A Visit to the Al Ain Zoo and Wildlife Center

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Al Ain Zoo
Wee Scotch and Li’l Annie @ Al Ain Zoo

Around this time of year in Dubai, the heat and humidity subsides and the weather is just delightful.

If you know me in person, “delightful” is not a word that ever comes out of my mouth – it’s just not me. But for once, I think that word perfectly sums up the feeling of being able to lounge outside in shorts, T-shirt, sunglasses, and flip flops while not feeling too hot, too cold, nor too humid. Throw in a gentle breeze and a margarita (on the rocks, no salt), and life can’t get any better this time of year.

Of course, fall weather is better appreciated after each summer’s scorching heat and grueling humidity. With weather in the mid-80s (30ºC) most days, I love taking Wee Scotch out to ride his scooter, his balance bike, or to just run around and kick a ball. And I should probably take him swimming but honestly, I find that too cold. Maybe when the weather climbs back to the 100s (38ºC).

We visited the Al Ain Zoo (in Abu Dhabi) earlier this year and hopefully we will be visiting again soon now that Wee Scotch is a little older to better appreciate and name all the animals.

Al Ain Zoo - meerkat
Meerkat @ Al Ain Zoo

The zoo is about a 2-hour drive from Dubai and you can easily spend a whole day there as there is so much to see other than the animal exhibits.

Al Ain Zoo - giraffes


Al Ain Zoo - rhino


Al Ain Zoo - animals
Al Ain Zoo Animals


Al Ain Zoo - aviary
Outdoor Aviary

We loved visiting all the different animal habitats, the outdoor and indoor aviaries, and just strolling along the massive grounds of the zoo.

When we were there in January this year, there was an art tent set up for the children.

Al Ain Zoo - art tent
Al Ain Zoo – art tent

Wee Scotch and Li’l Annie had just turned two so were too young to participate in the more structured art workshops like paper mache.

But they quickly gravitated towards the buckets of markers and pads of paper and started creating masterpieces for our refrigerator doors.

Al Ain Zoo - art tent
Al Ain Zoo – art tent

There was also a children’s play area with slides, swings, climbing net, etc that the kids couldn’t get enough of.

Al Ain Zoo - play area
Al Ain Zoo – play area

Camel and pony rides were also available for a small fee.

Al Ain Zoo - pony rides
Al Ain Zoo – pony rides

There was a grassy picnic area which had one or two stalls that sold chips/crisps, water, soda and not much else so it would be best to bring your own food. I had brought along a picnic blanket plus cold fried-chicken, banana bread, and some snacks and fruit for the children.

As you can see, it is easy to spend a whole day at the Al Ain Zoo which is why next time we may stay overnight next time – perhaps at nearby Jebel Hafeet so that we don’t have to drive home tired after a full day out in the sun.

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Please always check the Al Ain Zoo website for up to date information.

Getting there: From Dubai Marina, it took us about two hours door-to-door. Check the zoo website for directions and a location map.

Opening Hours: Open daily from 9am to 8pm. Holiday timings may vary.

Admission Fee: Adult – Dhs 15; Children (3– 12) – Dhs 5; Under 3– free.


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