Sharjah Desert Park

Zoo in Sharjah

This desert park packs four venues into a 1-sq-km package, including a natural-history museum, a botanical museum and a children's farm where kids get to meet, pet and feed goats, camels and ducks, and ride ponies and camels.

The main attraction, though, is the Arabia's Wildlife Centre, a zoo showcasing the diversity of local critters. Vipers, flamingos, wildcats, mongooses, hyenas, wolves and the splendid Arabian leopard all make appearances.

Visitors get to observe most animals in air-conditioned comfort through glass panels (along with free-flying birds), making the centre a year-round destination. The park grounds also include a cafe and picnic facilities. It's on Al Dhaid Rd (Hwy E88), about 26km east of Sharjah.