Al Ain Zoo

Top choice in Al Ain

Al Ain's remarkable zoo is the region's largest and most acclaimed; its spacious enclosures, inhabited by indigenous and exotic species, are impressively authentic. Observe grazing Arabian oryx, big-horned Barbary sheep, rhinos, hippos, tigers and lions and more. Some were born at the zoo, which has a well-respected conservation and breeding programme. Highlights include giraffe feedings, a fascinating walk-through lemur experience and the world's largest human-made safari, a 217-hectare landscape housing more than 250 African and Arabian animals.

Other additions include the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre, a sustainably built multimedia exhibition housing five interactive galleries: Sheikh Zayed Tribute Hall, Abu Dhabi's Desert Over Time, Abu Dhabi's Living World, People of the Desert and Looking to the Future; a variety of cafes and restaurants and a Children's Discovery Garden, among others, with planned expansion projects including a gorilla sanctuary.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Al Ain attractions

1. Al Jahili Fort

2.71 MILES

Surrounded by a lush park, this squat fort was constructed in the 1890s as the summer residence of Sheikh Zayed I (1836–1909) and expanded by the British…

2. Al Ain Palace Museum

2.82 MILES

This nicely restored, rambling palace was the residence of Sheikh Zayed, the UAE's founding father, from 1937 to 1966. There's frankly little to see…

3. Al Ain Oasis

3.04 MILES

This tranquil world of wide paths meandering past walled date-palm gardens, right in the centre of Al Ain, is a welcome respite from the city hubbub. The…

4. Qasr Al Muwaiji

3.23 MILES

This carefully restored fort was the birthplace of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, current president of the UAE. A stylised falaj marks the entrance…

5. Al Ain National Museum


Al Ain's main museum was closed to undergo a major restoration in late 2018 with reopening stated for 2020 at the earliest. Before its closure, this…

6. Al Ain Camel Market

4.77 MILES

Dusty, noisy, pungent and chaotic: Al Ain's famous camel market is a full immersion in traditional Arab culture. All sorts of camels are holed up in pens,…

7. Al Khandaq Fort


Buraimi has a large and interesting fort, with decorations that give it a Saharan flourish in comparison with the austere exteriors of Omani interior…

8. Hela Castle


This large, sprawling castle has been attractively restored and now makes a good photo opportunity in the centre of town. The interior is largely taken up…