posted on 14/05/2012: 1034 views
Dubai Zoo animals will finally get a new home by the end of next year as Dubai Municipality starts work on the 400-hectare ‘Dubai Safari' in the Al Warqa area on Aweer Road.
Dubai Safari will be home to more than 1,000 animals cramped in the existing zoo in Jumeirah along with many more that will be brought from zoos in other countries.
"We have already started ground levelling work in the area and the project will be completed in about a year and a half," said Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, while announcing the project.
Several plans have been announced for a new zoo over the years, only to be put on hold. The announcement of a new zoo has been awaited for almost eight years and will bring relief to the animals in the existing 1.5 hectare zoo in Jumeirah.
There were several announcements on previous occasions regarding the building of a new zoo and it was to be located at Al Mushrif or Dubailand. However, the projects were put on hold.
The new project, which is estimated to cost Dh150 million, will have a safari and butterfly park, botanical garden, golf course, entertainment and recreational areas.
"The area will have different villages like African, Asian and Arabian for animals coming from different geographical areas and will have a matching architecture and landscaping. Also, we will use different types of transport, which will run using solar energy, to take visitors from one place to the other in the area," said Lootah.
The project involved a study of about three months and the civic body has introduced the concept of a safari as adopted in countries like Singapore and Thailand.
"There was an overcrowding of animals in the existing zoo. The new one is not a real safari, we have created an idea. As the project completes, the animals from the old zoo will be shifted to the new place," said Lootah. "We have agreements with other zoos and there will be more animals," he added.
Dubai Safari, that covers 60 hectares of the total area, aims to establish the best centre for wildlife in the world, provide a variety of environments appropriate for different animals, attract visitors from different parts of the world and use modern interactive methods in control and movement to ensure a unique experience for visitors.
Dubai Zoo: oldest in the Gulf
Dubai Zoo is the oldest zoo in the Gulf and its management was taken over by Dubai Municipality in the 1970s.
It houses more than 200 animal species, including some of the rarest.
Home to more than 1,000 animals, the government-owned facility in Jumeirah attracts thousands of visitors every year. In 2008, it was estimated to have attracted close to 340,000 visitors. – Gulf News
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