It’s running about six months overdue, and it has been nearly 12 months since we first got a look inside Dubai Safari Park, but the project is now reported to be in its final stages – according to state news agency WAM.
The site could easily draw comparisons to a manmade version of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, and a visit from state officials confirmed the project is nearing completion and will be opening in the next few months. It has been an ongoing project which the park’s creators claim has been held up due to animal protocol which the municipality needs to adhere to.
The Al Warqaa-based, 119 hectare site, of which 35 will be dedicated to open safari, will allow guests to see the park’s wildlife up close using electric vehicles. Parks and zoos can often draw criticism from some quarters owing to the conditions in which the animals live, and the park’s technical director has publicly promised the animals will not be put on display to entertain, nor will the park be a “circus”.
“They will not be doing tricks or juggling, they will be behaving naturally,” Timothy Husband told The National, before confirming that it will be a thoroughly ethical affair where all of the animals are there to live life as they would in the wild.
“[Riding an elephant] will not happen while I have any say in the safari. The whole idea is to save these animals from any more hardship and allow them to live out their lives in a safe environment where they no longer need to be treated as beasts of burden”.
All of the animals at the centre will be rescued from hardship and conditions where they wouldn’t be expected to survive in the wild.
The site will be divided into three main villages (African, Arabic and Safari), each with their own features, designs, animals and plants – and will work to rehabilitate exotic pets from across the UAE. In fact, there are expected to be something in the region of 10,500 animals from around the world at the site.
In addition, expect a 1,000-seater auditorium, a clean-energy production garden, an interactive garden for children and a huge water recycling project in place, with the park being powered using solar energy.
Having pushed back the opening date from late 2016, a 2017 opening should be a perfectly realistic target, and we’ll keep you up to date as we hear the latest on a confirmed opening date.