The decision to visit Emirates Park Zoo was, like many of my other "secrets" on this page, more of a coincidence. I had somehow heard about it, but did not know much about it. That weekend we didn't really have big plans, so we decided, let's just give it a try...
It is not a long drive, doesn't cost much money, so well, we hadn't much to loose.
And we were pleasantly surprised when we reached there!
I have never been to a zoo where you can get so close to the animals, it felt more like a petting zoo, but with the big animals!
Especially the giraffes, as you can see on the picture, make quite an impression and are one of the main attractions!
I am vegetarian and generally critical of zoos. But this space is, especially with lots of new additions and enclosures, made really nicely. And although it can get quite busy and crammed in areas, the animals did not seem too stressed.
We went there at the end of May, when temperatures are already on the rise, and yet did always find enough shady, cool areas to enjoy the afternoon. The park has many evaporation systems which help keep visitors and animals cool.
And it also features several indoor areas, for example the aquariums, but also where the larger wildlife like lions, cheetah and elephants live. While they are sleeping in the heat, you walk indoors past several cafes and look out on them through glass windows.
The Sharjah Wildlife Zoo has a similar concept, but this one felt more modern, cleaner, and with better F&B options! ;o)
But the park is not only great for an afternoon, you might even want to consider staying the whole weekend: They feature very special chalet rooms, and are just building new ones. The higher category rooms make you feel almost like on a safari lodge in Africa: Right in front of your window is the enclosure of the giraffes, zebras and gazelles, who are roaming through a huge sand area.
So the first thing when waking in the morning is the sight of the animals!
I have not been inside the rooms, as this area is separated from the regular zoo guests, but will definitely try it out in the near future.
To know about rates etc of the chalets, visit the website of the Emirates Park Resort.
The park and zoo is not very far from Dubai, as it is located in one of the residential areas before Yas Islands, so depending from which part of Dubai you are coming, it is only 45 minutes to 1 hour drive.
To find the exact location in Al Bahia, use Google Maps below. For more information, also visit the website of Emirates Park Zoo or give them a call on +971 2 5010000