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Old Dubai Zoo

Thursday 21 March 2019 (UAE)   

Old Dubai Zoo in Jumeirah 1

Information about Dubai Zoo in Jumeirah 1, opening times, location, history, expansion plans for new zoo and safari park.

New Dubai Zoo (new page for new zoo). This page refers to the old Dubai Zoo in Jumeirah which closed on 05 Nov 2017, after which all animals were moved to the location of the new Dubai Safari Park under construction in Al Warqa area, expected to open to the public by end of 2017 or early 2018.

  • The Dubai Zoo in Jumeirah was established in 1967 by the late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum (Ruler of Dubai at the time).
  • Managed by the Dubai Municipality.
  • [Update, 1,800 animals according to news reports 06 Nov 2017 about zoo closure] Zoo population is about 1,000 animals (varies from 800 to 1,300 depending on who you listen to and when).
  • Dubai Zoo area is relatively small at about 1.75 hectares. You can easily see the whole place in about an hour, longer if you try to talk to the animals or take lots of photos.
  • Dubai Zoo has been criticised for the relatively small animal enclosures and cages. The criticism is probably deserved, but when you visit, it's easy to see there is no room for expansion at the current site. The question is not so much why there isn't more space given to the animals, but why Dubai seems to be reluctant to make an effort to relocate the zoo to an area with enough room to satisfy the animals, and zoo critics.
  • Dubai Zoo has taken in a number of strays and confiscated animals (some residents of Dubai seem to have a strong desire to bring in banned or exotic animals as pets without much concern for the welfare of the animals, and when abandoned, they sometimes end up at the Dubai Zoo - the animals that is, not the human residents).

Dubai Zoo ticket prices and admission fees

  • Admission tickets cost AED 2 (yes, that's all), in 2012. Children under 2 years old and special needs visitors free entry. Students entry price AED 1?
  • Ticket prices for the new Dubai Safari Park are a bit higher, AED 50 for adults (AED 20 for children), AED 85 if safari drive included (AED 30 for children).

Dubai Zoo opening times, facilities

Mostly DM information from Mar 2014, other updates from actual visit.

  • Opening hours:
    • Summer timings (01 Mar to 31 Oct): open from 1000 to 1800 daily except Tuesdays (closed for cleaning).
    • Winter timings (01 Nov to 28 Feb (29th in leap years)): open from 1000-1730 daily except Tuesdays.
  • No airconditioning except for the indoor snake house. Everything else is outdoors so forget visiting in summer time - far too hot. Unless you bring an a/c umbrella with you.
  • Snake room (house) open 1000-1200 and 1500-1800.
  • Feeding times vary for different animals.
  • Parking available by the main entrance (RTA parking meters), and also on the roads behind the zoo (free parking).
  • A small, very basic cafeteria (no seating) sells drinks and snacks.

List of animals at Dubai Zoo

Number of animals by group and species (DM information Mar 2014). No fish perhaps because all eaten by mammals and reptiles. Total figure of 984 is out of date according to 06 Nov 2017 reports of zoo closing, which said zoo had a total of 1,800 animals, not including Homo sapiens visitors.

  Birds Fish Mammals Reptiles Total
By species 52   43 23 118
Total animals in zoo 513   160 311 984
  • Birds (Mar 2000 list)
    • African Grey Parrot
      African Marabou Stork
      Alexanrine Parakeet [sic] (Alexandrine Parakeet)
      Black Kite
      Black Lory
      Blue and Gold Macaw
      Chattering Lory
      Common Rhea
      Crested Cokatoo
      Crowned Crane
      Demoisele Crane [sic] (Demoiselle Crane)
      Desert Eagle Owl
      Green Winged Macaw
      Egyptian Goose
      Egyptian Vulture
      Emu (Australia)
      Fischers Love Bird
      Golden Eagle
      Grey Francolin
      Grey Heron
      Guinea Fowl
      Hadada Ibis
      Hartlaub's Touracco [sic] (Hartlaub's Turaco)
      Imperial Pigeon
      Intermediate Egret
      Laped Faced Vulture [sic] (Lappet-Faced Vulture)
      Long Leged Buzzard [sic] (Long Legged Buzzard)
      Masked Weaver
      Molouccan Cockatoo [sic] (Moluccan Cockatoo)
      Monk Parrot Budgetries [sic] (Monk Parrot Budgie, Monk Parakeet, Quaker Parrot)
      Palm Dove
      Rainbow Lory
      Red Lory
      Ring Dove
      Ringed Parrot
      Sacred Ibis
      Saker Falcon
      Sauras Crane [sic] (Sarus Crane)
      Short Toed Eagle
      Silver Pheasent [sic] (Silver Pheasant)
      White-Cheeked Bulbul (White-Eared Bulbul)
      White Pelican
  • Fish
  • Mammals
  • Reptiles

