Emirates Park Zoo – OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Tel: +971 2 5633100
Ticket Prices (July 2013):
Adult: AED 25
Under 5 yo: AED 10
Under 2 yo: FREE
Wheelchair accessible and concessions available.
Opening times: Sun – Wed: 9:30am – 8:00pm
Thur – Sat and Public Holidays: 9:30am – 9:00pm
Even though it has been a while since we were kids, we had really a good time here!
Set in the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, this zoological park really surprised us on how good it was.
First of all, the entry tickets are really cheap – which means that we can go back as many times as we want. Second, it is actually way bigger than it seems at first sight, so big that it’s quite easy to get lost walking around: we actually missed the whole sea-lion area because we did not realise it was there, but it is one reason more to return, I suppose!
Despite visiting on a blazing hot afternoon, walking around was actually not too bad thanks to sprinklers of micronized water over the visitors’ heads, installed pretty much on every path inside the zoo.
There are also a few covered bars, providing shade and (very cheap!) refreshements. When it got really too much to bear (we have not yet totally adapted to this latitude, after all!) we took shelter inside the reptile house and the aquarium, which are both fully air-conditioned.
This zoo is organised so that we were able to decide our own itinerary. At the entrance, after the tiny but perfectly formed gift shop (loved the assortment of animal masks, perfect for a jungle-themed fancy dress party!) we said hi to a series of chatty tropical birds. The primate colony came next, shortly followed by the snake alley and the ocean park. By the time we reached the tortoises and the ducks pond, we were ready for a cold drink and some rest on the shaded benches! There are really a lot of different animals in this park: from the majestic inhabitants of the predator section to the cute petting enclosure, there is something for everyone’s taste.
Apparently there is even the possibility to sleep at the park, as a resort, made of many private bungalows, overlooks the giraffes enclosure.
Amongst our favourites were indeed the charming giraffes, which were really friendly and kindly obliged by accepting food offers. We were able to buy bundles of leaves directly inside the park: every bundle – which is quite big – costs just 5 AED.
The giraffes were a big hit with both childrens and adults. They look so majestic and yet they seemed very delicate in taking the leaves from the hands of the youngest kids!
Next to their enclosure there is also one of the covered cafes, so we were able to sit down and have something fresh to drink whilst having them towering over us only a few steps away! It was the closest I had ever been to giraffes ever.
We also loved the tigers. They have both Bengali tigers (the more golden-hued ones) and Siberian tigers (which look almost white).
In the enclosure of the Siberian tigers there is a tunnel with a series of windows where, in a strike of luck, we managed to get really up, close and personal with them, as our photos demonstrate!
We had a lot of fun watching the tigers, lions and cheetas playing in the sun and taking baths in their pond.
We also liked the camels – one was white! – the hyenas, the family of kangaroos, the very playful monkeys, the small gang of meerkats and the many tropical birds and fishes.
Below are more photos of our visit: just click on them to enlarge.
This park had a relaxed atmosphere, lots of interesting animals to look at and very nice facilities, all what we needed for a fun day out. Next time we will be back for the sea-lions, but maybe we will take advantage of the late opening hours and visit a bit later in the day, when the sun is not so hot!!