Zar3 Pedia

Landscape of plant species in the UAE
Jan, 2023 |

Did you know that there are approximately 391,000 species of plants in this world?  Out of which, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is home to over 1,000 plant species. With extensive trade and movement across the country, many new species have been introduced for various purposes, and over time these species became natural habitats of the region.

However, as per the National Red List Assessment Workshop, over 550 native species suffer the risk of extinction. Under the assessment, an index or measure called Red List Index (RLI) has been assigned to each set or category of species. A score of 1 indicates that all the species come under “Least Concern” category and as the value becomes lower, it means the set of species are fast heading towards extinction. The RLI of plant species in the UAE, has decreased from 0.96 (1996) to 0.94 (2019), indicating an increase in regional extinction risk of the sample species.

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Olea europaea

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Gymnarrhena micrantha

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Pavonia arabica

Broadly, the species can be classified into Coastal, Terrestrial & freshwater and Marine. Due to growing tourism, influx of people and evolving hospitality industry, specialized coastal species like Pavonia arabica are at risk. Terrestrial and freshwater species are found mostly in mountain areas like the Ru’us al–Jibal, the Hajar Mountains and Jebel Hafeet. However, grazing by livestock and feral animals, development of infrastructure are threats to species like Gymnarrhena micrantha, Olea europaea and such. Marine species like Grey Mangroves (Avicennia marina) and Seagrass (Halophila ovalis) are some of the species found in the protected areas and require conservation intervention.


In a nutshell, the major threats to the plants are Agriculture (grazing, livestock farming and ranching), Residential and commercial development. Drastic climate change and extreme temperatures are also a part of the list of threats. While some of these threats can be controlled, the others need direct conservation measures and conservation efforts are underway in the UAE.

It is imperative to say at this juncture, we can all do our bit to contribute to the conservation of our plant species. All we need to do is maintain the well-being of our garden plant species, scientifically. Which is why, our online Plant Doctor, the Zar3 garden expert with in-depth knowledge and expertise can assist you. So, the next time you buy plants online from Zar3, book an appointment with our Plant Doctor to ensure the health of your plants.

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