Dubai City Information Site

The Historic Dubai Zoo is The Oldest Zoo in the United Arab Emirates

Hi, Sunil here to talk about the Dubai zoo

You know I didn’t go out of my way to visit to zoo in Dubai.

I mean why when there are so many other things to do in Dubai?

But I have read a lot about the mistreatment of animals and the poor conditions they live in throughout the course of my research and leisure reading about Dubai.

At the same time, I’ve heard many praises about the zoo from many others.

So I decided to visit it and see for myself what really is going on. I will give you a brief background on Dubai and then tell you my opinion at the end of this discussion.

Wildlife parks and safari attract millions of tourists every year, making huge money for the conservation of endangered species while earning more profit for their owners. This happens all around the world and not just in Dubai.

Among the most popular zoos in the world that you may have heard about is the Dubai zoo. Whether it is popular for its criticism or beauty is another debate for another day. I would be interested in what YOU think if you have been to the Dubai zoo.

This Zoo is the oldest zoo in the United Arab Emirates and in the whole Arabian Peninsula. This is in fact the first Arabian zoo to breed the rare Chimpanzee and Arabian wild cat.

Very historical indeed in the animal kingdom, that is why the zoo is considered a special place of interest and fun for tourists and the people of Dubai. Thanks to the late Ruler of Dubai - H. H. Sheikh Rashid bin Maktoum, who permitted Otto J. Bulart to let the Zoo stand on a two-hectare plot in Jumeirah. From then on, the Zoo became a landmark as it indicated the "town's end".

By in the early period of its existence, the Dubai Zoo housed only a few animals like the monkeys, big cats, and hoofed-animals. A small aquarium with some fish and reptiles were also part of the small sanctuary which had the greenest spot in Jumeirah that is covered with a variety of trees.

the Dubai Zoo

The management of the Dubai Zoo was taken over by the Dubai Municipality in 1971. Then from May 1986 to May 1989, part of it was redesigned and rebuilt. From June 1989 until today, there has been multiple re-designing initiatives and renovations.

The present modern facilities in the Dubai zoo are the small houses sheltering many indigenous Arabian species, including the endangered Arabian Wolf, Gordon's Wildcat, and the world's only captive breeding colony of Socotra Cormorants. These are among the countless attractions in the zoo.

Also in the large aviary are regional birds of prey with the nine species of large cats and seven species of primates on show, along with many Arabian mammals. Nonetheless, the zoo needs to undergo relocation and redevelopment so that animals can live in areas designed to be as similar to their natural environment as possible. Some of the Arabian species in the zoo that need such natural sanctuary are the gazelle, hyena, wild cat, flamingo, buzzards, vultures, snakes, cormorant, foxes, wolves, herons, skunks, gulls, eagles, caracal and lizards.

The Endangered species like waterbuck, Barbary sheep, Siberian and Bengal tigers, hyena, Arabian wolves, wild cats, scimitar-horned Oryx, gorilla and chimpanzee are some of the inmates taken care of by the zoo authorities. Some of these were confiscated at Customs, saved from maltreatment at shows and circuses, or even seized from the homes of private individuals.

A 5 minute video of the Dubai Zoo from 2008

Zookeepers make sure that these animals are given the care that they needed, however, the space is extremely limited; as, and in the height of summer, the animals stink and suffer. Hence, it is just important to look for a better place for them. This will also mean a wider and better location for more tourists.

Basically, the zoo has not been at the forefront of the government’s agenda in Dubai. It is in there somewhere, just not in front. I cannot tolerate animal cruelty and will say that the animals are not being mistreated deliberately.

That said I do agree that they need a better location, perhaps more sheltered from the brutal Dubai summers. You can just see all the animals so weakened by the heat. They try not to move so much to conserve energy and not get tired.

It’s a good place to visit and take your kids. It promises to be even much better when it is relocated and redone. As of 2008, if you want to visit Dubai zoo, it is open from 10am - 6pm daily and the entrance Fee is Dhs 2!!!!. That is not even a full dollar!

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