Dubai may be known to the world for being one of the most developed economies in the world that continues to be ranked high in many people’s list of go-to shopping and travel destinations, but it has more to offer than just that. And if you are thinking that we are talking about its man-made islands and architectural landmarks, then you will be pleasantly surprised that Dubai is even more than that.
How about a gateway from the metal shines of the high-rise buildings, luxurious shopping malls, and high-end restaurants to the world of animals? Yes, you can experience a rich wild habitat of a wide range of animals while staying within the skirts of the city itself.
We are talking about the larger-than-life animal habitat of the city – the Dubai Safari Park. Having positioned itself as one of the most attractive features of the emirate in just a few years of its existence, this place will give you a distinct experience, unlike any other tourist spot in the city. So, mark this place in your books and get to know it a bit deeper with us.
Dubai Safari Park is one of the largest and most popular animal parks not only in Dubai but in the entire UAE. Housing around 3,000 animals with 78 different mammal species, including 10 various types of carnivores and 17 primates, 111 types of birds and 50 kinds of reptiles, and countless other types of amphibians and invertebrates, this is an ecological hub that will introduce you to the diverse life forms of the planet up and close.
Covering a whopping area of 119 hectares, this is the ultimate way to spend a day of excursion or family day out where the scope of understanding life forms and learning to co-exist is beautifully defined. You will get a closer look into the various wildlife protection programs, conservation, and extensive research that the park has undertaken throughout the years in its attempt to create an inspiring action for sustaining wildlife.
Operated by Dubai Municipality, the park was inaugurated on December 12, 2017; with the first two weeks being free to enter by the visitors. The park replaced the Dubai Zoo as it completed its 50 years. The move to build up the park was made when the authorities wanted to moderate and increase the scale of the then-present Dubai Zoo, owing to the tourism hike in the city.
Previously, the Dubai Zoo drew criticism for the hostile conditions the animals lived in, with cramped spaces where animals were caged up, barely being able to move around. Thus was felt the need to create an open, much larger habitat for these animals to thrive in.
Although the park closed in May 2018 for renovation purposes, it opened with a whole new set of adventures two years later in October 2020. More emphasis was put on enhancing the experiences of the visitors through various educational and informative animal conservation and welfare projects.
Even within just a few years of its existence, its impact on the conservation of wildlife has been applauded, especially since it clubs it with spreading awareness about life forms and their importance to the visitors of the park. That alone should make visiting the park a mandatory item on your list of things to do on a Dubai tour.
Villages to Explore
The Dubai Safari Park has thematic villages for you to explore, where you will find wildlife living as close to freely as in their natural habitat. To make exploring the entire park more manageable, the breakdowns into small villages help in not only planning your day as to how and which one you will cover first but also the thematic ambiance of each village adds to the atmosphere of the environment giving it more authenticity.
Arabian Desert Safari
Influenced by the vast and endless desert of Western Asia, the Arabian Desert Safari is a drive-through attraction and is filled with some of the most prominent emblematic species belonging to the Arabian Peninsula. The theme of this village is to bring life to the traditional nomadic desert of the Arabian Peninsula.
The hero animal of this village is the Arabian Wolf. A subspecies of the grey wolf, it thrives on the Arabian Peninsula. Despite being among the tiniest species of wolves, it has amazingly adapted to desert life. You will find them in pairs or small groups instead of large packs.
The conservation status of Arabian Wolves is vulnerable since they are often shot down or poisoned by farmers as these carnivores are prone to eat domestic animals like goats.
The native animals of this village are Arabian Gazelle, Addax, Arabian Oryx, Mountain Gazelle, Sand Gazelle, and Scimitar-horned Oryx.
Inspired by the rich ornate architecture of Asia, the Asian Village will take you on a splendid journey into the diversified culture of the continent. You will find a wide range of thriving wildlife since, just like in the continent itself, this portion of the park is brimmed with animals that live anywhere from the thick bushes of the forest to the pristine ponds.
