The world’s largest man-made safari park has just added another string to its bow.
It’s called the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre, an amazing new edutainment venue within the grounds of Al Ain Zoo.
Opened on Monday by Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the learning centre has five interactive galleries: Sheikh Zayed Tribute Hall, Abu Dhabi Desert Over Time, Abu Dhabi’s Living World, Looking to the Future and People of the Desert.
As you'll see in the following video posted by Al Ain Zoo, the centre adds a new dimension to the safari park by offering interactive information about the flora, fauna, geology and natural history of the UAE and the Gulf.
Apart from its ultramodern design, the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre is said to be the UAE’s first fully sustainable building, having been given a Five Pearl rating by government sustainability group Estidama.
In fact, the centre’s special design led to a 70 percent reduction in heat absorption from the Sun as well as a 50 percent saving in energy and water usage.
It’s the same building philosophy employed for the zoo in which it’s located, as 92 percent of construction materials were recycled, reused or reduced waste.
Opening just last April, the Al Ain Safari at Al Ain Zoo is spread across an enormous 217 hectares, which is the equivalent size of more than 300 football pitches, and houses more than 250 animals in their natural habitat.
Both African and Arabian animals now call the space home, including oryx, springbok, eland, blesbok, giraffe, zebra and lion.
A significant number of plants native to Africa have also been cultivated, while another 2,500 plants and trees moved during construction have now also been replanted.