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Proceedings Paper

Site suitability evaluation for ecotourism potential areas using RS and GIS: a case study of Wadi Wurayah, Fujairah, UAE
Author(s): Ahmad Abou-Elnour; Varkki Pallathucheril; Ali Abou-Elnour
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Paper Abstract

In the present work, the potential ecotourism sites in Wadi Wurayha, Fujairah, United Arab Emirates (UAE), are identified and prioritized using Geographic Information System (GIS). The identification criteria are based on landscape or naturalness characteristics; visibility and land use or land cover, the topography characteristics; elevation and slope, the accessibility characteristics; distance from roads, and community characteristics; settlement size. After developing the list of ecotourism criteria, GIS techniques were used to measure the ranking of different sites according to the set criteria and thus identify those with the best potential. Subsequently, the land suitability map for ecotourism was created. The degree of suitability of each factor was classified as highly suitable, moderately suitable, marginally suitable, and not suitable for ecotourism. Based on the suitability map, the areas of high ecotourism potential are located in protected areas. The methodology proposed was useful in identifying ecotourism sites by linking the criteria deemed important with the actual resources of the area. This study results helped to identify optimal use of the land for tourism facilities development and ecotourism resource utilization within Wadi Wurayha area in the near future. Additionally, the results from the present work can also serve as a starting point for more detailed studies in the future.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 September 2015
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9610, Remote Sensing and Modeling of Ecosystems for Sustainability XII, 961002 (4 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2186783
Show Author Affiliations
Ahmad Abou-Elnour, American Univ. of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates)
Varkki Pallathucheril, American Univ. of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates)
Ali Abou-Elnour, Ajman Univ. of Science & Technology (United Arab Emirates)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9610:
Remote Sensing and Modeling of Ecosystems for Sustainability XII
Wei Gao; Ni-Bin Chang; Jinnian Wang, Editor(s)

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