x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Last chance to vote Bu Tinah onto list

Voting closes today for Bu Tinah, the pristine archipelago off Abu Dhabi's shore, to become one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Today is the last day to cast a vote for the Abu Dhabi archipelago of Bu Tinah to be included in the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

Bu Tinah is on the shortlist of 28 remarkable locations, including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Grand Canyon in the US. The Maldives and the Galapagos Islands are also on the list.

Voting on a special website will close at 3pm.

"To have even got this far in the voting process I feel is a victory for us," said Laila Yousef Al Hassan, the communications and marketing manager for the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (Ead).

"The response we have had from the public and from the federal Cabinet has been amazing, and to get into the final voting against such world-famous sites is wonderful."

Bu Tinah is one of the UAE's natural treasures. It is home to 1,250 dugong and is surrounded by pristine coral reefs and seagrass beds. It is also the only representative from the Gulf region.

"People still have time to vote and I would urge them to do so," Ms Al Hassan said. "One of the great things about this whole process has been how far we have managed to come.

"We were put on the initial list of 440 worldwide sites, then stayed in the race when the list was whittled down to 77 locations and ended up on the final shortlist.

"That in itself is a great achievement because, unlike many of the other locations, Bu Tinah isn't open to the public and yet people realise the importance of the site environmentally."

Details of the number of votes will not be released, but the seven winning sites will be announced on new7wonders.com about nine hours after voting finishes.

nhanif@thenational.ae

* Vote by texting Bu Tinah to 3888, or on the website butinah.ae until 3pm today.