Animal Attractions in the UAE

Green planet zoo

From the world’s tallest Ferris wheel to the globe’s largest handmade gold ring, iconic manmade marvels may dominate most visions of the United Arab Emirates. Yet venturing beyond the glittering skyscrapers and mega-malls unveils the Emirates’ captivating animal attractions and natural wonders waiting to awe visitors too.

Get up close with falcons, salute the UAE’s cherished national animal at the largest falcon hospital globally. Discover local creatures like the Arabian oryx, gazelle, and tahr roaming Sir Bani Yas Island’s nature reserve, or spot migratory birds that flock within fragile wetland ecosystems in Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary’s urban refuge. Education and conservation is core across animal encounters – respect reigns during desert safaris to protect dwindling Arabian Oryx populations while dolphin and whale programs balance awareness alongside supervised swims.

From mighty mammals and rare birds to aquatic life numbering over 65,000 creatures in Dubai Aquarium’s colossal tank, the UAE’s menagerie of animal attractions promises memorable moments for nature lovers of all kinds.

Explore the Spectacular Wildlife in UAE’s Animal Attractions

Dubai Safari Park

Dubai Safari Park

Dubai Safari Park is an ideal activity for families visiting Dubai with children. The interactive park houses 2,500 animals, birds, and reptiles, made up of 250 different species from various natural environments. A 150 million dirham project, Dubai Safari Park seeks to teach visitors about the diverse animals and their ecosystems, bringing them as near to the wilderness as possible.

The Dubai Safari Park is organized into seven sections: Asian Village, Arabian Desert Safari, Explorer Village, African Village, Wadi, Kids Farm, and the Grand Aviary. Each area aims to give visitors an exclusive educational experience focused on a particular region. Visitors can observe animals, watch interactive performances, view theater shows, and more. Two of the villages (Arabian Desert Safari and Explorer Village) can only be accessed through a guided tour, by tram or bus, while the others can be independently explored on foot.

Al Ain Zoo (Al Ain)

Spanning 900 hectares at the base of Jebel Hafeet mountain, Al Ain Zoo is the United Arab Emirates’ largest zoological park featuring nearly 4,000 animals from all continents. Distinctive highlights include the region’s only chimpanzee enclosure, the world’s largest man-made safari complete with dozens of African wildlife species roaming freely, and Sheikh Zayed Arabian Oryx habitat protecting this vulnerable antelope almost eliminated in the wild.

Explore shaded trails passing large spacious exhibits tailored to each species for their wellbeing, ride the train for panoramic views, and cool down at the “Zoo in the Sky” elevated gardens. With endangered species conservation, education programs and family-friendly amenities, explore wildlife wonders from white lions to lemur islands at this impressive Abu Dhabi facility.

Emirates Park Zoo (Abu Dhabi)

Lioness in Emirates Park Zoo

Emirates Park Zoo located in Al Bahia city oasis spans over 100 hectares of thoughtfully designed habitats and themed sections home to more than 1,700 animals. Meander shaded pathways observing indigenous wildlife like Arabian tahr and gazelle in vast enclosures mimicking their high desert plateau origins. Visit the majestic Bengal tigers, mischievous monkeys, gorgeous African feathered species, and Australia section’s colorful parakeets, kangaroos and wallabies.

Interactive options include giraffe and parrot feeding, an educational bird show and reptile encounter. With special kids’ play zones plus cycling tracks circling the zoo, Emirates Park Zoo offers animal magic and family adventures blending conservation, modern amenities and accessibility for memorable safari-style encounters near Abu Dhabi.

Dubai Dolphinarium (Dubai Creek Park, Dubai)

Dubai Dolphinarium

Dubai Dolphinarium provides meaningful interactions with dolphins and seals at a lush creek-side oasis. Guests can be immersed in an intriguing 45-minute educational presentation to learn about behavior and biology while watching these amazing marine mammals demonstrate trained routines.

For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, animal-loving visitors can participate in shallow water interaction programs for a chance to feed, dance, paint or hug one of the dolphins under professional supervision. With a fully air-conditioned hall and animal-friendly environment meeting international standards, Dubai Dolphinarium entertains over 400,000 annual visitors while promoting knowledge on the importance of conserving sea life.

The Green Planet (City Walk, Dubai)

The Green Planet, Dubai, UAE

Step into a completely immersive rainforest world at The Green Planet located in City Walk, Dubai’s vibrant lifestyle destination. This indoor vertical forest encapsulates an indoor ecosystem housing over 3,000 plants and animals under its giant bio-dome filled with cascading waterfalls and intricate tree canopies.

Stroll along suspended bridges and pathways winding through exotic flora and fauna while learning about the important conservation efforts for endangered species. Watch tiny colorful birds and insects flutter overhead and spy playful tree-dwelling animals like two-toed sloths or golden lion tamarins in their natural habitats for a whimsical nature adventure in the midst of the desert city. The Green Planet is one of the best petting zoos to visit in Dubai.

Sharjah Aquarium (Sharjah)

Sharjah Aquarium

We are all aware of Dubai’s zoo and aquarium attractions that attract millions of people every year. But did you know about the Sharjah Aquarium? Here visitors in the United Arab Emirates can explore a range of captivating wildlife experiences. Visitors can marvel at the mesmerizing display of aquatic creatures within a massive suspended tank, featuring sharks, rays, and countless fish species. Moreover, Dubai’s Wild Wadi Water Park offers an exciting blend of water attractions and opportunities to interact with dolphins, adding to the city’s array of animal-focused experiences. These attractions collectively contribute to the UAE’s efforts in promoting conservation awareness and providing educational opportunities for the public to connect with the animal kingdom.

