Top Spanish park operator will run Dubai Safari
The company also planning to launch a single entry ticket for visitors to Dubai Safari and its other destinations.
A private entity will run Dubai Safari, the newly-opened family destination, which was built by Dubai Municipality (DM), spending Dh1billion.
The civic body has entered into an agreement with Meraas, a Dubai-based holding company under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to manage the Dubai Safari, which is home to over 2,500 animals and birds from around the world.
Meraas has also appointed Parques Reunidos, a world-renowned Spanish operator of animal parks, to oversee the day-to-day running of the park, which allows the residents to enjoy the wildlife in a leisurely atmosphere.
The destination includes a Kids' Farm that enables youngsters to closely interact with animals in a safe outdoor setting, and the Wadi Area, where guests can enjoy a relaxing picnic by the waterfall.
In addition to managing the popular attraction, Meraas will also develop plans to be implemented over the next two years, aimed at establishing the destination as one of the premier wildlife parks in the world. The company also planning to launch a single entry ticket for visitors to Dubai Safari and its other destinations in order to attract visitors.
The signing ceremony was attended by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, and Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation.
Under the directives of @HHShkMohd, and the support of @HamdanMohammed, @MeraasDubai signs agreement with @DMunicipality to manage @DubaiSafari the region's latest landmark leisure and entertainment attraction. pic.twitter.com/TwPFamMXSV- Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) April 9, 2018
Dawood Al Hajri, director-general of the DM, said: "The agreement with Meraas is the first partnership of its kind that Dubai Municipality is entering into with a private sector entity. It presents a valuable opportunity to train Emirati talent in new fields and develop additional skills in a variety of sectors in line with Dubai's growth."
Abdulla Al Habbai, group chairman of Meraas, said: "The agreement also aims to support wildlife conservation efforts, through developing the skills of the local community in relevant fields, including veterinary medicine, animal care and breeding."
Selected from 5 contenders
Parques Reunidos, selected from among five global players, is ready with its team of over 300 staff members dedicated to support the Dubai Safari. In addition to operating the destination, Parques Reunidos will conduct studies of Dubai's nature reserves, and provide consultation on the conservation and breeding of local endangered animal species including the Oryx and the Arabian Leopard.
Based in Madrid, Parques Reunidos manages over 60 leisure destinations in 14 countries across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Over the past five years, Meraas has expanded its business and its Dh18 billion portfolio includes Dubai Parks and Resorts, The Green Planet, Dubai Arena at City Walk, Ain Dubai at Bluewaters and the upcoming Laguna Waterpark at La Mer.
The unique public-private sector partnership aligns with Dubai's Tourism Vision for 2020 that seeks to attract 20 million visitors per year to the emirates. It also supports Dubai's preparations for Expo 2020, which will be held over a period of six months and is expected to attract about 25 million visitors, 70 per cent of them from outside the country.
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