Are you or your kids animal lovers looking to explore and learn about wildlife? Well if you are, the Al Ain Zoo is a must visit! Established in 1968 by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan due to his keenness to preserve wildlife in UAE, this zoo in Al Ain is one the most popular attractions for tourists and residents alike. It has been the cornerstone of wildlife in the UAE for over 50 years now and still is a beloved place for many. So if you are planning to make a visit to this zoo, here is what you can expect.
THINGS TO DO IN Al AIN ZOO
Covering an area of 400-hectares and home to over 200 species of wildlife, there are plenty of activities at Al Ain Zoo. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do at this zoo.
VISIT THE AMAZING HABITATS
From mammals to reptiles and birds of every kind, there are over 4000 animals in Al Ain Zoo who call it home. So whether you a fan of the big cats such as cheetahs, lions or crocodiles, you are sure to find your favourite animal in a habitat that replicates its natural surrounding in the wild. Here are all the habitats in Al Ain Zoo where you can find your favourite animals.
Visit the Animals at the Al Ain Zoo
From herbivores like the Barbary sheep and gazelles to your favourite big cats like the lion, jaguar and cheetah, there is loads to see at the Al Ain Zoo. Apart from the mentioned big cats, visitors can look forward to spotting pumas, the Arabian leopard, South African cheetah and even an African white lion. Other animals to watch out for are primates like the Western lowland gorilla and horned species like the springbok and white rhino.
The Steppe eagle looks as magnificent in person as it does in a nature documentary. And you can see it live at the Al Ain Zoo, as well as another indigenous bird of prey — the desert eagle owl. Other exotic feathered creatures at the zoo include two species of flamingos, cockatoos and the flightless emu.
Spot turtles and tortoises in enclosures that mimic their natural habitats like the Aldabra giant tortoise. And a visit to the zoo isn’t complete without a trip to the crocodile enclosure where the magnificent Nile crocodile is the star attraction.
TAKE THE KIDS TO MEET THEIR FAVOURITE ANIMALS AT THE CHILDREN’S ZOO
If you are looking for kids activities at Al Ain Zoo then head on over to the Children’s Zoo. Located right near the Asian Habitat, the Children’s zoo has petting zones and bird feeding stations where the kids get to interact with the animals. They can also hop onto a horse, a camel, or a pony for a ride!
- Animal Rides: Daily from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 03:00 pm – 06:00 pm
- Price of animal rides: AED 15
- Budgie Feeding: Daily from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
- Price of budgie feeding: AED 10
WATCH BIRDS OF PREY HUNT
For all you bird-enthusiasts, this zoo has a show dedicated to showcasing how birds of prey such as the Falcons, Eagles, Owls and Vultures use their swift flight and hunting skills to catch their prey. You also get a chance to snap a picture with these hunters at the end of the show.
- Availability: Daily at 5:00 pm to 05:30 pm
- Location: Next to the Bird House
- Price: Free
ENJOY THE TALENT OF THE OTHER FLYING FRIENDS
If watching birds hunt is a bit too aggressive for you, this zoo has a family-friendly show featuring the stunning Blue-winged Macaws and Sulphur Crested Cockatoos perform a variety of skills such as playing basketball, climbing ropes and recognising numbers.
- Available: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 3:45 pm
- Location: Parrot Tent
- Price: AED 10
EXPLORE THE SHEIKH ZAYED DESERT LEARNING CENTER
The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center is one of the main attractions in Al Ain Zoo. It is an educational facility that offers loads of interactive exhibits, multimedia and visual materials which displays the past, present and future of the UAE. It has five interactive galleries which include the Sheikh Zayed Tribute Hall, Abu Dhabi Desert over Time, Abu Dhabi’s Living World, People of the Desert and Looking to the Future. They offer guided tours in both English and Arabic.
Note: The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre currently allows no more than 53 visitors in order to ensure the safety of all.
- Operational Hours: 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
- Price: Bookings are required
DINE WITH THE KING OF THE JUNGLE
This next item on our list is an exclusive experience offered at the zoo that was introduced to give visitors the opportunity to experience the wild in a unique way. The ‘dinner with the lions’ allows visitors to enjoy five-star buffet menu just meters away from the lions. The dining area and the lion’s exhibit is separated by a deep enclosure that is encircled by an electric fence. You won’t have to worry about the lions trying to get to your food because they will have their own serving of meat. Booking this experience is available for adults and children over 12 years only and requires an advanced booking 48 hours prior.
- Location: Al Ain Safari
- Price: AED 800 ِfor a minimum of 4 person
OBSERVE ANIMALS FEED IN THEIR HABITATS
Animal feedings is another amazing thing that Al Ain Zoo offers its visitors. You can get a first-hand look at how and what the animals feed on when in the wild.
Animal Feeding Timings:
All the feeding sessions at the Al Ain Zoo are free of cost. However, the show timings are subject to change or cancellation, so do make sure to contact the zoo beforehand if you are planning to visit just to watch the shows.
- Chimpanzee Feeding – Daily at 05:00 pm
- Monkey Feeding – Daily at 04:00 pm
- Penguin Feeding at the Bird House – Daily at 10:00 am and 02:30 pm
- Crocodile Feeding – 05:00 pm at the Hippo and Crocodile Exhibit on Thursday and Saturday. On Friday it takes place at the Crocodile habitat at 05:00 pm
- Asian Habitat – Daily at 05:00 pm
- Sahara Habitat – Daily at 05:15 pm
- Arabian Habitat – Daily at 05:30 pm
- African Habitat – Daily at 05:30 pm
FEED THE GIANT GIRAFFE
If your favourite animal is the giraffe, this is an experience you will not want to miss! You get to meet the giraffe family up close and feed them carrots and lettuce leaves from the Giraffe Feeding station. All the giraffes are trained to respond to bell rings and there are zoo officials present to provide any assistance to visitors.
