Al Ain: Visitors to Al Ain Zoo are being offered a fresh perspective on desert wildlife and conservation issues at the newly refurbished facilities now open to the public.
The renovations feature an array of additional entertainment, interactive and educational activities between 9am to 8pm every day, said Ganem Al Hajiri, Director-General of Al Ain Zoo.
Al Ain Zoo is home to a diverse collection of around 4,000 animals from all over the world, including many rare and endangered species and desert wildlife that is native to the UAE. Visitors can see how these animals interact and also learn why it is so important to ensure their conservation, said Al Hajiri.
He said the new Mixed Asian Exhibit, one of the most popular exhibits, has had a facelift and now includes three new gazelle species — the chital, nilgai and blackbuck.
Shaded walkways from the main entrance are now available and lead to the recently enhanced cat house exhibit, in addition to a greater range of dining choices, from the Flamingo cafe to the Mixed African cafe.
The Elezba petting zoo has been transformed into a children’s zoo, where youngsters are encouraged to interact with animals. The zoo houses an aviary, tortoise and water pond, and children can also enjoy the latest activities in the new Family Zone area, he said.
Visitors with special needs will find a newly designed main gate and visitors with VIP packages can relax in the Ahlan Lounge, which includes a private shuttle service and tours.
“As a leading tourist destination, Al Ain Zoo supports Abu Dhabi Government’s 2030 vision and related efforts to promote the UAE overall,” Al Hajiri said.
The zoo is a key part of the overall tourist experience, contributing to the steady growth of Al Ain’s tourism sector.
He said education is an integral component of Al Ain Zoo’s vision and is being promoted through a range of activities, facilities and programmes, and in close coordination with educational institutions with field trips, children’s camps and training courses.
The zoo, he said, is also involved in conservation research, captive breeding and propagation and reintroduction of threatened species to their habitats, and has partnered with numerous local and international organisations for this cause.