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Dubai closes down 50-year-old public landmark

Jumeirah's Dubai Zoo, which was built in 1967 following approvals by HH Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, has closed its doors to make way for the upcoming Dubai Safari facility

Dubai Zoo was built on a 2ha plot in Jumeirah in 1967.
Dubai Zoo was built on a 2ha plot in Jumeirah in 1967.

A 50-year-old landmark building in Dubai has closed its doors to the public. 

Dubai Zoo in Jumeirah was closed down by Dubai Municipality (DM) in preparation for the opening of Dubai Safari. 

READ: Dubai Frame and Dubai Safari touted to open in 2017

Animals from Dubai Zoo, also referred to as Jumeirah Zoo, have been transferred to Dubai Safari. 

Dubai Zoo was built in 1967 by Dubai resident Otto J Bulart, who was given the permission to develop a 2ha facility in Jumeirah by the late Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. 

DM took over the zoo's management in 1971, and between 1986 and 1989, a part of the zoo was redesigned and rebuilt. 

Renovation works were frequently implemented at the zoo since 1989, DM said in a statement. 

Commenting during the closing ceremony of Dubai Zoo, Eng Hussain Lootah, the director-general of DM, said the agency is keen to leverage the expertise of the zoo's employees for Dubai Safari. 

"The zoo was a testimony to the commitment of the leadership and its keenness to catch up with international wildlife conservation and recreational services for the local community," he continued. 

"Some establishments are considered the evidence of the development that took place in Dubai during the past." 

In 2012, DM announced it had authorised a survey to study the feasibility of a new zoo project in the emirate.

The survey was 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.

Commenting on the project at the time, Lootah said: "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." 

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. 

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