Give a Ghaf

Raising awareness of the local environment by planting the Ghaf and other indigenous trees

What is the Give a Ghaf tree planting program?

In the early 1970s, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, embarked on a program of “greening‟ the desert.

In 2010, Goumbook decided to follow the vision of the country’s Leadership and to raise awareness on the Living Desert and the multitude of species growing naturally in it such as the Ghaf tree, the UAE National Tree, also named the Union Tree by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The Give a Ghaf tree planting program was officially launched in 2011 by Goumbook to raise public awareness about the Ghaf tree and its values, while encouraging people to plant indigenous trees and save water.

The Ghaf is a wild tree and every year we need to collect its seeds to be able to plant them and produce new, healthy seedlings. Once we plant the seeds and they germinate, we keep them in our nurseries until they reach 30-50 cm and are safe to be planted. The seedlings are given back to the local community to be planted in homes, farms, parks, schools or urban areas where natural shade and greenery are needed.

This initiative is carried out in collaboration with municipalities, local companies, landowners and passionate individuals who will help us find ‘forever homes’ to our little Ghaf seedlings.

Land Owners
Ghaf seeds planted
Ghaf trees planted

Meet the Ghaf Tree

An indigenous species, specifically of the UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia, the Ghaf is a drought – tolerant, evergreen tree which is, possibly, the sturdiest plant of the harsh desert environment. In the UAE, it can be seen growing on low sand dunes, undulating sand sheets and along margins of gravel plains mostly in the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.

The presence of Ghaf in an area indicates that there is water underground. The tree taps water stored deep in the sand, its roots penetrating as deep as 30 meters to access it. Thus, Ghaf is able to withstand very low rainfall and still stay green. How long it can survive if groundwater itself gets exhausted, is yet to be determined.

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