| Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Save the animals!

The UAE’s wild sand cat population is sadly endangered, but a brilliant new children’s book is here to tell its story

© ITP Images

India’s Bengal tiger population is fast on the decline, the West African lion is still under threat of extinction, and we recently learned the UAE is fighting a battle of its own – to save the reclusive sand cat. So expat author Joanne Brooker has brought this rarely spotted, indigenous feline fully back to life with a new book.

Qitt the Sand Cat tells the tale of a little kitten who lives in the Arabian desert and longs to be a big, strong wild cat. Giving families in the region a colourful insight in this animal’s mysterious nocturnal world, Brooker says, “This book is a wonderful introduction to the unique creatures indigenous to the Gulf desert and a great way for children learn about these animals and how they survive in the hottest environment in the world.”

But it seems the heat isn’t actually the problem for these rare creatures. The UAE Environment Agency’s sand cat programme is tracking the critters to try and understand their behaviour and work out how to safeguard their natural habitat, which they say is being destroyed by building development, new roads, farming and pollution.

We’re big lovers of the natural world at Time Out Kids, so we’ve found four books about UAE’s indigenous creatures for more bedtime reading...

The Camel That Got Away

A cheeky tale based on the true story of the Emirates Banker camel, who mysteriously disappeared one night. He pops up all over Dubai in this funny book full of wit and rhymes. It’s a fun one to read aloud.
Free to Bookish members. www.bookish.ae.

Jamila The White Falcon

This is the story of a beautiful white falcon who longs to win the Falcon Speed Championships for her beloved owner. Will she overcome her nerves and the strong desert winds in order to beat the other falcons?
Free to Bookish members. www.bookish.ae.

Saluki, Hound Of The Bedouin

One to treasure for the illustrations alone, this book tells the story of a Bedouin boy and his devoted saluki hound and follows their life of hunting and herding in the Arabian desert.
Dhs45, plus postage. www.amazon.com.

Time Out Dubai,

Add your review/feedback