Al Ain Zoo has announced it is preparing to welcome its 10 millionth visitor with a “massive celebration” and the opportunity to enjoy special offers.
The zoo said the occasion would also be a milestone in its efforts to support eco-tourism and raise awareness about conservation, state news agency Wam reported.
In 2021, two newborn giraffes reared at the zoo were rehomed in the safari park near Jebel Hafeet.
Last December, the zoo classified five new species of birds after an annual study that monitored migrating and resident birds.
The zoo opened in 1968 and in 2010 began counting towards its 10 millionth visitor.
It plans to honour one lucky arrival this year, with visitors contributing to the zoo's initiatives and programmes for the protection of wildlife and environmental sustainability, Wam reported.
The 10 millionth person to enter the zoo will be awarded an annual membership free of charge that allows them access to the zoo, its facilities and wild inhabitants for a year.
“We are pleased to receive the 10 millionth visitor who will crown our years of effort and relentless work in providing exceptional experiences and services, through which we aim to support eco-tourism based on the highest cultural and recreational standards,” said Ghanim Al Hajeri, director general of Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium Public Institution.
“We are working closely with our partners to add more in the near future to make our park the region's top family tourist destination.”
Al Hajeri praised all of the zoo's visitors over the years for helping to support projects that aimed to boost sustainability and efforts to protect endangered species.
The 400-hectare zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals, including oryx, giraffes, Barbary sheep, rhinos, tigers and lions.
There are also plenty of activities on site for visitors to enjoy, such as a petting zoo for children and Al Ain Safari, where visitors can encounter the “big five” – lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo – from an SUV or safari truck.