The hero animal of the Asian Village is the Moon Bear. Carnivorous by nature, it gets its name because of the moon-like crescent-shaped white patch on its chest. Extremely huge in size, the males can grow up to 150 kg while the females can weigh up to 90 kg. They are also known as Asiatic Black Bears.
Their conservation status is vulnerable due to illegal trading and poaching, loss of natural habitat in the wild, and cruel bile harvesting in captive breeding farms. These threats have made them vulnerable to exist freely, and initiatives taken down by this park are actions that can cause their numbers to finally rise.
The other native animals in the Asian Village are Gibbon, Mandarin Duck, and Southern Cassowary. Another attractive feature of this village is its exclusive show – ‘Amazing Creatures of the World’. You get to witness the wild animals in their natural state as they swim through the water, soar in the air, and stroll on the land. Be sure to check with the authorities beforehand to know the schedule and capacity of the shows.
Africa is known for its eclectic wildlife, and that is exactly what this African Village is themed upon. Intended to give the visitors a taste of how it is being around some of the world’s smallest as well as largest mammals is like, you will get an authentic taste of the African land in this portion of the park.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the hero animal of this village is the African Elephant. Weighing an astonishing 6,000 kg, this mammal can measure up to 3.3 m at its shoulder. No wonder it has earned the distinction of being the largest land mammal not only in Africa but in the entire world.
They use their trunks for detecting vibrations, caressing their young ones, sucking up water, smelling, and breathing, as well as picking up objects. They are an endangered species, and their conservation is a priority, which is why providing a safe space for them is crucial.
This village also has a humongous spread of native animals, including Cheetah, Blue Throated Conure, Crowned Guineafowl, Bongo, Ring- Tailed Lemur, Red-Ruffed Lemur, Chimpanzee, Peacock, Gorilla, Ring Tail Lemur, Green Iguana, African Spoonbill, African Shelduck, Cape Teal, Wood Duck, Tree Duck, Piapiac Crow, Indian Roller, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Indian Peafowls, Golden Pheasant, Chukar Partridge, Meerkat, Shelduck, and Mallard, among others.
While there, don’t miss out on the Gorilla House, Chimpanzee House, the Reptile House, which has over 50 species of reptiles, and the Grand Aviary, which houses hundreds of birds from around the world.
What makes Dubai Safari Park special is its drive-thru experiences, where you get to go on a wild journey of the land of Africa and Asia on a comfortable bus while getting insights into varied life forms.
The hero animal of this village is Cheetah, which is the fastest mammal on land. With a slender body and long limbs, their physique explains their extraordinary ability to run at an astonishing speech. They are among the most vulnerable animal species in the world due to heavy poaching. So, creating a safe habitat for the continuation of life for the future generation of this iconic carnivore is paramount.
Some other attractive feature of this village includes the Colorful Birds Show, where you will get a close understanding of the complexities of the lives of several of nature’s winged ambassadors. This 25-minute edutainment is surely going to create memories that last a lifetime. The Safari Journey that takes place every day from 09:00 AM to 04:30 PM shouldn’t be missed since you get to be close to zebras, tigers, lions, rhinos, etc., in a drive-through trip. And not to forget, the wholesome experience of giraffe feeding!
The native animals of this village include Hippo, South Africa Giraffe, Blackbuck, Nilgai, Nile Crocodile, White Stork, Guineafowl, Eland, Impala, Big Horned Sheep, Giraffe, Sarus Cranes, Wise Owl, African Spoonbill, Tiger, Brown Lion, Marabou Stork, Grey Crowned Crane, Barbary Sheep, Nubian Ibex, Rhino, African Buffalo, Ostrich, Watusi, Striped Hyena, Guineafowl, Demoiselle Crane, Axis Deer, Blackbuck, Hog Deer, and Sable Antelope, among others.
