Al Ain Zoo

About Al-Ain Zoo

Home to 4000 animals and shelter to the ones who are on the verge of extinction, the Al Ain Zoo is a natural habitat of the fauna of Dubai. Containing a whopping number of 200 species of the rarest animals, Al Ain Zoo has been internationally applauded for its safe practices to conserve endangered wildlife. Whether it is a chirpy bird, the calmest herbivore or the deadliest beast; Al Ain Zoo takes care of each and every animal

Different sections are made for Al Ain Zoo animals like Big Cat House, Reptile House, Chimpanzee Forest, Monkey Compound, Aquarium, and Aviary. Every day, people come in masses to experience the sight of the wildest animals and interact with the humblest ones. The experience of Al Ain Zoo is much beyond animal sightseeing and attraction as it hosts regular animal events such as a bird show, penguin parade, lemur walk, tug of war with tiger and many more. Al Ain Zoo activities allow you to feed friendly animals such as giraffes, horses and ponies. The main highlight of this zoo is the Al Ain Zoo Safari ride, letting you witness the wildest creatures including White Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Jaguars and Cheetahs.

Things to Do at Al-Ain Zoo

Be at Tug of War with Tiger

ven the children in spectators are needed to be accompanied by adults to enjoy "Man VS Beast"- a tiger's tug of war, in which a human is the ravenous beast's victim. The activity is not suitable for children below 12 years. This is one of the most thrilling activities that gives you a rush of adrenaline as a rope is fed to the tiger and it tries to pull the rope with its full strength. The hungry beast is under the supervision of zoo officials and in front of numerous spectators to watch your game and cheer you up.

Visit the Lion Kingdom

Entering the Lion’s Den- The Lion Kingdom of Al Ain Zoo is a difficult task as you are required to watch the deadliest beasts from the closest proximity. You will be allowed to observe the family behavior of the fierce feline creatures very closely. You can witness their reactions to the activities of the zoo keepers in dealing with lions. This infamous adrenaline-boosting activity moves up another level as you can feed the lions as the King of the Jungle roams around its vast space.

Enjoy Biking at Al-Ain Mountain

You can choose to be playful by riding a real cycle on the unusual typography of the Al Ain Zoo. You can navigate up to 9 Km through the rough roads leading you to the mountain of Al Ain. With your loved ones, you can compete in bike racing through Al Ain Mountain to Azzuro Pizzeria. The thrill of riding a bike down the hill is done with complete safety and regulations. Following the adventurous ride, you can get off to the comfortable paved roads and experience blissful cycling for a while.

Feed the Penguins

The session of Penguin feeding happens once in the Al Ain zoo during the afternoon at 3:00 PM. You will be able to meet different groups of cute little penguins as you feed them their favorite food, mostly small fishes, squids, and krills. The playful quarrels of these little birds over small fishes will make you enticed and happy. As you feed them their favorites, penguins will show the urge to hurry and snatch the food from each other.

Watch Cheetah Run

You can watch the magnificent feline beings, Cheetahs run through the zoo of Al Ain.Happening in the amphitheater, the cheetah run will witness the championship of infamous cheetahs of the zoo, Firaw, and Nazik. Enjoyed by housefull spectators, this event witnesses loud cheers for both the cheetahs. The competition is said to be the gold championship held every week on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the late evening hours, at 05:00 PM.

Witness Animal Feedings

Besides the Al ain zoo safari ride, the animal feeding sessions are the most popular things to do at the zoo as all of these animals are known to be hyperactive during the sessions. The sessions are free of charge but are strictly supervised by the zoo's professionals. You can closely observe the animal behavior as the feeding times are different in the zoo for various animals. You can feed lions, gorillas, chimpanzees, monkeys, and many more animals from different zones.

Enjoy Lemur Walk

Watching playful lemurs living in their natural habitat and having fun with them is an interesting thing to do. Lemur walk is one of the most anticipated animal shows that happen in Al Ain zoo every Friday to Sunday during the evening hours. This show is called the lemur exhibit, which is usually crowded with children and families. You will be able to witness different species of lemurs like lemur catta, or ring-tailed lemur.

Learn at Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center

The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center is named after the founder of the nation of UAE, former president Sheikh Zayed. This zoo was built in his decision to protect the wildlife of the country. Hence, at this Learning Center, you will be able to understand and gather information related to the protection of endangered species and internationally applauded safe breeding practices. The Learning Center provides all the necessary data in the form of visual materials and multimedia, in the languages of English and Arabic. You will be able to learn about UAE’s past, present and future in terms of preservation of the environment and natural habitat of animals.

