Zoo becomes wildlife reserve

Wild dog

Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort will be a multi faceted development spread over 2,000 acres below Jebel Hafeet. The central focus will be the core zoo and a re-creation of the various deserts of the world located within - UAE, Arabia, Africa, Asia, Australia and America. Each of these will exhibit their natural inhabitants and plants that are indigenous to those areas.
The core zoo will also include a children’s zoo and the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre, showcasing the conservation efforts of the late Sheikh Zayed. The centre will also serve to raise awareness of sustainable living in a desert environment. Aside from the natural habitats the wildlife park will include animal safaris, each over 100 hectares, displaying the desert and arid zones of Africa, Arabia and Asia.
Within the development will be a luxury resort, a family hotel and retail outlets. Six residential clusters will be integrated within the safaris as well as exclusive camps linked to the resort hotel.
“Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort is an exciting new development that is the first of its kind worldwide. It is a project that will not only facilitate growth in Al Ain but also preserve the heritage and natural wildlife from future extinction,” said HE Majid Al Mansouri, managing director of Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort.
The new wildlife reserve will be called Dowh Al Ain.
“We are excited to announce this new partnership,” said Douglas Myers, chief executive officer for the Zoological Society. “Over the past decade, we have formalised partnerships with many conservation and zoological organisations throughout the world to build a network of support for international efforts to preserve endangered animals, sustain viable populations of these species and improve animal care in captive situations.”
The relationship with the Al Ain Zoo is expected to span more than a decade as the two organisations work together.
“We aim to provide the community with an environment where they can appreciate wildlife and nature by understanding our responsibilities towards them and learn how to make a difference,” said Al Mansouri.
The development of Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort will be rolled out in three phases. Phase 1 of the development will feature part of the new core zoo, the Arabian and African safaris, resort, retail outlets, a residential community, and luxury camps, and is due for completion by the end of 2010. Phase 2 will include the Asian safari and residential clusters. The core zoo will be completed by the end of 2011. The entire development is scheduled to be completed by 2013.