The number of new expats moving to Dubai has been quite significant- recording a rate of about 71 to 75%
In case you are searching for a fun activity to enjoy with your kids during the upcoming Eid Al Adha holiday or perhaps a weekend outing, why not check out a zoo near you? Wherever you are in the UAE, there's a good chance that there's a cool place offering exciting animal encounters.
Sea World Abu Dhabi, the region’s largest marine life theme park that opened to the general public last week, is the latest addition to the plethora or animal sanctuaries across the country.
Here's a list of places where you can get up close and personal with creatures you used to see only in movies or nature documentaries:
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi — spread across an area of 183,000sqm — is split into eight zones featuring more than 100,000 marine animals. Starting with Abu Dhabi Ocean to Once Ocean, the park transports visitors to various realms: MicroOcean, Endless Ocean, Tropical Ocean, Rocky Point, Polar Ocean with Arctic and Antarctica (the latter is yet to open).
Overall, there are more than 15 interactive experiences and rides, 100 animal experiences and presentations, including over 10 up-close animal encounters, and 20 live characters and performances. Visitors can also choose from 18 dining experiences – both above and below the water — and enjoy 13 shopping experiences.
It’s located on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island and tickets can be purchased online. Those are priced at Dh375 for adults and Dh290 for children, with children below the age of three entering free of charge.
Al Ain Zoo is home to over 4,000 animals and offers a range of exciting experiences for visitors. From giraffe-feeding to camel-riding and the charming Elezba petting zoo, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
As the largest and most-renowned zoo in the region, this spot takes pride in its spacious and well-maintained facilities.
The zoo's transparent enclosures house both indigenous and exotic species, providing visitors with the opportunity to observe animals such as the Arabian oryx, Barbary sheep with their impressive horns, rhinos, hippos, tigers, lions, and many more.
It is located near the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) Al Ain Women’s College on Al Nahyan the First Street.
Ticket prices are Dh30 for adults, Dh10 for children between three and 12 years old. If individuals book online, through alainzoo.ae, they can avail of a 10 per cent discount.
At the Emirates Park Zoo, one will have the opportunity to encounter a diverse range of animals. Guests should be prepared to come face to face with majestic wildcats, including lions, tigers and leopards. They can witness the grace of herbivores like giraffes and zebras and observe the playful antics of primates such as capuchins. The vibrant birdlife includes magnificent owls, hawks, eagles, and colourful parrots. Additionally, reptiles and other fascinating creatures are also there.
For thrill-seekers, an exhilarating zipline experience is available, adding an extra dose of excitement to one’s visit. If one’s looking for a unique dining experience, they can even have the opportunity to dine with elephants, creating memories that will last a lifetime. And don't forget to satisfy the hungry hippos by feeding them, adding a touch of adventure to your zoo experience.
This Emirates Park Zoo is located in Al Shahama area, Abu Dhabi, and ticket prices are Dh50 per person and children younger than three years of age can enter for free.
The Dubai Safari Park is a seasonal venue that closes during the summer months. The Park spans a vast 119-hectare site. It provides a home to approximately 3,000 animals, representing a rich diversity of wildlife. Within this expansive park, you can encounter 78 species of mammals, including an impressive range of 10 different carnivores and 17 primates. The park is also inhabited by 50 types of reptiles, 111 kinds of birds, as well as various amphibians and invertebrates. With such a wide variety of animals residing in this natural habitat, Dubai Safari Park offers visitors a remarkable opportunity to observe and appreciate the wonders of the animal kingdom.
Guests can undertake a safari Journey at Explorer Village and enjoy the bird show there. Shows like the Amazing Creatures of the World at Asian Village Theatre is sure to impress the little ones. Apart from that, giraffe feeding, birds feeding, goat feeding, and pony walk are its other major attractions among families.
Located on Al Warqa 5 on the Hatta Road, the Dubai Safari Park offers a range of ticket options catering to different preferences and experiences. The ticket categories are divided based on the desired experience. The initial prices for a Day Pass are Dh50 for adults, children aged three to 12 years old can enter for Dh20 and children under three years can enter free. Two persons accompanying a Person of Determination who can present an original Person of Determination card can have free admission.
Animal lovers can rejoice at this latest family-friendly attraction, as the Crocodile Park opened its doors just a few days ahead of Eid Al Fitr in 2023. Housing 250 snappy Nile crocs in a 20,000 square-metre facility, the park hosts reptiles of all ages, all thriving in a climate-controlled environment. Visitors will get to experience 150 adult crocs, out of which 30 are male, and 120 are female.