Experience Wings of the Safari Show

One of the most popular shows comprising all of the birds of prey, this show will make the exciting birds demonstrate their skills and powers. This show happens daily owing to its immense popularity and engagement, in the Bird Show Arena. The wings of the safari show will showcase eagles, falcons, owls, and vultures showing their stunning flying skills, just over your head, and their commendable hunting techniques. Immediately after the show ends, spectators have known not-to-miss the opportunity of capturing their life’s best shots with the enchanting birds.

Watch the Penguin Encounter

The penguin encounter will make you interact with the cutest ice birds, the penguins! This interaction happens daily in the Birds World during the evenings and is enjoyed by children and families altogether. Under the supervision of zoo staff, you will be allowed to feed the little birds their favorite food of small fish. As you feed them their food, you will witness all the penguins rapidly moving to catch the item and gracefully compete with each other in doing so.

Have an Eye on Giraffe and Crocodile Feeding

Giraffe feedings happen daily in the Giraffe feeding stations under the assistance of zoo staff. You can feed the humblest herbivores with their favorite food of lettuce and carrots. These giraffes are trained to respond with the bell rings as they enjoy the interactive sessions. You can choose to feed even the deadliest crocodiles in the Hippo and Crocodile Exhibit to witness their behavior and reactions. These feeding sessions are under full protection and happen twice a week on Fridays and Sundays during the evenings.

Go for Animal Riding at Children’s Zoo

Located in the Children’s Zoo, you can ride horses, ponies and camels can be ridden daily from a window of 03:00 PM to 08:00 PM. You will be able to make you and your kid ride through the lush greenery and beautiful landscapes as you take a short tour of the area by animal riding. These interactive activities including the petting sessions are held in the presence of concerned authorities of the zoo and happen to be completely safe for children.

Animals at Al-Ain Zoo


Al Ain Zoo features a separate aviary to provide a natural habitat for birds of the zoo to live freely. You can choose to interact with the birds during the feeding sessions in the presence of zoo staff. The cute little penguins playfully interact with the visitors as they are fed with their favorite food. Cuckoos and flamingos are the calmest birds to watch, along with many other beautiful migratory birds.

Must Checkout: Desert Eagle Owl, Steppe Eagle, Blue-Necked Ostrich, Lesser Flamingo Greater Flamingo, etc.


This zoo features all types of mammals, the calmest ones like the antelopes and nature's deadliest wild animals. A Big Cat House is also available at the zoo, where you will witness many wild cats such as Tigers, Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, and Jaguars. The Al Ain Zoo Safari ride revolves around the mammals of the zoo in which you will observe the big 5 wildcats that move freely in their natural habitat. The White Lion is the center of attraction among all mammals as this creature is a rare animal to see owing to its magnificent color. In addition, you'll see baboons, meerkats, african wild dogs, and many other rare mammals.

Must Checkout: African Lion, White Tiger, Ring-Tailed Lemur, Chimpanzee, and Jaguar etc.


A separate Reptile House is the place where you can catch sight of the deadliest reptiles and the calmest ones. You can see 100s of species of reptiles from all across the world including many endangered members living on their own. A large number of turtles and tortoises are seen to be peacefully resting in their natural habitat along with crocodiles and snakes. You can have interactive feeding sessions with the calmest reptiles such as tortoises and turtles but only under the supervision of zoo staff.

Must Checkout: Aldabra Giant turtle, Liptien’s Spiny Tailed Lizard, Nile crocodile, etc.

Al-Ain Zoo Safari Experience

Al Ain Zoo Safari is the biggest man-made Safari, which allows you to come close in the proximity of nature’s wildest beasts and the rarest animals of the Al Ain Zoo. Infamously known for witnessing the Big 5 Animals i.e. Lions, Tigers, Jaguars, Leopards and Cheetahs, the Al Ain Zoo Safari is a most anticipated ride in the activities. It is so famous that it always needs advance bookings starting almost every hour multiple times a day. The safari ride can be chosen as a group activity or as a private experience with your own group.

Know Before You Visit Al-Ain Zoo

Best Time to Visit
How to Reach
Dining Option

The best time to visit Al Ain Zoo for catching the sight of exotic animals and birds is from 09:00 AM to 12:00 PM noon. The reason for such early hours is pleasant weather which supports your exploration escaping the heat of Dubai for some hours. The best time of the year to visit Al Ain Zoo is from October to April, as other months are hot with scorching heat.

