UAE’s Third-Largest Zoo Opens in Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah Zoo opened its doors for the first time on 23 September 2014, with its owner and residents confident it will help boost tourism in the emirate.
The zoo, located in Al Dagdaga close to Saqr Park, is owned by Jasim Ali, General Commander of RAK Police, and was built on an area of 1 million square metres. It is the third-largest zoo in the UAE, after Al Ain Zoo and the Emirates Park Zoo in Abu Dhabi.
Constructed in line with best international standards of safety and security, the zoo features African and white lions, white and rare golden tigers, black panthers, and cheetahs. It also features grey and Arab wolves, a variety of beautiful birds, rare antelopes, and deer. Visitors can enjoy watching the animals from close quarters, in the presence of trained guards.
The total cost of completing the project’s first phase was AED 6 million. The second phase will cost another AED 11 million, and will include a fully air-conditioned section for rare reptiles and birds, along with several aquaculture ponds and an aquarium, which is expected to be inaugurated within the next year and a half.
In addition to the animals, the zoo has many facilities such as an equestrian club for training women and children how to ride horses, an array of restaurants and cafes, a special corner for children’s toys, cycle tracks, horse and camel riding tracks, prayer rooms for men and women, restrooms, foot paths, family walks and rest areas.
The animals have been kept in air-conditioned cages and ponds similar to their original habitats, Mr Ali said.
“The cages were also decorated with 3D pictures to give visitors an impression that they are at the original habitat of the animals,” he said.
During summer, the animals are kept in their own chilled isolation rooms to protect them from the high temperatures.
Mr Ali plans to increase the number of animals in the zoo to more than 2,000 in the near future, with the completion of the second phase of the project.