12 Best Zoos & Animal Attractions in Dubai

The presence of animals in a bustling city can add just a touch of relaxation, calmness, and joy. This is also a good opportunity to get to learn and interact with so many animals while also getting to see extremely rare species. Note that many of the animal parks in Dubai and the entire UAE often serve as animal rehabilitation centers and sanctuaries.

Visiting the following sites will be fun for families, couples, friends…pretty much everyone!

Ranked: Best Aquariums & Aqua Zoos in Dubai (Exclusive 2017)

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1. The Green Planet — Best Animal Attraction in Dubai

Welcome to a rainforest in a desert! The facility is cored around the world’s largest indoor, man-made life-sustaining tree. There are over 3,000 plants & animals living inside The Green Planet; the humidity here is kept at 70% to sustain a comfortable environment for The Green Planet’s inhabitants. There are aquariums & ant exhibits too.

One of the most magical things about The Green Planet is that beautiful species of birds are able to fly around freely. Many animals, including various reptiles, attract audiences, but the spotlight is held by the resident sloth. This is easily one of the ultimate animal attractions in not just Dubai, but the world. Also Try: Essential Things to Do & See in Dubai (Do NOT Miss #3!)

Cost: AED 95 for adults; AED 70 for 2-12 year-old children; Under 2 are free

Timings: 10AM – 10 PM weekdays; 10 AM – Midnight weekends

Contact: (971) 04 317-3999

Location: City Walk, Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubaing ScoreTM: 5/5

2. Posh Paws Animal Sanctuary and Petting Farm Dubai – Best Animal Sanctuary in Dubai

This non-profit organization in Dubai provides support to UAE’s abandoned animals. Such a heart-moving cause! Since this is essentially a Dubai animal sanctuary, it is not as big as other zoos in the United Arab Emirates. But despite its size it features porcupines, flamingos, peacocks, ferrets, pygmy goats, wallabies, and much more! There’s also ponies for kids to ride on.

If you want to adopt a pet, this Dubai animal sanctuary would be happy to give you your own rabbit, cat, dog, hamster, or tortoise! Thus, this is a great place UAE residents too find a pet to adopt. Additionally, if you live in Dubai or a nearby UAE emirate and are an animal lover who wants to volunteer for a great cause, this is the place for you! Also Try: Ranked – Most Popular Palaces & Forts (Very RARE!)

Cost: AED 20 for adults; AED 10 for 2-16 year-old individuals; Under 2 are free

Timings: Daily from 8am-12pm, 3pm-6pm

Contact: (971) 56 604-4091

Location: Al Khawaneej, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubaing ScoreTM: 5/5

3. Exo-Terra Dubai – Best Reptile Park in Dubai (Tie)

This location lives up to its unique, cool name. Exo-Terra looks like a cave and features all sorts of reptiles. Visitors can seek education information from an on-hand specialist as they pass by and look at all of Exo-Terra’s reptilian residents. The bravest can pay a small fee and get a chance to pet and snap a photo with a snake, iguana, or chameleon! It's a small fee for an awesome Dubai memory. There’s also a live venom-extraction exhibition every Friday and Saturday from 6–8 PM, and it’s extremely safe as all visitors are at a distance and a snake master handles the work. Also Try: Best Heritage Zones in Dubai (Almost GONE 2017!)

Cost: AED 20 entrance fee; Under 3 are free

Timings: Open 10am-10pm weekdays, 3pm-11-pm weekends

Contact: (971) 04 252-4466

Location: Uptown Mirdiff, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubaing ScoreTM: 4.5/5

4. BONUS: Emirates Park Zoo Abu Dhabi – Best Animal Show in UAE

This Abu Dhabi zoo is very large and features animals from across the world. It includes dedicated locations for reptiles and waterlife. The most interesting feature is definitely the sea lion show. It has plenty of amenities like cafes, wheelchairs, and even a games center. If you would like to spend a night at this Abu Dhabi zoo, there are 35 chalets on the grounds. Also Try: Released Ranking – Best Attractions in Abu Dhabi (Shocking?)

Cost: AED 25 for individuals aged 6 years and above; AED 10 for individuals aged 5 and below; Under 2 are free. This fee includes entry to Zoo, Ocean Park and Reptile House

Timings: Sunday-Wednesday 9.30am-8pm; Thursdays and Public Holidays 9.30am-9pm

Contact: (971) 02 563-3100

Location: Al Bahia, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on average (45 mins from Dubai)

Dubaing ScoreTM: 4.5/5

5. BONUS: Al Ain Zoo – Largest Zoo in UAE

One of the oldest zoos in the United Arab Emirates! While this zoo is at a bit of a distance from Dubai, it is definitely worth a trip to Abu Dhabi (Al Ain is a part of Abu Dhabi). Al Ain Zoo opened in 1968, and it features UAE’s local wildlife as-well-as giraffes, reptiles, and large cats; it even has the extremely rare African White Lions (less than 200 exist today). It’s located in the Jebel Hafeet Mountains so visitors get a decent change in landscape and the animals are given a massive roaming ground. Animal lovers will be pleased to know that the zoo’s conservation and the breeding programs are some of the best in the world.

Highlights: Late hours for those interested in a night safari; extremely rare white lion; petting zones for kids (and adults) to feed ponies and rabbits.