Zoo Opening hours: Al Ain Zoo is open every day from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM.

  • By Bus: You can take bus number 33 or F08 to reach Emirates Engineering-2 to reach the zoo in an hour.

  • By Metro: You can take the M2 metro line to reach Airport Freezone Metro Station followed by a journey to the Al Ain Zoo taking approximately 1 to 1.5 hours.

  • By taxi/cab: The fastest way to reach Al Ain Zoo is by choosing a taxi/cab from the airport at a distance of 140 kilometers which is approximately 2 hours away from the destination.

  • Mornings are the best times to beat Dubai's scorching heat wave.
  • Make sure to keep yourself hydrated all the time, as this is a long journey involving extensive exploration of the zoo.
  • For the educational experience of discovering 4000 animals belonging to 200 different species, hire a guide.

  • Animal feeding happens only under the supervision of zoo staff.

  • Learn about the methods used to preserve the animals at the Al Ain Zoo by visiting the Sheikh Zayed Learning Center.

  • Entering prohibited places could result in dangerously near encounters with wildlife animals leading to unfortunate accidents.

  • Special Tours: Ahlan Special Service offers 1.5 hours of guided tours along with access to the luxurious golf club. There are 5 main stops reserved for the famous highlights including giraffe feeding, the Wing of Sahara Bird show and many more. Discounts, free WiFi and refreshments are also part of these services.

  • Quick Tour: Shuttle service offers a quick trip to the zoo making you witness the important 5 parts of the zoo quickly. Starting anywhere between 02:00 PM and 07:00 PM, this service ensures that you make the most out of the zoo in a lesser amount of time.

  • Luxurious Tour: Al Maha Royal, as the name suggests, provides you with the option of a guided, private and luxurious tour of the zoo.

  • For specially-abled people: Al Ain Zoo offers free wheelchairs, free entry, and free parking to specially-abled/handicapped people. Moreover, people accompanying them are also offered these for free. You can also opt for strollers as part of the Guest Relations department.

  • The Al Ain Zoo offers a variety of snacks and the healthiest meals. Ranging from salad, fresh juices, and vegetables to pizza, burgers and desserts, this zoo has everything to offer. Both in the types of outdoor and indoor sitting arrangements, you can enjoy the yummiest meals.

  • Options of buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner are also provided. The fully equipped Zarafa restaurant offers a diverse menu of the healthiest and most luscious dishes.

FAQs of Al-Ain Zoo

What is so special about Al Ain Zoo?

Al Ain Zoo is really special as this is a home to 4000 animals including the ones that are at the risk of extinction. This zoo protects the lives of endangered animals. These safe practices to protect Al Ain Zoo animals are applauded internationally by various recognised bodies. Moreover, it is visited by people in masses to experience the Safari Ride.

Is it allowed to bring food inside the zoo?

No, it is strictly prohibited to bring outside food inside the Al Ain Zoo location, however, you can try some of the in-house dining places to try some delicious food after a fun-filled exploration of the zoo.

Are there restaurants in the Al Ain zoo?

Yes, Al Ain Zoo has an authentic restaurant inside called the “Zarafa cafe”. This fully air-conditioned restaurant has beautiful interiors and features an extensive menu of the healthiest and yummiest dishes to eat. You can have tasty pasta, pizza, Arabic grills, and the infamous Biryani as a part of lunch during the Al Ain Zoo timings.

What are the special services provided by Al Ain Zoo?

The Al Ain Zoo offers free wheelchairs and escorted admission to handicapped people. They are also provided with a special free cart and free parking. The elderly visitors can also opt for a golf cart during their visit to the zoo.

What is the History behind Al Ain Zoo?

Al Ain Zoo was founded by the Father of the Nation Late Sheikh Zaye, who decided to make a zoo in 1968. Protecting the endangered Arabian Oryx was the driving force behind the zoo's formation. The Zoo has been able to preserve animals including Green Turtles, Arabian Oryx, Arabian Leopard, and Falcons along with the reintroduction of Houbara Bustards. The Al Ain zoo activities of preserving the flora are critically acclaimed.

How long does it take to fully explore the Al Ain Zoo?

It takes a complete day to explore the zoo as it comprises large sections for different animals such as Monkey Compound, Big Cat House, Chimpanzee Forest, Reptile House, Aquarium, and Aviary.

How many animals are there in Al Ain Zoo?

There are a total of about 4000 animals in Al Ain Zoo and 200 different species among which some of them are rare and endangered.


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