a lush green oasis which gives shade.
- To greatly improve and enhance the state of the villages both visually and practically.
- To make villages more habitable through the plantation of trees and other greenery.
The UAE plants trees across the land to improve the environment. However, ‘why the Ghaf tree was chosen as the tree for this project’ is a question that might be on your mind.
Ghaf is the national tree of the Emirates, but there are other considerations as well that have played an important part in the decision of choosing this particular kind of tree, factors such as:
- Ghaf trees have a long life span of over a 120 years on average.
- The leaves, branches, and food from pods of ghaf trees have great nutritional value, particularly for livestock.
- Ghaf tree by-products are also known to have medicinal benefits.
- They require bare-minimum water and foster other foliage and animal life around.
Chairwoman Sheikha Maitha urged local public and private organisations to get involved in the tree plantation drive by starting to plant a single tree each.