We enjoyed our trip to Al Ain Zoo. It was a good price to get in (we paid 20AED per adult and 10AED per child) and the zoo was extremely well-kept and the animals looked happy for the most part and in very good condition. It was nice to see the care which had been taken to enrich some of the animals enclosures. Our favourites were the flamingoes and the bats. We loved watching the bats eat their watermelon! The gift shop was also reasonably priced and we bought gifts for both our children as a result of this, when normally we wouldn't!
There are lots of areas at this zoo where you have to walk in the full sun to get to (mostly the big cats - the train does not go to this area), and it can get VERY hot. Make sure you all have sun hats or an umbrella to walk under for shade. They do sell wide brimmed hats there if you forget. The zoo opens at 9am so get there early to beat the heat!
The only thing I felt very distressed by was watching a group of children antagonise a beautiful lioness by running up to the glass of the enclosure and kicking the glass, until the lion snarled at them. They thought this was fun, so did it repeatedly. A keeper (or employee of the zoo) was just stood by watching, obviously too afraid of his job to tell these children to stop. (You would like to think their parents would tell them to stop, but they didn't). I've taken a full star off my review just for this. There is absolutely no excuse for letting abuse of the animals continue in this way.
There were many visitors here from Arabic-speaking countries, and I would recommend that you ensure your clothing is respectful of local custom. For ladies, this means covering your shoulders (a T-shirt is fine) and knees (long shorts or a skirt, again fine). If you are unsure, they do sell scarves in the gift shop.
We didn't get a chance to see everything, as the children were tired from the heat and walking after about 90 minutes (and we got there about 10am), but we will come back another time to see the rest. There are strollers for hire we noticed if you have smaller children than ours.
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