If you were excited to see some animals this January, we’ve got bad news…

Remember Dubai Safari? That awesome, 119-hectare, creature-filled park that was meant to open in about three months?

Well, you’ll have to wait a little longer as the opening date has just been pushed back until March 31, 2017.

Why? Apparently the hot Dubai summer slowed construction and delayed the importation of a number of rare animals.


Speaking to 7DaysDubai Safari’s Director Tim Husband revealed “the whole park is 60 per cent finished, 70 per cent finished for the safari drive-through and the African village”.

“The open safari village is 70 per cent finished, it just needs some fine tuning to take the rough edges off, making sure the moat system works,” he said.

There’s a silver lining to the delay though – it means Dubai Safari officials will have more time to get animals settled in and finish off their homes.


In short, yes. Dubai Safari have an on-site quarantine facility in which 50 animals are currently being held. The animals should be moving into their new enclosures this month.

“It’s important they finish their quarantine safely so if they’ve got any exotic diseases, they’re not going to spread it,” said Husband.

dubai safari

A binturong, closely related to the civet cat.

The process can take some time, as if one of the three samples taken isn’t clean, you have to start from scratch.

The first group of animals to finish their quarantine will be the lions from Korea’s Seoul Grand Park, who’ll then be moved to the outside back yards in the open area.

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As it stands, it seems there are still vacancies.

“Finding the right staff is a big challenge always. At the end of the month I’ve got to go to Sri Lanka to recruit more staff, then India,” Husband said.

If you live in neither Sri Lanka or India, don’t worry. Husband mentioned he’s also keen to recruit from within the UAE too.

“What I would like to do is find some locals who would really like to learn more about zookeeping.

“That kind of passion is hard to find.”


Dubai Safari is set to be a 10,000 animal-strong animal park in Al Warqa.

The park will feature air-conditioned rocks, chilled pools, misting machines and a large theatre that seats 1,000 people.

The park is split up into sections, including the Arabian village, Asian village, African village and eventually an Americas and Australia exhibit.

dubai safari

As far as animals go, expect lions, bears, monkeys, bats, elephants, cheetahs, tigers and much, much more.

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Images: Supplied