Roots and culture: More than 80 GEMS students from seven different schools plant 1,000 local trees to populate Al Mushrif Forest

GEMS students get stuck in as they plant local trees

GEMS students from across the network joined forces to support an initiative by Dubai Youth Council and Dubai Municipality to plant local varieties of tree in Al Mushrif Park.

Over 80 upper school students from seven schools in Dubai and Sharjah took time out of their winter breaks to grab shovels and spades to help Dubai Municipality plant the trees in Al Mushrif Park.

The initiative is part of a collaboration with Dubai Youth Council to engage young people in better understanding the cultural importance of the Al Sidr and Ghaf trees in the UAE. The Ghaf is the UAE’s national tree due to its cultural, historical and environmental significance. The tree is adept at tolerating harsh conditions.

Zain Mulk – Chairperson of the Environmental Sustainability Team at GEMS Cambridge International School – Dubai, said: “The 1,000 tree initiative at Mushrif Park was an incredibly fulfilling opportunity and one that will leave a mark and have a permanent impact in our fight against climate change. I am already excited to return to the site years from now, and appreciate our community’s effort on this sunny winter’s day.”

Mohammad Al Shamsi, General Coordinator of Dubai Youth Council, who led the initiative, said: “The Dubai Youth Council with Dubai Municipality appreciates GEMS students for their active participation in planting Al Mushrif Forest. We planted 1,000 trees, thanks to the students, and we look forward to seeing them grow into a forest for the whole community to enjoy.”


  • The Ghaf, which goes by its scientific name, prosopis cineraria, is also known as Shami or Khejri.
  • The Ghaf was declared as the UAE’s national tree in 2008.
  • The leaves of the Sidr tree were used by women to make shampoo.