Emirates Park Zoo is about to undergo a cultural renovation Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Emirates Park Zoo and Resort is one of Abu Dhabi’s most popular attractions for both residents and tourists. Guides paid it a visit and attended a ceremony in which the park received a generous donation from Zone Parking Solutions. The donation is to fund a cultural renovation centered around education which aims to encourage children to show a greater appreciation for animals.

It's a great family activity all year round, so why should you visit? Well, here are 10 reasons why:

1. Education

The park has a large animal theatre in which groups of children – and adults! – are shown exotic animals such as baby crocodiles and falcons. You'll almost certainly come away learning something new.

2. Exercise

As we’re in the throws of winter, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and breathe some fresh air away from the city. Children can run around and enjoy the adventure park, burning off much of that stored-up energy. There are plenty of shaded areas and seating for weary-legged adults.

3. Elephant experience

Fancy feeding an elephant? Well good news, you can! Madu and Rada are a pair of lively Indian elephants and enjoy nothing more than munching on foliage.

The ostrich is the biggest bird in the world

4. Giraffe feeding

Climb the steps to new heights and feed one of the park’s friendly giraffes a handful of plants. Standing nearly five metres tall and weighing up to 1,200kg, it’ll make for a tricky selfie.

5. Crocodile dinner

They’ve been around since the age of the dinosaurs, and there aren’t many beasts as scary as the many-toothed crocodile. Emirates Park Zoo has two Nile Crocs, and they feed them at 4pm on Fridays – not to be missed if you can stomach it.

6. Birds of prey

Birds of prey are popular across the Arabian Peninsula, with the falcon even being the symbol of the UAE. If you want to get up-close-and-personal with some of the park’s winged residents, visit the bird sanctuary. You can even hold them if they’re in the mood!

7. Sea lion show

Swanny, Songa, and Still are the park’s three resident sea lions. Their famous shows include juggling, break-dancing, and flipper standing. Their shows run for 20 minutes at scheduled times throughout the day.

Feeding the elephants is just one of the amazing things you can do

8. Azonto drum and dance team

It’s not just animals at the zoo, as the park’s resident band is on hand to brighten your day with traditional African music. Coming from Ghana, the lively group gets the crowd involved, and sometimes the animals join in too!

9. Magic show

If animals from all over the world aren’t enough for you, then maybe a quick magic show will do the trick?

10. Animals

We’ve saved this one for last. The best, and seemingly most obvious, reason to visit Emirates Park Zoo is to enjoy the animals. Walk around the park at your own pace learning more about your favourite members of the animal kingdom.

Whether you're interested in lions from the African savannah or chickens from the farm, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Just be careful at the monkey cage, one of them tried to steal our selfie stick!

Location Al Bahia, Abu Dhabi Timings Sunday to Wednesday 9am to 8pm; Thursday to Saturday 9am to 9pm Cost Adults Dh30; Children Dh20; Under 2s Free Phone 02 501 0000 Email info@emiratesparkzoo.com Website Emirates Park Zoo