The Family & Kids Park Zoo in Al Bahia, a north-east suburb of the UAE capital, is undergoing significant expansion that will eventually see 35 motel-style chalets, a full-size ice-rink, an indoor Marine Zone with 26 salt water and four fresh water tanks, Butterfly Park, Play & Gaming Zone and increased ‘natural’ outdoor animal enclosures added to the four-hectare park’s existing attractions.
With 660 animals, including a majestic pair of white tigers, a 31-year-old, 300kg-plus Siberian bear, lions, cheetahs and dozens of zebras already housed in the zoo’s ‘Predators’ and ‘Wild Animals’ enclosures, the under-construction additions will double the park’s total size as they are phased in over the next 12 months.
The existing park-wide ‘misting system’ which keeps animals and patrons cool in the summer months will stretch across the new areas, which will also include a ‘Reptile & Amphibian House’, ‘Chimpanzee Park’ and ‘Parrot Park’. A new, Arabian fort-themed entrance and an expanded food court are also in the offing.
The park is unique among the UAE’s zoos in that kids get the chance to interact with the animals and actually feed them.