Cost: AED 15 for adults, AED 5 kids aged 3-12; Free for children aged 3 or below

Timings: Open daily year-round from 9am-8pm; 10am-10pm during public holidays

Contact: (971) 03 799-2000

Location: Jebel Hafeet Mountains, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Dubaing ScoreTM: 4.5/5

6. BONUS: Sharjah Desert Park (Arabian Wildlife Center) – Best Local Wildlife Attraction in UAE

This animal home is sized at a square kilometer and is not too far from Dubai. It features the Arabian Wildlife Center, which is UAE’s only indoor zoo! The zoo includes all the native wildlife of the Arabian peninsula, and is right next to the Natural History Museum, Botanical Museum, and a children’s farm. This location packs a punch with so many features located conveniently close to each other and so is definitely worth a trip, even from Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Highlight: The rare and beautiful Arabian Leopard!

Cost: AED 15 (for adults). Free for aged under 12.

Timings: Sunday-Thursday 9am-6pm, Friday 2pm-6pm, Saturday 11am-6pm, closed on Tuesdays and some public holidays

Contact: (971) 06 531-1999

Location: Al Dhaid Highway, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Dubaing ScoreTM: 4/5

7. BONUS: Al Tamini Stables Sharjah – Best Public Stables in United Arab Emirates

This stable is a must for horse-lovers as it features many breeds of horses. It keeps visitors entertained with a host of interactive activities ranging from pony rides and Dubai falconry & falcon displays. For the sports fan, this Sharjah location features badminton, basketball, and football courts. It offers a great family outing in an environment filled with majestic horses as picnic locations (with seats and tables) are located on the grounds. There’s also a café at the spot.

Highlights: Lots of horses!

Cost: AED 35 for adults; AED 20 for kids aged 5-12; Under 5 are free

Timings: Saturdays to Thursdays 9am-6pm

Contact: (971) 06 743-1122

Location: Located near Sharjah International Airport, off Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road/E311 exit 81, or E611 exit 84 to Al Zubail, United Arab Emirates

Dubaing ScoreTM: 3.5/5

8. Dubai Zoo – Most Affordable Zoo & Animal Attraction in Dubai

This is possibly the smallest zoo in not just Dubai, but the entire United Arab Emirates. It has a lot of variety though; it ranges from colorful wildlife like oryx, flamingos, peacocks, and cassowaries to beasts of the jungle ranging from lions, tigers, gorillas, and bears. Bare in mind its infrastructure is quite archaic, but it has an extremely low cost of entry.

Cost: AED 2

Timings: Daily 10 AM – 6 PM; closed on Saturdays and Tuesdays

Contact: (971) 4 349-6444

Location: 125 Jumeirah Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubaing ScoreTM: 3.5/5

9. BONUS: Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Center Sharjah – Best Wildlife Preserve in United Arab Emirates

This Sharjah conservation center has a great cause. It conserves the local flora, fauna, and wildlife, but it has only 30 wildlife species to see on-site. If you’re nearby, it might be worth a trip, but it may not be worth a trip from farther emirates like Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Cost: AED 5 (May vary; Please call to verify for your date)

Timings: 10 AM to 7 PM on Mondays to Thursdays; Opens 2pm on Friday; Closed on Mondays (May vary; Please call to verify for your date)

Contact: (971) 6 531-1501

Location: Al Hefaiyah Mountain, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Dubaing ScoreTM: 3.5/5

10. BONUS: Abu Dhabi Wildlife Center – Best Animal Rescue Centre in United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi Wildlife Center serves as a rehabilitation and rescue location for animals in the UAE. It features the classic standards of a zoo, especially large wild cats. This is a bit of a trip from Dubai and especially from farther emirates like Sharjah or Ajman. But it might be worth a visit if you are in Abu Dhabi, especially since entry costs aren’t very high. Ranked: Top Attractions in Abu Dhabi

Cost: Guided tours start at AED 45 for adults and AED 35 for children

Timings: Daily 9 AM – 5 PM; Closed Fridays

Contact: (971) 50 614-4024

Location: Mussafah Al Ain Truck Road, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Dubaing ScoreTM: 3.5/5

11. BONUS: Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital – Best Falcon Attraction in UAE

While the title may seemingly make Adu Dhabi Falcon Hospital exclusive to falcon care, it’s not! It also includes pet care, Abu Dhabi animal shelter, and dog agility park. This is popular amongst tourists as it offers a detailed look into the connection between the Emirati heritage and falcons. Visitors can interact with falcons and pet or hold them too. This may be an uninteresting visit if you seek a more action-packed and larger zoo with heavy variety of wildlife; neither Dubai nor other Emirates are short on those. But if you want to learn about the UAE’s heritage, interact with some wildlife, and get to see a great display of animal care, this is an all-inclusive package for you.

Cost: Varies (Please call to verify for your date)

Timings: Sunday to Thursday 10 AM - 2 PM; Saturday tours only from Oct. 1st to May 31st. Advanced booking is mandatory.

Contact: (971) 2 575-5001

Location: Sweihan, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Dubaing ScoreTM: 3.5/5

Contender 12 is currently omitted as their Dubaing ScoreTM fell below 2.5. The ranking is updated every week; they will be visible again if their score rises above 2.5.

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