Dubai: Are you finding it hard to keep the children entertained during the summer break? How about taking them on a trip to see flamingoes, baboons, cheetahs and leopards? If the children are under the age of 12, they won’t even have to pay for a ticket.
The Arabia’s Wildlife Centre in Sharjah is a conservatory turned edutainment centre and one of the largest homes for rare animals in the Arabian Peninsula, including the Arabian Oryx, the UAE’s national animal, and the Arabian leopard, the region’s famous big cat. These endangered animals have their own large landscaped enclosures and come from the nearby Sharjah wildlife centre, where they are bred.
The centre is temperature controlled for visitors, making it a good place to visit during the summer months.
Where is Arabia’s Wildlife Centre?
The centre is located 30km east of Sharjah city. It is part of the larger Sharjah Desert Park, which also houses botanical gardens, a natural history museum and a children’s farm.
What to expect at the centre
The centre is divided into various sections, starting from the ‘Reptile and Insect House’, with vipers, cobras, lizards and turtles that that can be found in the Arabian desert and in the Arabian Sea. Next you will see the aviary, where you can also spot flamingoes along with other birds that can be found in the region. The section that follows the aviary is one focussing on nocturnal animals, where you will see foxes and wildcats darting around in their enclosures. The next stop on your trip will be the cafeteria and the viewing area, which has a large antelope exhibit where you can see the Arabian Oryx, gazelle and Ostrich. The final section ‘Large Carnivores & Primates’ leads you past five enclosures, which are home to Baboons, Cheetahs, Arabian Wolves, Striped Hyenas, and the Arabian Leopard.
On weekends, you can also expect free workshops for children, helping them learn about the wildlife native to the region.
Children under the age of 12 enter for free.
Tickets for those above the age of 12 years – Dh21.50
This ticket is for the Sharjah Desert Park, so you will also be able to visit the Natural History Museum, the Children's Farm and the Islamic Botanical Garden on the same ticket.
Weekdays – 9am to 5.30pm
Friday – 2pm to 5.30pm
Saturday and Sunday – 11am to 5.30pm
The park is closed on Tuesdays
How to get there
By bus: If you are coming from Dubai, you can take the E311 bus, which departs from the Al Qusais bus station and get off at the ‘Awir CMC’ bus stop. From there, you can take a taxi to the park, which will take approximately 24 minutes.
By car: Sharjah Desert Park is located off the E88/S128 highway (Al Dhaid Road). After you pass the Sharjah Cement Factory to your left, take the exit for Siyouh Suburb/S151. You will arrive at a roundabout. Take the fourth exit on the roundabout and continue on Interchange no. 9, which will then lead you towards the Sharjah Desert Park.