The park also features a host of family-friendly experiences, including a dedicated one-of-a-kind natural history museum, an African lake-themed aquarium, and large outdoor landscaped areas.
Visitors are offered the opportunity to witness the magnificent creatures from various points of view and can enjoy feeding them at the multiple feeding stations.
The Dubai Crocodile Park is located in Dubai’s Mushrif, right next to Mushrif Park. Tickets are priced at Dh95 for adults and Dh75 for children between 3 and 12.
Families can visit the Green Planet that boasts of a bio-dome, which is made up of four levels, the Canopy, the Midstory, the Forest Floor and the Flooded Rainforest.
Residents of the UAE now have the opportunity to participate in their official “Adopt an Animal” programme. This unique initiative allows individuals to support and care for a variety of fascinating creatures in the tropical rainforest, which houses more than 3,000 plants and animals across its four indoor rainforest levels.
Animal enthusiasts can choose to adopt remarkable species such as Lemon the sloth, Kendrick the lemur, Amal the slow loris, and many more. By participating in the programme, individuals can make a commitment to provide ongoing care and support for their chosen animal for a duration of one year.
Otherwise, simply as a visitor, children and adults will be made abreast with different plants and animals, cultivation and sustainability methods while learning about interconnected systems.
It’s located in the heart of Dubai in City Walk, Al Wasl. The general admission tickets prices are Dh140 and Dh110 through online booking. It is free for kids under 3.
At Arabian Wildlife Centre, visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in four captivating attractions. This desert park is a haven of various creatures, including Arabian oryx, cheetahs, baboons, hyenas, and an abundance of snakes, bugs, and reptiles.
At the Islamic botanical gardens, visitors can explore native flora, fauna, as well as herbs and spices found in the country. The Natural History Museum is a hit among both children and adults, boasting interactive exhibits that cover a wide range of topics, from the Big Bang and dinosaur fossils to hands-on experiments with electricity.
For young visitors, the petting zoo provides a delightful opportunity to interact closely with animals such as donkeys, peacocks, goats, camels, and more.
It’s located on Al Dhaid Road, Interchange 9, Sharjah. Ticket prices are Dh20 per adult and free for children under 13.
The Pygmy Zoo in Ajman provides a range of family-friendly attractions, including horseback riding, the chance to feed animals, interactions with puppies and cats, and photo opportunities with parrots. Additionally, there is a designated play area and an outdoor cinema specifically for children, along with various food vendors available.
The zoo is located in Al Zorah development in Ajman. Ticket prices start at Dh15 for adults and Dh10 for children aged three to 12. Admission is free for children younger than three years of age.
At the Umm Al Quwain Zoo Wildlife Park, visitors have the opportunity to observe various animals such as lions, tigers, bears, and crocodiles, alongside the park's beloved celebrity, Habouba the orangutan. Habouba gladly accompanies guests on strolls throughout the park. Additionally, there are opportunities to feed the animals and partake in horseback riding for your enjoyment.
The zoo is located along E55 Al Shuwaib-Umm Al Quwain Road at Kabir - Alzubair. The price of a ticket is Dh25 for all ages.
The RAK Zoo covers an expansive area of 1 million square metres and houses a diverse collection of 40 wild, rare, and endangered animals. This includes African and white lions, white and exceptionally rare golden tigers, black panthers, cheetahs, and a variety of beautiful birds, the zoo provides a captivating experience.
Moreover, the facilities at the zoo extend beyond animal enclosures and encompass amenities such as a women and children's horse-riding club for training purposes, restaurants and cafes, a dedicated area with toys for children, cycling paths, horse and camel riding tracks, family-friendly walking areas, and designated rest zones.
The RAK Zoo is located near Saqr Park in Ras Al Khaimah. Ticket price is Dh40 per person. Entry is free for children under four years old.
Located amidst Al Hajar mountains, The Hatta Honey Bee Garden and Discovery Centre offers an immersive experience where visitors can engage with the world of bees and gain knowledge about their delicate ecosystem.
Upon visiting, one will have the opportunity to join a tour or workshop, which will provide a guided exploration of the centre and its surroundings. People can wander among the 300 hives and witness the intricate workings of a bee colony up close. During the tour, one can learn about the roles of different bees within the hive, the process of honey production, and the vital role bees play in pollination and maintaining biodiversity.
It’s located on Al Fay Road, Hatta, and ticket prices are Dh50 per adult and Dh30 per child.
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