Dry-tolerant, also in harsh wilderness conditions, is the Ghaf. This is important for the survival of animals or plants. It is a historical and cultural emblem of harmony and peace in the deserted landscape of the UAE. The Ghaf tree in UAE, owing to its cultural and traditional importance, was declared the national tree of the UAE in 2008. Ghaf trees can live on average for up to 120 years. The 400-year-old “Tree of Life” in Bahrain is a well-known example of Ghaf, which still grows in the desert without apparent water sources. The lovely and precious Ghaf is the desert’s evergreen flower! In 2008, because of its great cultural and traditional value, it was proclaimed the UAE’s national tree. Most of the parks in Dubai have Ghaf Tree.
Now let us discuss the tree and why it is the symbol of tolerance in UAE.
What is Ghaf Tree?
Ghaf tree UAE is considered a hardy species. They withstand harsh and arid environments in the dunes by falling very profoundly into the Soil waters of ordinary plants. Prosopis cinerarium is a floral tree from the pea family Fabaceae, known as Ghaf, Shami, Jammi, or Khejri. It is an evergreen drought-tolerant in the desert that requires very little survival water. Only one in five thousand seeds are currently rooted, while insects consume it. Still, until the deep root system is thinner than 30m, it ties the land together to fight desertification, preserving essential desert habitats in contact. You will find this type of tree surrounding Love Lake Dubai.
Importance to Emirati Culture
In 2008 the UAE national tree was proclaimed for its protection due to low water usage and desert habitats and its many cultural applications. Its pea-like cows were nourished during food shortages, and its bark made flour. It also served as fuel and food and supplied the rheumatism of the bark healing for resin, dye, medication, and bites from scorpions and snakes. It also provided accommodation and a gathering place, keeping tribes under its branches. Also, it provided shelter to different people. It brought together the group and helped it as a critical source of life in different ways. The municipality has planted hundreds of trees at the Al Qudra Lake site.
Supreme National Committee
In the United Arab Emirates, the supreme national committee added to the significance of the Ghaf tree:
- Due to its significant importance as one of the authentic national trees in the world, the Ghaf tree was chosen as the main logo feature. A Ghaf has a vital cultural significance in the UAE and is linked to the country’s culture and heritage. The Ghaf is planted worldwide, particularly in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Central, and the Americas.
- The committee noted that, with the launching of the “Year of Tolerance,” the positive reaction of the UAE community contributed to hitting the 7 tolerance pillars, which seek to create values of openness towards other cultures or peoples.
Gulf Tree Description
The Ghaf tree UAE is regarded as a place of contact and was and is still considered a place to meet and talk before heading to their next destination. It means stability – it has proven its unique place in everyone’s heart: people are settled in the trees to recollect their thoughts or connect with another. The tree is also mighty since it is a food supply for humans and animals when they are needed. It also encourages both the art of giving and sustainability.
The tree stands for the UAE’s nature. As a national tree, it is tolerant to drought; it can tolerate extreme weather conditions and needs a minimum to no water, but they find it very hard to grow if insects initially damage the seeds. You would require the authorities’ approval to take any action. Our forefathers have come together to explore issues relating to everyday life under their shadows. In the Year of Tolerance, we have selected the Ghaf as our emblem to live up to the values of tolerance.
Ghaf Tree Uses
The Ghaf tree leaves are a significant food source and a source of fuel, refuge, and medicinal products to humans and animals from the war against desertification and improve soil fertility in arid environments. Many birds establish nests at Ghaf – Eagle of the Desert, Orange, Sparrow of the Yellow Throat, and the Long Beetle. Examples are the nests built by birds.
The Bedouins searched it out for its plants, and the leaves used it once in place of maize, expanded pods to supply milk, butter, cheese, and meat for animals. The Ghaf forests also sustain large insect numbers, which feed reptiles, birds, and small mammals. This robust tree, always green, can survive extended droughts and high salinity, which taps the water deep in the sand. The Ghaf’s seedpods produce a sweet pulp, known locally as the “Khoka,” that almost all livestock and humans eat, and salads are made from the leaves – a delicacy here in the UAE. Such essential purposes include supplying building wood and treating chest cough, toothache, and even snakebites. The use of wood is also advised.
Medicinal Uses and Purposes
The Ghaf tree in UAE is historically significant because it has acted as food for people and their livestock in traditional remedies, fruit, and leaves. It also raises the amount of oxygen and helps mitigate emissions in the desert. The Ghaf flower can deter mistakes, although its residual stem extract has anti-inflammatory effects. Bronchitis, asthma, leucoderma, and muscular tremor were also traditionally used for the bark of the oak.
The Ghaf tree UAE is also used in herbal therapies to treat rheumatism, bronchitis, asthma, and snakes. The tree leaves give environmental advantages, oxygen is exhaled to mitigate pollution, dunes are stabilized, soil quality is increased, and crop plant growth is encouraged under their shadows. The ghaf remains durable under harsh conditions and endures brimming heat with every advantage it gives. The tribal leaders of the UAE arranged crucial meetings under its branches, listened to their constituents, and consulted with them.
What is the theme of tolerance?
The Year of Tolerance also aims to help young people elevate specific policies and promote and disseminate traditional behaviors and a generalized, friendly world where every person can live without being discriminated against. The critical agenda of the country is to eradicate extremism and foster links among peoples of different cultures and nationalities, establishing peace and harmony. Sensitivity campaigns and activities to maintain an inclusive, harmonious community are being carried out. The topic of tolerance is discussed in numerous fields, including occupational patience, school tolerance, tolerance and community, regulation tolerance, and legislation.
The Year of Tolerance’s biggest highlight is the Ghaf tree used to signify tolerance. This can seem to confound, but the tree UAE is essential. It retains an ecosystem worth legacy as a witness to its evolution over the years and sheds light on old rituals and customs. It is regarded as the “stability of the desert” with a monumental meaning. When crowds of people worked through the scorching sun and wanted a break, the tree gave its growing branches and barked a rest for shade.
The tree is under pressure due to modern urbanization and infrastructure construction that contributes to a lack of habitat, climate change, unsustainable resource usage, camels and goats overgrazing, and excessive groundwater extraction from trees. Invading plants, such as the Mesquite tree, were purposely planted in Abu Dhabi to assist forest efforts but eventually contributed through suffocation to the challenge of the Ghaf tree UAE.
In reaction to all these challenges, the government, NGOs, and private bodies are taking action to protect the tree’s future! Since 2010, the “Give a Ghaf” Tree Planting Campaign was initiated to encourage awareness about the issues by organizations like Goumbook, a UAE-based social company. Since 2010 it has been illegal to cut down a Ghaf tree.
UAE Wildlife Campaign
In 2007, Emirates Nature and the WWF began a campaign called Save the Ghaf Tree to make the endangered tree a national icon and raise awareness among UAE people. Emirates Nature and Emirates Wildlife Society were formerly known as the Wildlife Emirate. The campaign was well-received and a great success, with nearly 1,000 trees planted, and the Ghaf proclaimed the national tree the following year. Efforts to take care of this precious tree have been ongoing, and you can help the Ghaf.
Ghaf tree UAE was developed to address the need for guidance in selecting environmental instruments. Stakeholders, including natural resources managers and community planners, who understand the importance of integrating climate resilience into their projects, have struggled to find the right tool. Workshops around the Gulf Coast ensured the Gulf tree leaves were important. During the sessions, prospective users shared current climatic problems, their collection of the tool, and the unique features of the Ghaf tree.