First zoo opens in Ras Al Khaimah

Ahmed Shaaban/senior Reporter
Filed on September 25, 2014
First zoo opens in Ras Al Khaimah

THe Dh17-million zoo is the third biggest in the UAE; visitors throng venue on inaugural day

Major-General Shaikh Taleb bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Commander-in-Chief of the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Police, on Tuesday inaugurated the first zoo in the emirate.

First zoo opens in Ras Al Khaimah (/assets/oldimages/zoo2309a.jpg)

The entrance of the RAK Zoo. — Supplied photos

The two-stage RAK Zoo, which will be built at a total cost of Dh17 million, is the third biggest in the UAE after Al Ain Zoo and the Emirates Park Zoo in Abu Dhabi.

Jassim Ali, the owner of the zoo, on Tuesday told Khaleej Times that his personal zoo is home to a variety of 40 wild, rare and endangered animals. “The zoo, situated close to Saqr Park, is built on an area of 1 million square metres.”

The animals include African and white lions, white and rare golden tigers, black panthers and cheetahs, grey and Arab wolves, rare antelopes and deer, as well as a variety of beautiful birds and rare animals, he said.

Ali said the zoo, located at Daqdaqa area opposite the Institute of Applied Technology, has an equestrian club for training women and children, an array of restaurants and cafes. “There is also a special corner for children’s toys, cycle tracks, horse and camel riding tracks, prayer rooms for gents and ladies, toilets, footpaths, family walks and rest areas.”

Ali explained that the first stage of the mega project cost him Dh6 million, while the second phase will cost Dh11 million and will be inaugurated within a year and a half. “The second stage will include a fully air-conditioned section for rare reptiles and birds, along with several aquaculture ponds and an aquarium.”

First zoo opens in Ras Al Khaimah (/assets/oldimages/zoo2309.jpg)

Jassim Ali with a white lion at the zoo.

He said the zoo has been built in line with best international standards of safety and security. “Visitors can enjoy watching the animals from close quarters in the presence of trained guards.”

The animals have been kept in air-conditioned cages and ponds similar to their original habitats, he said. “The cages were also decorated with 3D pictures to give visitors an impression that they are at the original habitat of the animals.”

Crowds of visitors — Emiratis and residents — flocked the zoo which was open for free on Tuesday. “My children are very happy about the zoo, the first of its kind in the emirate,” said Abu Saeed, an Emirati.

“We no longer need to travel all the way to Al Ain Zoo, and we can go more frequently to the zoo now,” said Abu Sajjad, an Iraqi resident of RAK.

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