Dubai commissions new zoo feasibility study

Dubai Municipality says survey expected to finish within two months

Dubai could be due a new zoo. Photo: Getty.
Dubai could be due a new zoo. Photo: Getty.

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Dubai could be in line to have a new zoo after the emirate’s Municipality announced on Sunday that it had authorised a survey to study the feasibility of the project.

The survey is expected to be finished in two months and a spokesman said that animals from the current Dubai Zoo in Jumeirah would be shifted there once the project was ready.

Engineer Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general of Dubai Municpality, said that a consultant and action team had been appointed to come up with a final concept of the project, including the selection of a suitable site, the required area and the distribution of the animals, in line with international standards.

“The current zoo should be improved as it is very old and small after the huge development around it and the increasing number of visitors and animals,” he said in a statement to WAM.

The present Dubai Zoo has come under fire from animal activists due to the cramped exhibits. In 2010, protestors from the controversial animal rights group, PETA, were detained by Dubai Police over a protest over conditions in the zoo.

Lootah said that the consultant for the project had initially submitted two concepts for the new zoo, one based on the ‘Safari’ concept, modelled on zoos in Singapore and Thailand. However, he said that the municipality had decided on the second option, built around a ‘Cages’ concept.

“We are going to adopt the cages system due to the area constraints in the emirate,” he added.

“The cages will be arranged and distributed in accordance with each category and type of animals, birds and other species in a comfortable way and adequate space, without affecting the surrounding neighbourhood.”

He said that the new zoo would be designed with the characteristics of Dubai in mind, while also incorporating features from the best zoos in the world, so as to provide all types of facilities and services for the public.

A full-fledged team of specialists, veterinarians, animal curators and entire qualified cadres for animal welfare would be available at the new zoo, ensuring that global systems and frame lines would be adhered to, Lootah said.

The current Dubai Zoo has been in operation since 1967, when it was established by the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

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