Jumeirah Falconry Centre (Dubai)

Jumeirah Falconry Centre Dubai

At Jumeirah Falconry Centre, you can admire the speed, agility, and grace of the magnificent falcons that have been an integral part of Arabian culture for centuries. This small breeding and training facility next to Burj Al Arab Jumeirah provides a oils glimpse into the ancient sport of falconry.

Learn intriguing details about the different regional falcon breeds from knowledgeable guides during a hands-on, personalized behind-the-scenes walking tour. You’ll have the rare opportunity to hold and interact with these elegant hunters as expert handlers describe effective training techniques.

Gain insight into traditional falcon husbandry and the strong connection between falcons and UAE heritage through this intimate Emirati cultural experience.

Al Marmoom Bedouin Experience (Dubai)

Escape Dubai’s glittering skyline for an evening and journey back in time with the Al Marmoom Bedouin Experience. Nestled on sweeping desert sands along the historic camel track between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, visitors step into the traditional lifestyle of ancient Bedouin tribes at a recreation of their nomadic encampments.

Relax under billowing open-air tents handwoven from black goat hair in the custom still practiced for centuries. Lounge comfortably atop plush Persian carpets and bolster cushions as an Arabian oud musician fills the night with traditional tunes.

Feast while seated upon low tables bearing customary dishes brimming with regional flavors – baked chicken, fragrant rice, fresh fruits and aromatic coffee. As an enchanting storyteller regales you with Arab folktales, transport your imagination to past eras on the cusp of Dubai’s remarkable emergence into global prominence.

Sir Bani Yas Island Wildlife Reserve (Abu Dhabi)

A true wildlife oasis located 170 kilometers southwest of Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island is a natural sanctuary and the Arabian Gulf’s largest reserve established in the 1970’s for endangered Arabian species. Home to thousands of free-roaming animals including the elegant Arabian oryx, sand gazelles, giraffes and Indian blackbuck antelope across its 8,500 hectares, visitor access is carefully managed for conservation.

Choose a 4×4 game drive safari over rippling sand dunes, winding trails and mountains, or embark on nature walks accompanied by expert guides who share the dramatic history and efforts transforming a once barren island into a flourishing ecosystem now boasting millions of indigenous trees and plants.

With luxury resorts, beaches, bird watching opportunities and archaeological sites from one of the UAE’s oldest monasteries, Sir Bani Yas Island balances accessibility with resourceful preservation of Abu Dhabi’s treasured habitats.

Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital (Abu Dhabi)

The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is the largest and most advanced facility of its kind, providing state-of-the-art veterinary healthcare exclusively for the UAE’s cherished national symbol – falcons. Established in 1999 by the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi near the Abu Dhabi International Airport, this working animal hospital welcomes owned and wild falcons year-round.

Tour the elegant reception and museum displaying a fascinating falcon anatomy exhibit, wander through examination rooms, treatment wards, and the fully-equipped surgical theater to observe routine checkups, pedicures, emergency care, and gentle rehabilitation.

For an insider’s look, schedule your visit to coincide with the riveting live demonstration. You will get to marvel at the regal birds as expert falconers masterfully interact with them, describing effective hunting and training techniques rooted in Bedouin tradition.

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary (Dubai)

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

Spanning over 6 square kilometers of protected wetlands near Dubai Creek, Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary offers a peaceful green reprieve from the sparkling city and glimpse of native fauna. An important stopover on migration routes, hundreds of vibrant pink flamingos can be spotted across the lagoon along with grey herons, ospreys, terns and more than 67 other resident or migratory species that thrive in its sheltering mangrove habitat.

The sanctuary features walking trails, birding hides, and lookout points for visitors to quietly observe nature and wildlife with the dramatic Dubai skyline visible across the waters—a contrast highlighting the sanctuary’s vital conservation efforts.

Conclusion

From camels to falcons, dolphins to sharks, the United Arab Emirates offers unique opportunities to discover incredible animals and marine life. World-class facilities like Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Center provide glimpses into previously unseen ecosystems, while interactive programs invite memorable wildlife encounters.

Whether observing the region’s rich biodiversity firsthand on Sir Bani Yas Island, cheering camel races in the desert, or witnessing birds of prey soar at dedicated falconry centers, animal attractions across the Emirates enlighten visitors about native species in settings tailored for their welfare. A journey into the UAE’s animal kingdoms promises awe, adventure, and captivating new friends at every turn.

FAQ’s

1. What are the most popular animal attractions in the UAE?

Dolphinariums, aquariums with whale shark exhibits, camel racing tracks, falconry centers, and Dubai Safari Park are the most popular animal attractions that draw visitors in the UAE.

2. Can visitors expect interactive experiences with animals at these attractions?

Yes, many UAE animal attractions offer visitors chances for hands-on interactions with dolphins, birds of prey, domesticated animals, and marine life through supervised programs.

3. Are guided tours available to learn about animals and attractions?

Knowledgeable guides lead educational walking tours, talks, and presentations at animal attractions providing background details on species and welfare practices.

4. Are there specific attractions in the UAE focusing on marine life?

The Lost Chambers Aquarium, the world’s largest aquarium tank at Dubai Mall hosting 65,000 marine animals is a prime attraction to view sea creatures.

5. Are there any restrictions or guidelines for visiting these animal attractions?

Animal attractions outline policies regarding supervision, restricted areas, proper attire, and conduct around habitats to ensure safety for visitors and welfare of housed animals.

6. Do these animal attractions in the UAE host special events?

Special kids' events, animal feeding sessions, holiday celebrations, and even overnight programs take place year-round at the UAE's animal parks and aquariums.

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