An absolute delight for all the kids, you will find some of the park’s cutest and friendliest animals in this zone. Providing a wholesome experience where you get to watch your kids play with various farmyard animals such as goats, donkeys, ducks, birds, ponies, and sheep, among others, it is a gift from the park to its younger visitors.
You can just spend hours at the Kids Far Aviary or the Goat Barn and will still want more because of how captivating it is being around these harmless animals. This is a perfect mix between a petting zoo and a farm where fun and education go hand in hand. The visitors can feed the animals and know about their history, origin, and life status.
The farm animals that you will find here are Rose-ringed Parakeet, Budgie Love Bird, Local Duck, Pygmy Goat, Rosella, Eurasian Bullfinch, Plum-headed Parakeet, Amazon Parrot, African Love Bird, Cockatiel, Black Hooded Parrot, Love Bird, Alexandrine Parakeet, Pony, Donkey, and Najdi Sheep.
Providing the much-needed respite and break as you recharge your batteries between moving from one village to another, the Al Wadi area is your place for refreshment. You can chill and dine here as you relax in its two restaurants or grab snacks from the kiosk.
Take a walk on the grass and enjoy being around the peacocks, pelicans, swans, and ducks, and immerse yourself in the relaxation it provides through its delicious food, calming ambiance, and pleasant vibe. And in between, catch up on the educational show of some amazing birds of prey that are played throughout the day.
The Dubai Safari Park is spread over a humongous area of 119-hectare and is located at 5CCW+H5, Al Warqa 5, Dubai, UAE. The best way to reach there is to drive up to the location. There are plenty of parking spaces available that are free of cost. In addition, if you are driving in a green vehicle, then there are charging points available at the location for you as well.
How to Reach Dubai Safari Park?
You can choose whatever mode of transportation you prefer to reach the park since it is situated at an accessible distance from almost all modes of transportation. Here is a quick guide to each of them.
By Private Cars and Taxis
Probably the most convenient mode of reaching the park, you can take your private car or book a taxi that is available 24/7.
You will find two gates at the park. Gate 1 is more accessible since it allows you to enter the park through the Ras Al Khor Road. This gate is slightly ahead and is on the opposite side of Dragon Mart. Gate 2, on the other hand, lets you enter through Sheikh Zayed Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Street.
Very easy on your pockets, metros are a convenient way to reach the park. Since the nearest metro station to the park is Rashidiya Metro Station, you need to get down there and take a cab to the park.
Buses are economical means to reach the park, and you have to get down near Dragon Mart 2nd Terminus. From there, you need to book a cab to the park.
There are three parking areas near the Dubai Safari Park. While P1 is the nearest to the park and has added access to electric vehicle charging points, P2 is at a 5-minute walking distance from the park. P3, although is the farthest from the park, has a free service of shuttle vehicles that will take you to the park upon availability.
Dubai Safari Park is open all seven days of the week from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM. The last entry to the main gate for ticket holders is at 04:00 PM, while the final entry for non-ticket holders at the main gate is at 03:30 PM. So, please make sure you get yourself at the main gate before this.
We recommend you visit the park as early as possible in the morning. It is relatively less crowded in the morning, and it will also allow you to roam around and explore every part of the park if you start early, as it is spread over a large area.
Tickets & Packages
The Types of Tickets Available
The Day Pass gives you a walking tour through Al Wadi to African, Asian, and Explorer villages, along with a 10-minute shuttle tour of the Arabian desert safari, kids farm, and live shows.
Day Pass Plus
The Day Pass Plus gives you a transported tour to African, Asia, and Explorer villages along with reserved seats at the live shows, kids farm, train service, and a 10-minute electrical vehicle ride of the Arabian desert safari.
The Safari Journey pass takes you to a transported tour of the African, Asian, and Explorer villages along with live shows, kids farm, train service, a 35-minute guided bus tour of the safari journey, and a 10-minute electrical vehicle ride of the Arabian desert safari.
