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COM-­‐371 Tourism  Principles     Assignment  2  –  A  Visitor’s  Guide  to  Al  Ain  Zoo   (Case  Study)      

        Hessa  Al  Falasi,  Mariam  Al  Hosani,  Noora  Al  Zaabi,   Salama  Al  Neaimi,  Sara  Al  Hosani     Alfio  Leotta   January  13,  13  


Introduction "On land and in the sea, our forefathers lived and survived in this environment. They were able to do so because they recognized the need to conserve it, to take from it only what they needed to live, and to preserve it for succeeding generations."

Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan

The country of the UAE is a country that has always been proud of the great animals and wildlife that exist on its land. Even though it is a desert land, there are a wide range of animals that can only be found in this area and if not preserved and taken care of will seize to exist. In this spirit and under this initiative the idea of Al Ain zoo was established.

Al Ain zoo was founded in 1968 by his highness the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The Zoo is a destination that was built and established to offer families an opportunity for entertainment and to learn more about the natural outdoor environment in which many animals existed. In 1982, rare animals were added to the same conservation program such as the Gazelle and the Arabian Leopard under Sheikh Zayed’s leadership. Moreover, during the same year the late Sheikh Zayed also initiated the first breeding program of the endangered Houbara. In the year 2006 the zoo was determined to develop and transform into one of the World’s most ambitious wildlife projects, as it was then called “Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort”.

Al Ain Zoo is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquaria (WAZA) and is also partner with other leading zoos and international agencies and associations from all over the

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world. Some of these associations are the World Conservation Union and Species Survival Commission, Environment Agency, and many other funds (Al Ain Zoo, 2011).

Zoo Animal care: The zoo’s animals are offered excessive supervision and ensured well-being from the zoo’s veterinary department. Many of the Zoo’s animals are part of an international program that established new breeding herds for animals that are close to extinction. Furthermore, Al Ain Zoo is constantly determined to attract the best partners to its aspiring development projects. In 2008, The San Diego Zoo became a strategic partner with Al Ain Zoo, as they both contribute to the best in class international practices and standards of animal welfare, conservation and breeding.

The zoo is now currently home to 184 species and more than 4,300 animals including 2,500 mammals, 1,200 birds as well as 600 reptiles. Al Ain Zoo’s mammals include a great diversity of mammals such as, primates, carnivores and antelopes. 2010 was one of the best recorded years at Al Ain Zoo, where a large number of antelopes were born and raised, including 16 Scimitar horned Oryx, 27 Arabian Oryx’s, Ten Beisa Oryx’s, four Addaxes and three Chad Dama Gazelle’s. The birth of Oryx’s was considered a great contribution to nature, where in the earlier years the Arabian Oryx was close to extinction. Therefore, this verifies the absolute welfare that is devoted towards the varied animal species present at the zoo, as well as the persistent attentiveness (Al Ain Zoo, 2011).

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Activities and events: Al Ain Zoo holds exciting events and promotions regularly for their guests that include activities, shows and exhibits. The events keep coming up and announced at different occasions and celebrations that happen in the UAE such as the National Day, Al Hijri New year’s and Al Eid. Al Ain Zoo also offers promotions during vacations such as the summer break and winter break.

The promotion strategy Al Ain zoo follows focuses on educating the guests as they provide educational activities about nature and animals, which are at the same time fun games for the kids and the whole family (Abudhabi city organization , 2012). According to Kazm (2012) visitors get to experience reptile handling

and

giraffe

feeding,

animal

enrichment activities, gardening, arts and crafts using recycled materials, team building games, and camp-craft among exclusive promotions such as at the winter break.

Other kind of promotions offered at the zoo’s events are local and international cultural dancing performances such as Al Dabka, Indian and African dance that was performed at Eid Al Ahda celebrations (AME , 2012).

Al Ain Zoo focuses on providing activities that are related to the UAE’s heritage throughout their events. They also focus on activities that would educate the visitors

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and tourists about the culture of UAE such as offering through their promotions Henna, Al Ayala and Al Harbya, which is an Emirati traditional dance. Moreover the zoo offers an education center, which provides lessons about Falcons (Kazm, 2012).

Promotional activities are also done in the zoo; the photos above are examples of the zoo’s latest promotional activities. The first picture promotes birthday parties at the zoo, while the second one promotes the new falcon show and the last picture promotes the recent activity added which is feeding the giraffes.

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Zoo Fees: The fees at the zoo vary depending on age, adults must pay 15 Dirhams to enter the park, while children aged 3 to 12 have to pay 5 Dirhams and children under the age of 3 are allowed to enter the park for free. The payment of the entrance ticket is paid at the front gate of the park. There are also special offers that are available for the zoo visitors, each package with it’s own price.

