Dubai Zoo (also known as Jumeirah Zoo) for years has attracted a large number of visitors and has been a favorite for children and adults. On 5 November 2017, however, the place has closed its doors to the public after 50 years in operation. The reason? The opening of the Dubai Safari.
The Dubai Safari Park is the latest venture undertaken by Dubai Municipality that constructed a space to protect and promote wildlife in the emirate and to replace Dubai Zoo. The animals were shifted to the bigger and better Safari that’s located at Al Warqa Dubai near Dragon mart. The Park was opened on December 12 2017 with the grand opening set to take place soon in early 2018. After the official opening, standard ticket rates will be ranging from Dh20 to Dh30 for children and Dh50 to Dh85 for adults:
- Adults: Dh50 (Without Safari Village) to Dh85 (With Safari Village)
- Children: Dh20 (Without Safari Village) to Dh30 (With Safari Village)
- Free entry: Children below three, adults above 60 and people of determination (special needs)
Dubai Safari is a 119-hectare park that aims at establishing itself as the best center for wildlife in the world. Opening hours: 9 AM to 5 PM. Dubai Safari website: http://www.dubaisafari.ae/en.
The Safari Park sanctuary comprises of a safari village, Arabian village, Asian Village and African village apart from a zoo for children. The venue which is much bigger than the Jumeirah facility has animals that come from different geographical locations. This is the first of its kind Safari Park in the Middle East, said Khalid Al Suwaidi, Director of Leisure Facilities Department at Dubai Municipality, who mentioned also that thousands of different species will inhabit the animal sanctuary.
Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said: “The new Dubai Safari will be home to almost 1,000 animals from around the world, and out of those, there will be more than 350 species of rare and endangered animals.”
Other sites to have an up-close view of the animals include:
- Emirates Park Zoo at Al Bahia, Abu Dhabi, open daily 9.30am to 8pm. For info, Tel: (02) 5633100 or visit its website at emiratesparkzoo.com.
- Al Ain Zoo, in Al Ain, which is open daily from 4pm to 10pm. For info, Tel: (03) 7992000 or visit its website at alainzoo.ae.
Zoo vs Safari Park? While Zoo houses animals so that they can be viewed and bred, a Safari Park contains an open space to observe freely roaming animals that have acres for their enclosures. Those that like seeing the animals wandering about versus being caged in a small area in the zoo will enjoy more the Safari experience. There are tourist excursions that will get you closer to the animals. This is not to say you will not love the Zoo, too where an even larger variety of the World’s animals compared to a Safari Park is often housed. Also, it’s important to note that both the Safari Park and zoo will have petting areas for the visitants.
UAE Wildlife Sanctuary/ Refuge
In addition, there’s the Arabia’s Wildlife Center that is an indoor zoo in Sharjah, UAE, which exhibits all the animals (both current and extinct in Arabia) naturally occurring in the Arabian Peninsula. For info, Tel: +971 (6) 531-1999. The Children’s Farm, located next to the Arabia’s Wildlife Centre zoo, allows visitors to pet and feed domesticated animals. Phone for details: +971 (6) 531-1127. As well, there’s the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife also the same area. For info, phone: +971 6 531 1212.
There’s plenty of ‘Fun Family Activities’ at UAE’s Zoos and Safar Parks.