Dubai Safari Park to open in the New Year

Posted: 31-Oct-16 11:20

The United Arab Emirate of Dubai has announced it will open the doors to its new Safari Park at the start of next year, when visitors will be able to view creatures such as lions, elephants and antelopes in large natural enclosures spanning more than 119 hectares. A hotel is also set to open within the park in 2020.

Dubai Safari Park to open in the New Year

UAE tourism magnet Dubai will open its first safari park at the beginning of next year after more than ten years of planning. According to the United Arab Emirates newspaper the National, final preparations are underway with animals such as lions, elephants and antelopes currently being prepped for their safari enclosures.

The $272million safari park near Dubai’s Dragon Mart Mall, which replaces Dubai Zoo in Jumeirah, will be home to more than 1,000 animals, including 350 rare and endangered species alongside 100 different types of plant and more than 2,500 trees. The new 119-hectare park will be around 80 times larger than Dubai Zoo and will incorporate many of its animals.

The attraction will open to the public in several stages, with the first phase seeing big safari animals such as lions and elephants settle into their enclosures. The final stage of the park development will include the opening of a new hotel complex in 2020.

The park will feature a safari village, Arabian village, Asian village, African village, children’s zoo, butterfly park and a botanical garden. Animals will be grouped together according to place of origin, with species from Africa and Australasia being introduced to the park first, before bringing in animals from the Americas for the second phase of the park’s inception.

The complex will be home to rescued animals that cannot be rewilded such as moon bears from South Korea. It will also host a breeding programme at the conservation centre that aims to release animals into the wild each year. These will include Arabian animals such as caracal cats, Arabian tahrs (mountain goats), oryx, and gazelles.

An official representative of Dubai Municipality said:

“A team of specialists visited a number of the world’s best and important zoos, such as those in Indonesia, Singapore, Austria, Germany and the San Diego Zoo. It is important to note that we did not only use their best practices but also adapted them to suit the needs of Dubai.”

The attraction is also designed to be environmentally-friendly and will incorporate solar energy, water recycling, waste disposal and other recycling facilities. The park will feature 100 different kinds of plants and more than 2,500 trees.

The park’s technical director, Tim Husband, told the National that the first animals have been quarantined for tests to ensure they are in good health and were not taken from the wild. He said that his two main priorities will be animal welfare and education.

Mr Husband explained:

“It will be a jewel in the Dubai crown and it will show the rest of the world that there are people here who care about wildlife. You won’t be able to see it all in one day,”

He also commentedt to the National:

“Our generation has ruined the Earth, but it’s the kids who will make the decisions of the future. If you can get one kid passionate about wildlife and making the right decisions then great.”

Husband predicts a minimum of 7,000 people will visit the park every day, and he is keen to foster ties with schools so that the park can act as an educational tool for future generations.


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