Safari Journey Plus
The Safari Journey Plus pass is the ultimate experience where you will be getting a transported tour of the African, Asian, and Explorer villages, along with reserved seats in the live shows, kids farm, a train service, a 35-minute guided bus tour of the safari journey, and a 10-minute electrical vehicle ride of the Arabian desert safari.
The Night Pass allows you to enjoy the Al Wadi, African Village Plaza, and Explorer Village Plaza, along with a 10-minute shuttle tour of the Arabian desert safari, and access to food trucks and restaurants. Please note that this specific ticket comes with limited animal viewing.
The Types of Packages Available
King of Safari
The King of Safari is a luxury package for those who are looking for a special experience. As the name suggests, this package treats you like a king, giving you royal treatment all through the day.
You will be driven by a chauffeur and will be assigned a personal guide who will let you know all the interesting facts about the animal life you will see. In addition, you will get priority access to all the exhibits and facilities and will be given reserved seats at the bird shows.
Behind the Scenes
An exclusive package where you will be privy to all the actions that take place behind the scenes, you will get to meet the animal caretakers from whom you will be able to learn how to give special care to the life forms you are about to witness. You will also get the opportunity to feed giraffes and elephants and brush white rhinoceros.
Dine in the Wild
A one-of-a-kind experience where you will get the opportunity to have your favorite meal with one of the exotic animals in the park, it doesn’t get any thriller than this. Does it? This is truly a unique experience that you have got to live to believe.
For all those photographers, this is the package exclusively designed for you. You will get to spend up to three hours in a private bus as you take a safari journey with a guide by your side to click animal photos that you potentially could never in the real world.
Summer Package Morning
This discounted package allows you to indulge in an amazing morning adventure with some of the stunning animals of the park as you explore the area for two hours from 08:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Each tour can accommodate up to six people.
Summer Package Night
How about exploring the park in the wee darkness privately for two hours from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM? This package surely is for those who want to get an adrenaline rush in the park.
Disclaimer: Please note that the bookings for the packages must be done at least three days in advance. If you have any inquiries, then you can reach out to the park authorities at 800900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Foods & Beverages
In between roaming around the park and getting to know about the various life forms, if you want to catch up for some snacks and have lunch with your loved ones, the authorities have made several provisions by providing some amazing restaurants for you. Let us help you get familiarized with them.
Adventure Valley Café – Adventure Valley
Situated at the Adventure Valley, the Adventure Valley Café is a leisurely eatery where you can stop by to grab some snacks in between exploring the park. Don’t miss out on the piping hot beverage Lavazza coffee alongside burgers, pizzas, or pasta of your choice. For all those people with a sweet tooth, they serve authentic Italian Gelato, Crepe, and Waffle, as well.
Bait Al Qadeem – Chimpanzee Stop
Bait Al Qadeem translates to Old House, which seems fitting given how much history it serves through its atmosphere and food. Located near the Chimpanzee Stop, you can enjoy a wide variety of local Arabian dishes along with Persian cuisines. Their menu encompasses the different communities of Dubai that have forged strong bonds through their cultural and commercial relationships.
La Venecia – Glass Building
If you are in the mood for some Italian, then La Venecia located in the Glass Building, is where you need to head to. Savor delicious Italian pizza, pasta, and beverages all while enjoying the birds’ aviary. It serves as the perfect spot for you to recharge in between your exploration of the park.
Local House – Explorer Village
Located near the Explorer Village, the Local House has been built on the inspiration drawn from the traditions that have been passed through the years from one generation to another. You will get traditional Mediterranean cuisine along with an ambiance that reflects the memories of the land it stands on. Overall, this place is an homage to the country.
Oregano – African Village Plaza
With an Al Fresco feel and rustic décor, the Oregano is a classic Italian restaurant located in the African Village Plaza. This park provides an ideal atmosphere for a family vacation spot in Dubai, and the Oregano elevates that experience by offering an apt space for casual dining, where you will get to enjoy authentic Ligurian cuisines amid the nature.