- Availability: Daily from 09:00 ِِam – 01:00 am and 03:00 ِِpm – 07:00 pm
- Location: At the Giraffe feeding station
- Price: AED 30 for 4 persons
Enjoy a walk in the lemur exhibit at the Al Ain Zoo. Get a closer look at these interesting animals
- Availability: Thursday, Friday and Saturday
- Location: Lemur Exhibit
- Price: AED 30
Apart from current exhibits, visitors can also look forward to the many expansion projects scheduled at the zoo. These include a Reptile Park, an open-air Chimpanzee Forest, a sand cat breeding centre and the Al Ain Nature Reserve.
As you can see, there is plenty of things to do and attractions at this wildlife centre in Al Ain. The enter zoo, on the whole, is well maintained and has restaurants, benches, shaded areas and restrooms conveniently located all around. There are also two mosques and a souvenir shop where you can buy mementoes of your experience at the zoo.
What’s New at the Al Ain Zoo?
Breakfast with Giraffes
Skip breakfast before your zoo trip. A delicious early morning spread awaits you at the Al Ain Zoo with guests like Miss Zafrana the giraffe and her beautiful family. Feed the majestic beasts and take loads of memorable photos. It’s your chance to get up close and personal with the animals. The experience is available for a party of 6 to 10 guests and bookings must be made 48 hours in advance. You don’t want to miss it!
- Availability: 09:00 am (daily)
- Dates: 10th February to 10th March 2020
- Location: Giraffe feeding station
- Price: AED 252 per guest
You can’t outrun a cheetah, but you can experience what the experience is like for the fastest land animal as it chases the wind. The Al Ain Zoo makes it happen in its amphitheatre. Watch as the zoo’s champions Nazik, Cleo and Firas race for the win in a competition called the Cheetah Run. Are your fingers fast enough to catch them in action on the camera?
- Availability: 01:00 pm (Saturday to Thursday)
- Location: Cheetah Run
Rhino and Giraffe Back of House
Looking for adventure on the wild side? Take an exclusive sneak peek into Al Ain Zoo’s man-made safari. The zoo’s Rhino and Giraffe Back of House experience allows participants to explore the rhino and giraffe enclosures. Meet the facility’s resident rhinos Sudan and his family and learn how giraffes are cared for. It’s an exclusive experience with one to six guests allowed per session and bookings must be made 48 hours in advance.
- Availability: Daily
- Location: Al Ain Safari
- Price: AED 1050
Welcome migratory birds
Different species of migratory birds have chosen Al Ain Zoo as their new shelter after covering vast distances over rugged terrains and various bodies of water. And you can watch them make the Al Ain Zoo their new home.
Several migratory birds have been spotted utilising various habitats in the zoo like the UAE World Desert Displays and Africa Safari. Among those recorded are the Socotra cormorant, white-cheeked tern, sooty gull, yellow-throated sparrow and even predatory birds and waders like the peregrine falcon and osprey. A report recorded in 2019 mentioned about 98 species of visiting birds.
Al Ain Zoo ticket prices 2020 and working hours
Al Ain Zoo Opening Time
Keep these timings in mind before planning a trip to the Al Ain Zoo:
- Thursday to Saturday, from 09:00 am to 09:00 pm
- Operational hours can be subject to change during Ramadan
- Ticket office closes one hour before closing time
Al Ain Zoo Ticket Offers
All of the following include entrance to the zoo’s exhibits. You can purchase them online from the website, or at the zoo itself. Here is an overview of the Al Ain Zoo entrance fee for different attractions:
- Entertainer Ticket
– Adults AED 31.50, children between 3-12 AED 10.50 and free entry for children under 3 years.
- Safari Entertainer
Safari Truck: 45-minute adventure tour around the zoo
– Adults AED 210, children between 5-12: AED 210
Safari SUV: 60-minute guided tour for up to six persons
– AED, 1050 – All ages are welcome for the Al Ain Zoo Safari but children under 3 years must have a baby seat
- Ahlan Entertainer: Guided tour for five adults and two children
– Sunday to Wednesday AED 525, additional guest AED 105
– Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Public Holidays AED 787.50, additional guest AED 105
- Annual Pass: Adults AED 236.25, additional guest AED 94.50
- Family Annual Pass:2 adults and three children AED 661.50, additional guest AED 94.50
- Al Maha Royal: Up to six guests AED 2,625
Al Ain Zoo Contact Number
For any further clarification on the ticket prices and services, you can contact them through the following channels.
- 800 ZOO (966) Or +971-3-799-2000
This zoo is definitely the perfect place for both adults and kids as it’s a wildlife adventure that everyone can enjoy! Not only is it a learning experience, but it’s also a day of fun for everyone who visits. We hope you found this guide to the Al Ain Zoo attractions and activities insightful. If you did, please do share it with your friends and family on social media.
So when will you head over to this amazing wildlife centre in Al Ain? Let us know in the comments section below. And if you are looking for other great places to visit animals, the Emirates Park Zoo and Resort in Abu Dhabi is another great place to check out.
For more reviews on the latest attractions in the UAE, stay tuned to the best property blog MyBayut!