Driving in the desert in the Emirates, if you are lucky enough, there is the chance to come across the Arabian Oryx or white Oryx (Oryx leucoryx).
Their home territory is the desert and steppes of this region and they usually travel in herds. Sadly the Arabian oryx has been extinct in the wild since the 1970’s but preservation in zoos and breeding programs have allowed a re-introduction into the desert and steppes areas since the 1980’s.
Much of the desert area around Dubai is classified as a desert conservation area and they have been re-introduced here. The Western region of Abu Dhabi has also had a herd re-introduction along with Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.
The Sharjah Desert Park ( see information below) is an excellent place to see Oryx if desert driving is not your forte. There is a herd in the outside area together with gazelle, rock hyrax and flamingo. Feeding time (around 3.30pm the day I was there) brings all the animals into the viewing area.There is a large herd of Oryx.
Here are some photos of the Oryx I found on one of my drives….
Sharjah Desert Park information at http://www.breedingcentresharjah.com/Wildlife%20Centre.html and more at http://www.wordtravels.com/Attractions/3697.
Entry 15dirhams per person, well worth a visit.