The Beginning

The Late Sheikh Zayed was the first Emirati conservationist. He recognized that people were having an increasing impact on the environment in the UAE and made steps to stop it. Al Ain Zoo was part of these efforts. It was established by Sheikh Zayed to breed endangered species such as the Arabian Oryx.



An Endangered species is one whose numbers are declining and it is at risk of becoming extinct.

More than 25% of Al Ain Zoo animals collections are classified as threatened species in the IUCN red list.

Arabian Sand Cat Programme

The Arabian Sand cat poorly known nocturnal species found across Arabia. Due to its secretive ways and remote habitat we have little knowledge about the Arabian sand cat in the wild. It is considered near threatened in Arabia but Endangered in the UAE and Abu Dhabi.


The dama gazelle is one of the world’s rarest gazelles with less than 300 animals left in the wild. Its home is the Sahara Desert and bordering grasslands of the Sahel. Over-hunting and habitat loss have caused the disappearance of this graceful gazelle from most of its former range. Al Ain Zoo has several projects related to Dama Gazelle conservation.

About Conservation

Conservation is the attempt to reverse the decline in populations of wild species, prevent endangered species from becoming extinct and to protect and restore natural environments.