The season’s first Hawksbill Sea Turtle nest has hatched in the dune conservation area fronting the spectacular five-star The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Abu Dhabi
, with its young brood making a successful return to our warm Arabian Gulf waters. The hatching means that since its 2010 launch, the Hawksbill Sea Turtle Conservation Programme, initiated by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC)
, has recorded 715 eggs successfully hatched on Saadiyat Island
. Five more nests are due to hatch this season.
The entire nest hatches at one time and its brood of baby turtles pop their heads out of the sand after burrowing their way up from their underground nest. The baby turtles then make their way to the shore, orienting themselves in the dark by the glow off the water. Once in the water the baby turtles swim for a full 24 hours to get as far away from the shore as possible, powered by the reserves of the egg yolk they’ve eaten. Then they just float amongst the currents to be taken out into deeper waters to mature. Female turtles return to the beach where they were born around 30 years later to nest.
TDIC’s Hawksbill Sea Turtle Conservation programme is the only one of its kind in the Arabian Gulf, and has seen the company restrict resort development on Saadiyat Beach to create a buffer zone serving as a physical barrier between construction and operations and the Saadiyat Dune Protection Zone nesting beach.
TDIC has embedded sustainability principles throughout the Saadiyat Island development, with the first phase culminating in the opening of the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club
, the five-star The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Abu Dhabi
and Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas
, and the Saadiyat Beach Club