Now that the weather is getting better (I admit there’s still a long way to go), Emirates Park Zoo is a great place to put on your list of places to visit on the weekend, especially if you have kids. It makes for a great day trip, and they even have a hotel you can stay at if you want to enjoy the experience for more than a day :)
I would recommend going in the morning in this weather and only attempting an afternoon visit once it cools down a bit, but in any case, you can always buy hats and water bottles right at the entrance so there’s no reason to worry. Also, they have mist sprayed outdoors which helps cool you down as well.
The best part about this place is that you actually get to interact with a lot of the animals- this includes being able to feed some animals like the giraffes and elephants. (I admit- this is why I was really here. I love giraffes <3 ). They also have lots of shows held throughout the day, which they periodically announce over the speakerphone in case you forget ^^
You can buy food for feeding at the entrance but it turned out the giraffes were happily fed by the time we reached. Some people still insisted on feeding them (and the wrong food at that!) despite clear signs asking not to. :( If you do get a chance to go, please don’t be tempted to do that.
There are all sorts of animals, ranging from the more domesticated chickens and turkeys to the exotic ostriches, gazelles and leopards. I experienced several firsts at the zoo- seeing my first Frizzled Chicken and also my first Capybara (I only ever read about Capybaras in the Noragami manga…go figure ).
A lot of the birds and ducks aren’t kept in cages, which makes me wonder why they stick around… the promise of regular food perhaps? I suppose it’s a mark of how well the animals are looked after at the zoo.
While we can escape the summer heat by heading to the air conditioned areas of the zoo, it’s a bit more difficult for those animals who aren’t used to the scorching temperatures, so you’ll normally notice those particular animals hiding out in their feeding areas, which are shaded and probably a lot cooler. So don’t feel too disappointed if you don’t see them roaming around. They’re just resting and will probably be up and about when it cools down ^^
It’s easy to lose track of time at the zoo, and you’ll probably find yourself spending about 2 hours there before wondering what time it is :) If you get hungry while you’re there, there are a couple of restaurants there that have you covered (yayy for Subway!).
The zoo is typically open all year round,including on public holidays. Tickets for adults only cost AED 30 and similarly priced tickets are available for some of their special shows (prices as of Sept 2016).