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13/12/2017 - 07:00hs

USD 272 million zoo opens in Dubai

Environment conservation project Dubai Safari had a guests-only soft opening this Tuesday. It will open to the public in January.

São Paulo – Gorillas, giraffes, baboons, white lions, Siberian tigers… Over 2,500 animals of 250 different species will be at the Dubai Safari, which is slated to open in January 2018.

Dubai Media Office

Dubai Safari features white lions

The park had a soft opening for the media and guests this Tuesday (12). It will have the biggest number and variety of species in the United Arab Emirates.

This education and endangered species conservation project cost AED 1 billion, or USD 272.3 million, and is intended to be one of the world’s most relevant of its kind. In three years’ time, it’s expected to be home to some 5,000 animals.

The species were selected throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia, in a bid to make Dubai Safari a leading animal conservation facility. It will soon also be the first facility in the UAE to offer an in-house zookeeping course.

Dubai Safari technical director Timothy Husband said the animal selection process was labor-intensive. ““It was a challenge finding the right collection. For example, we would have looked at 100 giraffes before selecting the right ones for Dubai,” Abu Dhabi’s The National quoted him as saying.

Dubai Media Office

The Safari is home to crocodiles

The venue is edutainment-oriented. “The guides here are different than elsewhere, they will come to visitors and try to educate them and make their visit special,” Husband said according to The National.

Dubai Municipality diretor general Nasser Lootah attended the soft opening. Dubai Media Office quoted him saying the project is more than a wildlife park, and that it is designed is to offer a highly engaging edutainment experience,” one that “fosters education on animal welfare” and “raises awareness on what makes wildlife protection a top priority.”

The park spans 119 hectares and offers a wide array of family-friendly activities in its Arabian, African, Asian and Safari Villages.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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