Arabia's Wildlife Center, PO Box 2926,
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
The Arabian Wildlife Center is located about 26 KM from the center of the city, after the Sharjah International Airport and close to Interchange #8.
Tel.: +971 (6)
+971 (6) 531 1419
Opening Hours: Weekdays & Public Holidays 09-19,
Thursdays 11-19, Fridays from 14-19, Mondays closed
The Arabian Wildlife Center is the only 'zoo' in Arabia which exhibits all the animals naturally occurring in the Arabian Peninsula, both current and extinct. Opened in September 1999, this excellent facility houses over 100 species displayed in safe, spacious and natural surroundings. The center demonstrates the diversity of the fauna found in the peninsula and creates awareness of the species, which have, and are, becoming extinct.
Take time to view the video just inside the main entrance before entering the display areas. The tour takes you through the reptile, fish and insect house, where many of the Arabian snakes including the venomous vipers and adders, monitor lizards and chameleons plus common insects such as camel spiders and scorpions are exhibited.
The bird aviary set in a wadi and desert environment contains several species of songbirds, Indian Roller birds, Houbara Bustard and flamingos. Look out for the Rock Hyrax basking on top of the rocks. These tail-less brown creatures about the size of a rabbit have only three toes on each foot and surprisingly enough their closest living relative is the elephant.
Within the aviary's walk-through-cave, there is a tank containing blind cave fish from Oman. These fish are born with eyes, but due to their naturally dark habitat, they do not develop and end up like a pinprick on adult fish. To the side of the aviary are housed the smaller cats of the desert; the Caracal, recognized by the tufts on the end of its ears, the Wildcat which is visually very similar to a local cat and the petite, shy Sand Cat.
The nocturnal house is next, where night has been turned into day, to display a surprising variety of mammals including three species of fox, porcupines, hedgehogs, mongoose and twelve rodent species, in their favored habitat.
The finale takes you past the baboons, wolves, hyena, cheetah and the rare and captivating Arabian leopard. Information is provided throughout the center on display panels and via taped messages.