Dubai Crocodile Park

  • 26 Sep 2012 (WAM) - Dubai Municipality announced that a Dubai Crocodile Park would be built with opening date expected by end of 2013. Location opposite Mushrif Park, near the proposed Dubai Safari Park location. Project cost $10 million. Total of 30-40 crocodiles initially, possibly increasing to 100 crocodiles depending on how many and how quickly visitors are eaten.

Dubai Safari Park

  • 13 May 2012 (WAM) Dubai Safari Project announced, area 400 hectares (450 ha also reported), located on Al Aweer Rd (Al Awir Rd) in Al Warqa 5 district.
  • Includes Dubai Safari (park - to take over from Dubai Zoo), Dubai Butterfly Park, golf courses, entertainment and recreational areas.
  • Dubai Safari (park) area of 60 hectares.
  • Development cost reported as AED 150m, not clear if that was for the whole Dubai Safari Project, or just the Dubai Safari zoo park.
  • Opening date of the new zoo and safari park planned for end of 2013 or first quarter of 2014?

New zoo plans in Dubai

  • 13 May 2012 (WAM) - new Dubai Safari Project announced, to be located in Al Warqa'a area (Al Warqaa).
  • 12 Feb 2012 (WAM news) - Dubai Municipality is planning to establish a new zoo in Dubai (again) to replace the current zoo located in Jumeirah, according to comments made by Eng. Hussian Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality. A report is expected to be completed by May 2012. The new zoo will still operate with caged enclosures rather than a safari style animal park. Location and construction schedule yet to be determined.
  • The third new Dubai Zoo planned for Dubailand, area of about 350 acres, facilities to include a camel safari, zoo safari, night zoo, and children's educational facilities. Construction to take about 18 months. Update: plans cancelled.
  • The second new Dubai Zoo announced in November 2005 by the Dubai Municipality, to be built in an extension of Mushrif Park. Construction to start in second half of 2007. Update: plans cancelled.
  • The first new Dubai Zoo planned for Mushrif Park, construction to start in 2003. Update: plans cancelled.

List of zoos in the UAE

Aquariums, zoological and animal parks, wildlife and nature reserves, and other animal shows and experiences (updated Nov 2017)

Best place to visit in the UAE for looking at wild animals is Sir Baniyas Island Arabian Wildlife Park and nature reserve, but that's a short flight or long drive + boat trip away from Dubai or Abu Dhabi, and you'll need to allow at least two days and one night for the experience. Best zoo closer to Abu Dhabi or Dubai is the Al Ain Zoo.

  • Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort, see Al Ain Zoo heading.
  • Al Ain Zoo, Al Ain city, Abu Dhabi emirate.
    • Large zoo and wildlife park (400 hectares) located on outskirts of Al Ain city, near Jebel Hafeet, about 1.5 hrs drive from Dubai or Abu Dhabi. We think it's the best zoo to visit in the UAE. Dubai Safari Park might also be a best zoo contender when it opens. Almost all outdoors so too hot to visit in summer daytime, barely tolerable after sunset during summer. Best time of year to visit is Nov-Mar.
    • Opening times (as of Nov 2017): 0900-2000 daily, 0900-2200 on public holidays (includes Fridays?).
    • Opening times (2015 information): winter (Oct-Apr) 0900-2000 Sat-Wed, 0900-2100 Thu-Fri; summer (May-Sep) 1600-2200 daily; closed during Ramadan.
    • Tickets (as of Nov 2017): adults AED 30 (increased from AED 20 in 2015), children 3-12 AED 10, children 0-2 free entry. Safari tour (45 min - 1 hour) prices AED 200 per passenger (child or adult) in truck, AED 1000 for private SUV (up to 6 passengers). Additional charges for feeding animals, and other activities and tours.
    • Shuttle train tour of zoo available, included in normal entry ticket price. Other experiences include: Sunset Dinner with the Lions; Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre galleries and theatre; feeding budgies, giraffes, penguins; animal rides in the children's zoo; bird and reptile shows.
    • Website: www.alainzoo.ae, email: info@alainzoo.ae, tel 800-ZOO (966) (toll-free in UAE) or +971-3-7992000.
  • Al Bustan Zoological Centre (ABZC) (Al Bustan Private Zoo), Sharjah emirate. A private zoo in the town of Maleha (halfway between Sharjah and Fujairah cities). Website www.albustanzoo.com, tel +971-6-8838114, email bustan55@eim.ae. Not related to Al Bustan Private School in Abu Dhabi.
  • Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Centre, Hajar Mountains, Kalba, East Coast, Sharjah emirate. New wildlife reserve opened in Mar 2016.
  • [Closing permanently end of 2017] Al Tamimi Stables mobile petting farm, rent a small private zoo for temporary installation at an event. Website www.tamimistables.com.
  • [Limited visiting hours] Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, outskirts of Abu Dhabi city. Community of flamingos and other birds in a protected ecological environment. Website www.ead.ae/Pages/al-wathba-wetland-2.aspx. Free entry but visits limited to Thu and Sat only, entry time from 0800-1400, area closes at 1600. No need to register prior to visiting, just turn up at the Visitor Experience Center (some previous information said pre-registration required). No cafe or shop, bring your own water. Location is south of Mussafah, access by exiting north side of Al Ain Truck Rd (E30) about 3 km after Al Mafraq Worker's City when driving in Abu Dhabi direction.
  • Aquaventure Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. Dolphin shows and encounters (swim with the dolphins), sea lion experience also. Atlantis Shark Lagoon, dive with sharks ... and the expression "feel like some lunch" might mean something different to what you usually expect.
  • Arabian Saluki Centre, near Abu Dhabi International Airport and Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital?
  • Arabian Wildlife Centre, Sharjah (also called Arabia's Wildlife Center). Established in 1999 (Sep?). Not related to Arabian Wildlife Park on Bani Yas Island.
  • Arabian Wildlife Park, see Sir Baniyas Island heading.
  • Birds and Pets Market (Birds and Animals Market), Al Warsan, Dubai. Marketplace for buying pets and pet supplies. Mostly birds, fish, cats, dogs, snakes (?), rabbits. Also has a pet hotel?
  • Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife, part of Sharjah Desert Park complex.
  • Desert Park, see Sharjah Desert Park.
  • Dolphin Bay Abu Dhabi, dolphin watching boat tour from Yas Marina, Yas Island (Captain Tony's Eco Boat Tour?).
  • Dolphin Bay Dubai, swim or stand with dolphins at Atlantis hotel resort on Jumeirah Palm.
  • Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, in Dubai Mall.
  • Dubai Dolphinarium, Creek Park, dolphin and seal shows, and swim with dolphins experiences.
  • Dubai Safari Park (new Dubai zoo).
  • [Closed 05 Nov 2017] Dubai Zoo.
  • Emirates Park Zoo and Resort, Al Bahia, on outskirts of Abu Dhabi city.
    • Collection of about 1,400 animals in several different sections including: Bird Park, Camel Farm, Equine Enclosure, Flamingo Park, Giraffe Park, Hippo House, Mammal Cave, Petting Zoo, Primate Parade, Reptile House, Snake Alley.
    • Website www.emiratesparkzooandresort.com (domain www.emiratespark.ae forwards to same website). Location: 12th Street, Al Bahia. Tel: +971-2-5010000 . Email: info@emiratespark.ae.