Furthermore, there are kiosks and food trucks spread all across the park for Asian, Indian, and other continental cuisines for those who want to grab snacks on the go.
Souvenirs & Merchandise
For those of you who want to collect some memories to take back home in the form of souvenirs from the park, there is great news for you. The park has two amazing souvenir shops, one located in the main building known as Soko, while the other is located in the African Village called Zwadi.
From gift items, toys, apparel, and plush animals, among others, you will find something for everyone in these themed souvenir shops. Nothing beats the day better than finishing your trip in the park by collecting memories from these shops.
Dubai Safari Park has been undertaking initiatives to become a leading sustainable conservation destination that offers a welcoming, inspiring, educational, and recreational experience with a diverse form of wildlife.
While there are plenty of amazing theme parks in Dubai where you can have the time of your life, the Dubai Safari Park provides a class of its own where edutainment is presented with an adrenaline rush that is hardly matched. Seeing various mesmerizing life forms up and close is nothing short of a majestic experience.
So, be part of the conservation of these vulnerable and endangered species by visiting them and learning ways of how to create a better world for them. This is a perfect day out for your family where you will not realize how time flies away while giving you memories that will take your breath away.
Answers to Some of the Frequent Queries Related to Dubai Safari Park
What is the dress code for Dubai Safari Park?
There is no official dress code for the park, but it is recommended to wear comfortable and light clothes. Wear footwear that will help you move around as you will be walking a lot to cover the areas. It is also expected to wear respectful clothing that covers shoulders and knees. Try not to wear fragrance since that may disturb the animals. Wear sunscreen to keep yourself protected from the scorching sun.
How much time will it take to visit the entire park?
Although it may vary from person to person depending on their pace, rhythm, and the kind of activities they are engaging in, typically it is suggested to reserve 4-5 hours in hand to tour the park.
What are the timings for the Safari Journey?
The Safari Journey is a drive-thru adventure that takes place every day of the week with the first bus departing at 09:00 AM and the last bus departing at 4:30 PM. The entire journey lasts around 45 minutes.
Can I host private events and parties inside the park?
Yes, you can host events inside the park. But, you need to submit a request for the same at email@example.com before doing that. The same applies to schools or other groups who want to organize a school or group visit to the park.
Are outside foods and drinks allowed inside the park?
No, you can’t bring food and drinks from outside into the park. You can purchase foods and beverages from the many F&B outlets located inside the park that serve a wide variety of cuisines.
Is there a safe space for me to keep my luggage while I visit the park?
Although there are no locker services at the park, you can head out to the reception area to approach the guest service team and talk to them regarding keeping your luggage. They will keep it in a safe space while you roam around the park.
What course of action do I need to take if I have animals for donation?
If you have any animals for donation, then you can write to the authorities at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the animal care team of the park will let you know the procedure you need to follow.
What are the differences between Park Entrance tickets and Safari Journey tickets?
Both Park Entrance tickets and Safari Journey tickets are almost the same with one major difference. While the Park Entrance ticket gives you access to all the villages in the park except the Safari Journey, you can guess by the name itself that the Safari Journey ticket allows you to enter all the villages and enjoy the 35-40 minute drive-thru experience at the Explorer Village known as Safari Journey.
Can I upgrade my Park Entrance tickets to Safari Journey tickets?
To upgrade your Park Entrance ticket to a Safari Journey ticket, you have to pay an additional AED 50 per adult and AED 20 per child. However, these upgrades can only be done if there is enough availability left for the day.
What special features does a PLUS ticket bring?
If you have a PLUS ticket, then you can have reserved seats at the live shows of the park and also have access to the train services.
Is there a refund for canceling tickets available?
Refunds on canceling a ticket or package are not available, unfortunately. Furthermore, once bought, you can’t change the dates for the tickets and packages.
Do I need to print my e-tickets?
You don’t have to print your e-tickets since showing them at the turnstiles of the park is enough to get admission. However, please make sure the barcodes are clearly displayed on your phones.