The petting zoo by Al Tamimi Stables Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/XPRESS

SHARJAH New Year plans of many have been thrown into disarray after a popular family destination in Sharjah closed down indefinitely last week.

Al Tamimi Stables, a massive 30-acre family friendly farm in the Al Zubair region, has remained shut since December 27, the day it was supposed to reopen to the public after a two day Christmas and Boxing Day break. “We have now sent out notifications, emails and messages to our customers, alerting them of the closure,” Brian Galligan, general manager of Al Tamimi Stables, told XPRESS without explaining why the bustling educational activity centre - home to more than 500 domestic and exotic animals, stables and a petting farm amongst others - has shut all of a sudden.

All of a sudden

“It’s been a bolt from the blue for us. I got a call from them last Saturday (December 27) saying we can’t have our daughter’s birthday party there (scheduled for January 3) any longer,” says Sreetama Maity, who had booked the place for her daughter Sharika’s sixth birthday months ago. “We had sent out the cards, finalised the catering and were almost done with all last minute preparations when we heard this. My daughter so wanted to have a farm party this time that we feel gutted. Worse, we can’t even book an alternative venue in such a short notice, especially at this time of year,” added the mum of one who had invited 75 people including 25 children to a barnyard party that isn’t anymore.

A notification on the website read: “We are temporarily closed and look forward to welcoming you soon.”

Fellow mum Sonya Coates reacted to their Facebook post saying she had made a long trip down to the farm earlier this week with a two- and a four-year-old only to find it closed.

A comment from the Sharjah Municipality was not available immediately.