Dubai’s safari project work on track

DUBAI: The first phase of Dubai’s open safari model zoo will be completed soon, says Dubai Municipality, which last year announced development of the massive project in a land spanning over 60 hectares in Al Warqa on Aweer road.

Hussain Nassir Lootah, director-general of DM, said, “We have been continuing implementation of the prestigious safari project in line with the approved work plan where 80 per cent of the leveling, internal roads and parking works is already executed.”

The prestigious project, entitled Dubai Safari, is expected to be fully completed by 2014, at an estimated cost of Dhs150 million.

“Once completed, the new and exciting destination in the emirate — housed in a world-class premises — will have animals showcased in the best of wildlife preservation standards,” he added.

All the animals from the existing Dubai Zoo will be shifted to the state-of-the-art open safari, which will also accommodate a host of other fauna from around the globe.

The selection of the species, however, will be in accordance with their fitness and suitability to survive in the desert’s climatic conditions.

“The new facility will be one of the best centres in the world to protect and showcase a wide range of animal species in a sustainable environment. It will be developed with the highest concerns on the safety and survival of the animals in designated open spaces, yet with natural barriers, to ensure sufficient space and freedom to the creatures,” Lootah explained.

“Dubai Safari will be segregated into Arabian, African and Asian villages, set up with distinctive environmental features at each village suiting to accommodate animals from those respective regions,” he pointed out.

“Space for each animal and bird species will be set up in accordance with the types, nature, their number, so that they can enjoy maximum comfort, adequate space and a healthy living atmosphere in the new zoo. A fully-fledged team of specialists, veterinarians, animal curators and qualified cadres for animal welfare will be appointed to manage the system effectively,” concluded Lootah.

The current Dubai Zoo is a popular attraction, especially for families, with hundreds of animals of different species.

The zoo has modern facilities to house many indigenous Arabian species, including the Arabian Wolf, which is no longer found in the wild, the Gordon’s Wildcat, and the world’s only captive breeding colony of Socotra Cormorants.