Dubai, as well all know, is a city with world-class architecture, luxury shopping, and rich cultural heritage. But what many of us are not aware of is that there’s much to Dubai that we have not explored. One of the many things that went unexplored, is the wildlife of Dubai. Dubai has some of the most fascinating national parks. The national parks have been designed in such a unique way that it’s definitely worth visiting. The guide below should help you choose from some of the top national parks in the city.
Mushrif Park, located on the eastern side of the Deira city is a 1300 acre family-oriented park in Dubai. Mushrif Park consists of an international village which has 13 models of Arabic and English houses. Besides this, the park also has some great entertainment such as electronic games, barbecues, excursions, play areas for children, football field, and bicycle track. The park is surrounded by green areas where you can go for a walk. If you’re spending a whole day at the park, you do not have to worry about food as the park has restaurants and canteen inside. Mushrif Park is an exciting place to visit and it appeals to visitors of all ages.
Entrance Fee: AED 3 per person, AED 10 per car
Timings: 08:00 AM to 10:00 PM (Sunday to Wednesday); 08:00 AM to 11:00 PM (Thursday to Saturday and on official holidays)
Also Read: A fun day at Dubai parks and Resorts
Ras Al Khor Wildlife
The Ras Al Khor Sanctuary is just a short distance away from Dubai city. Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is among the few urban protected areas in the arid zone.
The 1544 acre sanctuary is home to 450 species of animals and 47 plant species. The Sanctuary features a variety of salt flats, intertidal mudflats, mangroves, and lagoons that birds use for their nests and individual habitats. This wetland is also used as a breeding ground and has been home for mammals, Arthropods, and fish. The most significant highlight at the sanctuary is the gracious pink flamingos. You can also spot grey herons, great egrets, reef herons, cormorants, black-winged stilts, sandpipers, osprey, and more among the mass of pink flamingos. Besides this, you can also find three bird hides, that give you a closer look at the birds and other wildlife.
Entrance Fee: Free for all
Timings: Winter timings (Oct-March) – 7.30 AM to 5.30 PM daily; Summer timings (April- Sept) 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily
Dubai National Park
Inspired by the South African Game reserves, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum purchased around 55680 acres of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. Initially, the reserve was used to tame camels but slowly it became a protective sanctuary for the native animals. Currently, there are about 6000 species of plants and several species of animals, some of which are Sand Gazelle, the Statuesque Arabian Gazelle, Side-Winding Vipers, the Rueppell’s Fox, the Ethiopian hedgehog, and the Curious Sand Cats. The Dubai national park is definitely a must-visit if you want to experience the sand dunes and the green reserve all at the same time.
Entrance Fee: Approx 3 AED
Timings: 06:00 A.M – 06:00 P.M daily
Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve
Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve located in the desert region of Saih Al Salam in the Dubai emirate is the first unfenced conservation reserve in the United Arab Emirates. The Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve comprises of 10% of Dubai’s total area. It is also home to the Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park – the largest renewable energy project in this region.
This 40 hectares reserve is home to 204 species of native birds, 158 species of migratory birds, and lakes spanning over 10kms. Some of the most prominent wildlife present here are the largest populations of Arabian oryx in Dubai and the highest flock of large pink flamingos in the UAE. The reserve is also home to a variety of reptile, mammal, and plant species. Besides this, you can find the Saruq Al Hadid archaeological site, one of the oldest sites in the country.
Entrance Fee: Approx 3-5 AED
Timings: 08:00 A.M – 08:00 P.M daily
Sharjah National Park
One of the must-visit national parks in the United Arab Emirates is the Sharjah National Park. Spanning over 155 acres, the Sharjah national park is one of the largest parks in the city. Being a public park, it is a perfect place to hang out with your friends and family. The park offers entertainment services some of which include a play area for kids with rope ladders, slides, and a jungle gym, picnic tables and barbecue areas, cycling tracks, and a miniature city featuring the famous landmarks in Sharjah. Sharjah national park has been one of the most popular recreational areas for families in Sharjah city.
Entrance Fee: Free for children below the age of 5. AED 6 for people over 6 and above.
Timings: 08:00 A.M to 01:00 P.M and 04:00 P.M to 10:00 P.M (Sunday to Wednesday); 08:00 A.M to 10:00 P.M (Thursday to Saturday)
Also Read: Dubai Safari Park
If you’re planning on visiting Dubai and are looking to explore something different apart from the most often visited places, then you should definitely add national parks to your itinerary. Need help in planning your trip to Dubai? Head to Pickyourtrail where you can customize your own itinerary with an expert’s advice.
Also Read: Al Safa Park in Dubai