    • Opening hours: Sun-Wed 0900-2000, Thu-Sat and public holidays 0900-2100.
    • Ticket prices: Adults AED 35, children aged 3-16 years AED 30, children 0-2 years free entry. Rides on camels, ponies, horses for AED 15. Animal feeding and other activities AED 15-30 each. Activity cards AED 55 for 3 activities, AED 80 for 5 activities.
    • Elephant Encounter? Feed the elephants?
  • [Open or closed?] Exoterra (not Exo-Terra?), reptile pet shop in Mirdif (Mirdiff). Website is not www.exo-terra.com. FB page at www.facebook.com/ExoTerraDubai?
  • Falcon Center (Falcon Centre), Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai. Falcon Museum, Falcon Heritage and Sports Centre. Falcon market and mall with a few shops selling hawks and falcons, falconry and equestrian equipment. Also museum, veterinary clinic, and cafe. Open 0900-2200 daily (DM information but days not given, check hours). Not so exciting if you want to see live birds flying around, but an interesting place to visit if you're in Dubai for a bit of information about falconry.
  • Falcon Hospital Tour Abu Dhabi. Open to public but must make booking first?
  • Kalba Bird of Prey Centre, Kalba, East Coast, Sharjah emirate. Opened in 2014.
  • Lost Chambers Aquarium, Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah.
  • Penguin Encounter, Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai.
  • [Check location(s)] Posh Paws Kennels and Cattery, Posh Paws Pet Farm, petting zoo, animal sanctuary.
    • Posh Paws runs a dog and cat hotel, but also has a petting zoo with other Fantastic Beasts and Creatures (but no unicorns, heffalumps, or clabberts). The list of animals includes: baboons, cows, ducks, ferrets, goats, guinea pigs, kinkajous, llamas, porcupines, sloths, tortoises.
    • Location(s): Kennels and Cattery in Dubai Investments Park (DIP). Petting Zoo in Ajman, Al Khawaneej Dubai, Sharjah?
    • Location: Warehouse 2 and 3, Street 37, DIP 1. Opening times 0900-1700 daily.
    • Website: www.poshpawsdubai.com. Email info@poshpawsdubai.com (or poshpawsdubai@yahoo.co.uk, might be old information). Office tel (mobile): +971-50-2730973.
    • [Old information? E311 is now MBZ Road, E611 is now called Emirates Rd] Poshpaws Kennels and Cattery Ajman location close to Hamidiyah Park, exit 81 to Al Helio off Emirates Road E311. Open daily 8am to 6pm.
  • Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, Liwa, Abu Dhabi emirate. Falconry.
  • Ras Al Khaimah Zoo (RAK Zoo), Jasim's Wildlife Park, RAK city. Open 23 Sep 2014.
  • Ras Al Khor wildlife sanctuary, Dubai. Viewing area (car parking available) off Ras Al Khor Rd when traveling in direction from MBZ Rd towards Downtown Dubai. Lots of flamingos.
  • Sharjah Aquarium
  • Sharjah Desert Park has two animal areas: Arabian Wildlife Center and Sharjah Children's Farm. Also part of the complex is the Sharjah Natural History Museum and Sharjah Botanical Museum (which is an indoor botanical garden with a collection of prehistoric plants). Established in 1995?
  • Sharjah Zoo - see Sharjah Desert Park or Al Bustan Private Zoo.
  • Sir Baniyas Island (Sir Bani Yas Island), Al Gharbia region, Abu Dhabi emirate. Not a zoo as such but has a large collection of animals in the Arabian Wildlife Park which occupies about half of the island. Website: www.sirbaniyasisland.com.
    • Park area is about 1,400 hectares, with about 13,000 animals mostly roaming free. A section is fenced off to keep the cheetahs from chewing on vistors riding around on mountain bikes.
  • The Lost Chamber, see Lost Chambers Aquarium, Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah.
  • Wasit Wetland Centre, Sharjah.

Other Dubai Zoo headings

  • Jobs and careers at Dubai Zoo.
  • Map of Dubai Zoo, Dubai Zoo location map.
  • Visitor numbers to Dubai Zoo.

Dubai Zoo contact details and location

  • Dubai Zoo location is on Jumeira Beach Road in Jumeirah 1 community or district.
  • Tel DM call center toll-free (in UAE) 800-900. Other telephone numbers +971-4-3440462 or +971-4-43496444. Don't ask for Mr Lyon, someone's probably already tried that joke (no, it wasn't us).
  • Public Parks & Horticulture Department Dubai Municipality tel +971-4-3497280.
Last update Monday 06-Nov-2017.
Related pages
Related websites (new window)
  • No official website supplied or found. Vague and limited information on the Dubai Municipality website at www.dm.gov.ae.
  • www.dubaizoo.ae, registered at UAEnic but not used (in 2007). Update Mar 2012: no information, not registered?
  • www.dubaizoo.com, spam or unavailable.


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