For travellers, families and wildlife enthusiasts alike, the Sharjah Desert Park is a great place to be. It is a destination of knowledge and entertainment for people of all ages. If you are planning to visit, here are some essential details about Sharjah Desert Park, including the location, timings, ticket prices and more.
ABOUT SHARJAH DESERT PARK
Established in 1995 in the Seih Al-Masmout Reserve, this desert park in Sharjah started as a conservation centre for the region’s endangered flora and fauna. Over time, it has developed into a vibrant edutainment centre perfect for weekend retreats with a gorgeous botanical garden, a petting farm and a breeding facility for rare desert animals rescued from their endangered habitats. The breeding centre, however, is not open to the general public.
LIST OF THINGS TO DO AT SHARJAH DESERT PARK
NATURAL HISTORY AND BOTANICAL MUSEUM
The Sharjah Natural History Museum has different segments based on Sharjah’s history:
- The first section is ‘Journey through Sharjah.’ It features various preserved habitats and graphic illustrations of different climates to show how the local flora and fauna have survived in the city.
- The Desert Life section displays the desert environment and shows how living organisms adapt to survive in harsh desert conditions.
- Another hall in the Sharjah Natural History Museum is themed ‘A Journey through Time.’ As the centre for geological exhibits, it maps the timeline of the earth and even includes the fossilised thigh bone of a dinosaur, a massive slab of petrified copper ore and the first real meteor from space. It also features fossils of raindrops and the world’s oldest rock.
- ‘The Living World’ section exhibits visuals of living organisms. You can learn how these organisms impact humans, the environment and other natural habitats.
- The fifth hall is ‘The Living Sea’ that displays replicas of marine creatures. It is a wonderful place to learn more about the underwater ecosystem.
The Sharjah Botanical Museum opened its doors on 6th March 2008 and today is one of the popular family-friendly attractions in the emirate. Interactive displays help visitors get familiar with different plant species including fungi, algae, grass, herbs and trees.
- The Sharjah Botanical Museum serves as an exciting and colourful edutainment destination for people of all ages.
- Those who love botany would also find this to be the perfect place to learn about plant life dating back millions of years.
ARABIA’S WILDLIFE CENTER
One of the top attractions at the desert park in Sharjah, Arabia’s Wildlife Center, was inaugurated in 1999 by Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the UAE Supreme Council. It is the first learning centre established in a protected nature reserve in the UAE. Arabia’s Wildlife Center focuses on educating visitors on the diversity of living species in the Arabian Peninsula. The Wildlife Center and zoo include the following sections:
- Reptiles and Insect House: You can find species indigenous to the Arabian desert, including the Arabian Cobra, Puffer snake and the Saw-scaled Vipers.
- Aviary: The section represents avifauna from the different valleys, deserts and mountains in the Arabian region. It’s home to a range of birds like weavers, partridges and Houbara bustards. The path to the aviary also leads to the bat cave where you can spot the Egyptian fruit bats and the Omani blind cavefish.
- Nocturnal animals: Here you can observe several animals that are active during the night like the foxes, mongoose, wildcats, honey badgers and more.
- Large carnivores and primates: This section includes five enclosures that house Hamadryas baboons, Arabian wolf, striped hyena, Arabian leopard and other carnivorous animals.
- Cafeteria and viewing area: This is an expansive viewing area that also doubles as a cafeteria. Visitors enjoy panoramic views of a large antelope exhibit. You can also spot the Arabian Oryx, ostrich, gazelles other animals in their natural habitats.
Besides animal sightings, the Sharjah Desert Park zoo is an exciting place to learn about each animal species through audio recordings and educational panels. Arabia’s Wildlife Center’s climate-controlled environment makes the experience comfortable for visitors of all ages, including children.
CHILDREN’S FARM IN SHARJAH DESERT PARK
The Children’s Farm at Sharjah Desert Park opened in May 1997. Operated under Environment and Protected Areas Authority, the venue offers little ones a chance to interact with domesticated birds and animals.
- Young visitors can feed their favourite animals and pet them in the farm’s outdoor section. For instance, children can feed domestic animals such as cows, sheep, Arabian horses, goats and camels.
- People of all ages can participate in awareness-raising activities and workshops to familiarise themselves with local animals and birds.
- An indoor section of the farm features a small library with reading material for children. They can also watch environmental films and documentaries here.
BREEDING CENTRE FOR ENDANGERED ARABIAN WILDLIFE (BCEAW)
Established in 1998, BCEAW’s purpose is to preserve endangered animals. The centre has become a base for research into some of the region’s most threatened species like the Arabian Cobra and Arabian Leopard. It also participates in international breeding programmes for species like the sand cat, cheetah and others.
BCEAW has established strong relationships with international and local field researchers, government departments, facilities and institutes. This cooperation has been immensely beneficial with resources and expertise being shared with one common goal in mind.
ISLAMIC BOTANICAL GARDEN
Inaugurated in 2014, the Islamic Garden at the Sharjah Desert Park is the first of its kind in the Middle East. The garden is home to almost 100 plants, including figs and pomegranates that are mentioned in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him). Identification cards and touchscreen interfaces enable visitors to learn about the plants. Visitors can also dine at a café and visit the library, which has books for readers of all ages.
- You can observe most animals at the café in their outdoor habitat.
- The indoor aviaries are air-conditioned, so you can also admire animals through glass panels.
- There is a parking facility
SHARJAH DESERT PARK TICKET PRICE
- The Sharjah Desert Park entry fee for adults is AED 15. For children over 12 years, it’s AED 5. Entry is free for kids under 12 years of age. Most visitors consider the prices as good value for money as they allow access into all the venues except the breeding centre.
- Guided tours are also included in the ticket.
- You can buy tickets online and at the venue.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ARE THERE ANY VENUE SPECIFIC RULES I NEED TO KNOW?
If you want to visit the park with friends and family, please remember that:
- Photography is strictly prohibited in the area.
- Any irrational activity or environmental violation that will damage the ecosystem would be penalised and fined.
- It is not a pet-friendly destination.
- Wear modest clothes. If you are visiting the park in the summer, it is recommended you wear light, breezy materials.
WHAT ARE SHARJAH DESERT PARK TIMINGS?
When can you visit Sharjah Desert Park? Here is an overview of timings:
- Sharjah Desert Park timings: 09:00 am to 05:30 pm (Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday)
- Sharjah Desert Park Friday timings: 02:00 pm to 05:30 pm
- Sharjah Desert Park opening hours on Saturday: 11:00 am to 05:30 pm
The park is closed on Tuesdays.
WHAT IS THE SHARJAH DESERT PARK LOCATION?
Located on Al Dhaid Road, Sharjah Desert Park stands in the outskirts of Sharjah but is not very far away. The distance is 17 minutes from Sharjah International Airport. For any queries, you can call on +971-6-504-7777.
That sums up our detailed guide on Sharjah Desert Park. In recent years a lot of conservation work has been done across the UAE. If you want more wildlife adventures, check out the list of natural reserves in the UAE. Similarly, there is a long list of animal attractions in the UAE.
Some of the most popular ones include the Al Ain Zoo. Another attraction popular with families is the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. Those residing in the neighbouring emirate of Dubai can plan a visit to the Dubai Safari Park that reopened recently.