The zoo’s 12 new projects include a Gorilla Sanctuary, Koala Land, Elephant Safari and Penguin Beach…

Al Ain Zoo, the UAE’s oldest Zoo which was founded in 1968 by the late Sheikh Zayed, has announced a series of expansion projects planned for 2020. The new projects include an elephant safari, gorilla sanctuary, reptile park, Al Ain nature reserve, chimpanzee forest, sand cat conservation centre, koala land, elephant exhibit, penguin beach, sand cat breeding centre, event pavilion and rescue centre.

The rescue centre is the only private project out of the 12, and will focus on rehabilitating dangerous animals that have been illegally kept as pets in the UAE. The 3,500 square metre centre promises to offer 24-hour care and attention for all the animals in its protection. It currently hosts 200 wild animals of various types and sizes, cared for by a team of a specialised and experienced experts.

A gorilla sanctuary is also planned, with Al Ain Zoo becoming the only zoo to house as many as four endangered male gorillas. The Sanctuary will include three indoor and outdoor exhibition areas, allowing visitors to spectate the fascinating creatures in their 8,725 square metre environment, which will be designed to simulate their African habitat.

A first for the Middle East is Koala Land, which will be home to six Australian koalas, and the only zoo in the region to have a specially-designed Eucalyptus farm to ensure the animals have access to their unique diet. The 1,650 square metre exhibit will include indoor and outdoor space from which to observe the adorable marsupials.

Fans of elephants will soon be able to get closer to their habitat with the launch of the elephant safari. Tour guides will be on hand to guide visitors through the walkways and watchtower where you’ll be able to observe the 23.77 hectare area. It will include a rare global diversity of species including antelopes, lions, elephants and more.

Penguin Beach will be the first outdoor exhibition for penguins in the Middle East. The 275 square metre area will include a water pool and a man-made beach for 10-20 Humboldt penguins to enjoy. Visitors will have the opportunity to feed and interact with the birds, in a bid to educate the public on the importance of protecting the penguins from extinction.

Read more about the new projects planned for Al Ain Zoo at

Images: Al Ain Zoo