Dubai Safari to open by UAE National Day

Dubai Municipality confirms long-awaited arrival will soft launch in November

Dubai Safari, one of the city’s most anticipated projects in recent years, is set to open ahead of UAE National Day (December 2).

This is one we’ve been looking forward to for a long, long time, and Dubai Municipality has publically confirmed that work is in full swing and expected to be complete and the park ready to go by the end of November.

With the 46th National Day of the UAE taking place on Saturday December 2, the Dhs1 billion park will feature a soft launch in the beginning of November for testing of the site’s operations, according to the director general of Dubai Municipality, Hussain Nasser Lootah, speaking to Gulf News.

“We are expecting to complete and hope to open Dubai Safari by the end of November,” he said.

The full unveiling and official opening of the park comes down to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and ruler of Dubai.

“By the end of November [the first phase of] the project will be complete. But for the official opening, we have to wait for the right time when His Highness will do it.”

In July, state news agency WAM confirmed the project was in its final stages, and would be opening “within the next few months”. The delay on the park’s opening (it was initially slated to open in late 2016), came down to animal protocol which Dubai Municipality needed to adhere to.

But we now know the park will open this year, based on the latest statement by Dubai Municipality.

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.

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. Roughly 3,500 animals are expected to inhabit the park by the time of its soft opening later this year. Residents will include these two little guys, who were born at the park in August.

Now that the opening date is in sight, this is one of the biggest openings coming this year, and we just. Can’t. Wait.

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