The Ahlan bronze package is for 250 dirhams per adult and is not available for children. It includes, an unlimited visit to the zoo on 354 days (excluding Eid and National Day holidays). Visitors are also provided with a zoo shuttle and refreshments to be used on two visits only. Moreover, they get a 10% discount in all retail and F&B outlets throughout the zoo.

The Ahlan Silver package comes in two packages; the Package for 500 dirhams comes with unlimited visits to the zoo all year round. The visitor can also get private golf carts and a driver to get around the zoo including snacks and beverages, which can only be used on two visits and the visitor must call ahead to book the cart. The package also offers an opportunity to watch the bird show from special reserved seating and get close up and feed the giraffes. A discount of 20% is also granted for all retail and F&B outlets throughout the zoo and entrance to the Ahlan lounge. The second Ahlan Silver package is for 1,000 dirhams and it comes with all the same services as the 500 dirhams package adding on the experience of going behind the scenes to where the animals are and get a special house tour (Al Ain Zoo, 2011).

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Statistics: Al Ain Zoo- School Visit Data Analysis 2012  

10028

2011 2012   %   2012   cumulative   difference   on   previous   years   10028   257.63%   11474  

2012 2012   %   cumulative   difference   on   previous   years   11474   14.42%  

8756 5231   3251   1465   0   375   0   0   5329   5412   2725    

18784 24015   27266   28731   28731   29106   29106   29106   34435   39847   42572   42572  

22224 27524   29803   30942   30974   31632   32026   32044   34251   42307   44640   44640  

2011

January (Inc.   Art  tent)   February   March   April   May   June   July   August   September   October   November   December   Total  

196.14% 86.37%   65.21%   69.28%   66.60%   60.04%   60.04%   60.04%   51.02%   32.41%   24.65%   24.65  

10750 5300   2279   1139   32   658   394   18   2207   8056   2333    

18.31% 14.61%   9.30%   7.70%   7.81%   8.68%   10.03%   10.09%   0.53%   6.17%   4.86%   4.86%  

The table above shows the numbers of students that visited the zoo in the year 2011 and the year 2012 depending on the months of the year. The increase of the number of visitors from 2011 to 2012 shows how much more students have come to zoo and it also shows how the difference between the years.

Conclusion: Al Ain Zoo’s expansion project was called Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort. This project aims to develop the zoo into a world-class recreational experience and to transfer the zoo to a new institution to conserve and exhibit the wildlife of the desert world. It will be a unique wildlife destination offering learning, leisure and living

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experiences. The project’s theme is “Deserts of the World” and the new expansion project includes the Sheikh Zayed Desert learning centre, the world deserts zoo, an African safari, residential areas and a conservation and breeding centre. The Sheikh Zayed Desert learning centre is a museum that is going to have a gallery about Sheikh Zayed and exhibitions about life in the past, present and future. The centre would also exhibit the natural and cultural history of the Arabian deserts. It will showcase the desert living experience with interactive educational exhibits. On the other hand, the residential areas will allow people to see the wildlife at its natural habitat, as homes will be built adjacent to the Wildlife Safari area. The residential community will also include a five star luxury hotel, shopping facilities and offices (Al Ain Zoo, 2011).

The Zoo’s expansion project received the 2011 award of International Outstanding Shortcrete Award in the seventh annual outstanding Shortcrete project awards (Mesbah, 2012).

In conclusion the Al Ain Wildlife Park and resort is a place for people to explore, learn and experience the conservation program and the wildlife in a unique natural desert setting whether it was for a day, a month or a year.

       

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Bibliography Abudhabi  city  organization  .  (2012).  Oasis  living  .  Retrieved  january  4,  2013  from   http://myoasisliving.com/oasis_living_magazine/show_detail/encid/486 /opt/lco     Al  Ain  Zoo.  (2011).  Home  .  Retrieved  january  4,  2013  from  http://www.awpr.ae/     AME  .  (2012).  Al  Ain  Zoo  announces  exciting  activities  to  celebrate  Eid  Al  Adha.   Retrieved  january  4,  2013  from  http://www.ameinfo.com/al-­‐ain-­‐zoo-­‐ announces-­‐exciting-­‐activities-­‐314983     Kazm,  A.  (2012).  Gulf  news  .  Retrieved  january  4,  2012  from   http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/leisure/winter-­‐safaris-­‐at-­‐al-­‐ain-­‐ zoo-­‐1.1107028     Mesbah,  R.  (2012).  Al  Ain  Zoo's  expansion  project  receives  prestigious  awards.     Retrieved  January  10,  2012  from  http://www.ameinfo.com/al-­‐ain-­‐zoos-­‐   expansion-­‐project-­‐receives-­‐305713    

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