Soil is a non-renewable resource composed of mineral and organic material. It provides sustenance for a large part of terrestrial life, and is the living part and one of the main building blocks of land that comprises soils, rivers and vegetation.

Current State


Data on sustainability of land for their current land uses will be available in 2020


Land degradation in Abu Dhabi Emirate is driven by a number of natural and anthropogenic factors, including wind erosion, salinisation, waterlogging, vegetation loss, expansion of built-up areas, excavation and landfilling.


The emirate’s natural soil salinity, soil erosion, shallow hardpans and low soil fertility limit soil and land development. In addition, there are anthropogenic pressures such as over-grazing and inappropriate irrigation.


85 % of land in Abu Dhabi Emirate is naturally degraded. There is no available information on the state of soils affected by anthropogenic degradation factors.


Around 8,000 farms in Abu Dhabi Emirate are abandoned or nearly abandoned because of the impact of salinisation on both soil and water resources.


EAD has prioritised land and soil to ensure sustainable and integrated approaches to their protection. The Agency’s soil contamination guidelines for Abu Dhabi Emirate ensure that sites affected by contaminants are appropriately identified, assessed and, if necessary, remediated or contained to make them safer for human use. Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) is conducting a programme to check the competency of local laboratories and build their capacities to bridge gaps and achieve local and international accreditation. Over a three-year period, EAD is conducting the Soil Salinity Inventory Project to enhance its soil database, in order to provide decisionmakers with up-to-date and accurate data to help sustain the emirate’s agricultural and food sector. Annual monitoring programmes are being developed by EAD to survey the quality of soil in industrial areas and residential land areas. The Agency has also established a soil archiving facility to meet international standards and provide vital information about changes in soil quality over time.

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