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Cities have a magnetic pull, especially on the young. They draw in talent with the promise of higher salaries, career progression and a list of increasingly efficient amenities – from same-day delivery to mass transit systems. However, everyone needs a breath of fresh air sometimes.   

The UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong are particularly representative of this sort of urbanization: densely packed with supertall skyscrapers and round-the-clock construction work. Dubai, the UAE’s largest city, was barely more than open desert three decades ago, while Singapore and Hong Kong’s land reclamation projects testify to their continued growth. These three cities are also some of the most popular destinations for expatriates across the Western world.

 Even if you’re relocating to some of the most densely packed cities on earth, you can still find scenic wilderness and pastoral beauty. In many cases these are less than a 20-minute metro-ride away: conveniently located, but often forgotten.

If you’re thinking about moving, here are three reserves in places you would least expect to find them:

  1.  Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, Dubai

The Ras Al Khor Wildlife sanctuary is a wetland area that sits at the tip of the Dubai creek, just a few hundred meters away from the U.A.E.’s largest city. Primarily famed for its flamingos, Ras Al Khor offers nesting for migratory birds and is a protected area. The sanctuary even gives you the opportunity to camp out in one of their bird hides.

Ras Al Khor is approximately 6 km2, but the variety of landscapes it offers (lagoons to salt flats) belies its relatively small size.

  1. Tai Mo Shan country park, Hong Kong

Hong Kong is famed for its mountainous peaks; with Hong Kong island itself being one of the most famous. Tai Mo Shan however, is the largest; sitting in the New Territories, just a few miles North of Hong Kong island. On good days, you’ll be able to see the island, along with its famed skyline.

The Tai Lam country park, to the West of Tai Mo Shan, is one of Hong Kong’s largest. 54 km2 of unspoiled, largely forested wilderness gives you the opportunity to escape the city.

  1. Bukit Timah nature reserve, Singapore

At just 1.6 km, Bukit Timah is the smallest reserve on this list. Not surprising given that Singapore is essentially a city-state. However, geographical size undersells this oasis. Bukit Timah is a widely visited location in Singapore, especially in Summer months where it offers a welcome retreat from the humidity of Singapore’s tropical climate.

Crown Relocations’ experienced move managers don’t just move you and your belongings. They assist you in adapting to your new location in advance. Whether it’s identifying housing or picking out hiking locations for you. Click here to get in touch to discuss your move.  

Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong

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