The 10 Biggest Zoos In The Middle East

Some of the biggest zoos in the Middle East impress with their high number of animals. They can raise some of the most exotic animals and you can see them live often in very high heat.

But this also means you get to see animals such as camels and giraffes which have already been adapted to this harsh climate. If you’re planning to visit the enchanting Middle East, you can plan a visit to these zoos as well.

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10. Doha Zoo

If you’re in Qatar, you might want to visit the local Doha Zoo. At the moment, it’s closed due to Covid-19 regulation. But this small zoo is one of the few in the country and its role is more important as a result.

It has a small friendly feeling even if it’s a large zoo due to its excellent compartmentation. You can even see the white tiger here if you’re lucky.

9. Kabul Zoo

Image: Flickr / Jeremy Weate

Kabul Zoo is the largest in Afghanistan. It’s largely closed and only a few animals remain here. The warn-torn country seems to have no money left to rebuilt its fantastic zoo which was opened in 1967. But international donations can help rebuilt it properly.

China is one of the few states that is helping this zoo rebuild itself and offer the world a glimpse into the wildlife of Afghanistan and even to offer a much-needed relaxation place for the locals.

8. Tehran Zoological Garden

Also known as the ‘Ehram Zoo’, the national zoos in Iran is certainly worth visiting. It’s one of the few in the Middle East that has bears on display.

Lions, elephants, tigers, and all types of wild goats from the region can be seen here. The zoo is located just outside the city. You will need to take a short taxi drive to its premises but it’s worth visiting given its tranquility.

7. An Naman Zoo

You wouldn’t think there’s a zoo in Barka Oman, but this private zoo is one of the few in the country. It covers a few acres and it even has a private playground which can be a top addition given kids like to spend a full day with animals. Rodents are popular here.

But you can also see various species of cattle here. There are also lions that you can get up close with here as you can walk between the animal cages for a few hours from one section of the zoo to another.

6. Sana’a Zoo

Sana is the biggest city in Yemen. It also holds a large zoo according to the size standards in the region. However, this zoo has made international news due to its struggling to get funds. Food resources here are scarce. Some of the employees are even struggling to get a full wage at the end of the month.

All of the funds for the zoo come from the sale of tickets. If you’re in the country, make sure you visit this zoo as your ticket purchase is going to make a difference and set an example for others who might also visit it and help it survive past these difficult times.

5. Baghdad Zoo

The incredible Baghdad Zoo is always in the news. Located in worn-torn Iraq, this zoo has been trying to revive itself. It has plenty of animals to see and a growing amusement park which offers much-needed relaxation opportunities for locals.

At the moment, the US military is screening everybody who wants to visit it. But for 30 cents, it might just be one of the most affordable zoos in the world.

4. Riyadh Zoo

The world-class Riyadh Zoo is one of the best in the Middle East. It’s not open to the public every day but it has plenty of animals for kids to admire. For example, you can see real pumas here as well as the tallest giraffes you can imagine.

For many visitors, it’s one of the rare occasions to see migratory birds here as many have been accustomed to living in cages. But the zoo offers some of the best living conditions for the animals in this region of the world.

3. Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

The underwater zoo in Dubai is one of the best in the Middle East and one of the top locations in the world. You can experience all types of activities specific to an aquarium here. You can start by admiring penguins that arrive here from all over the world.

The Aquarium Tunnel is where most people like to go as it looks so spectacular. You can also dive with the sharks here if you feel fearless.

2. Dubai Safari Park

You can have a safari experience right in Dubai. This place is one that gets considerable funding and it can be seen in how the premises look. Organized tours take you to see rhinos, lions, and elephants.

It can be one of the most inclusive premises to visit in the Middle East as you’ll feel closer to the animals since you can see them out of your vehicle’s window.

1. Dubai Zoo

The Dubai Zoo is one that is very easy to reach by car or by public transport. It’s the place where you can see all times of rare and exotic animals. One of the favorite spots inside the zoo is the flamingo sanctuary where the large birds also benefit from a large water area where they can relax in.

Some of the biggest zoos in the Middle East are still small in comparison with those in the West. But as seen above, they still allow visitors to admire some of the most beautiful animals you can imagine. Many of these zoos work with large efforts just to raise healthy animals in high heat.

The strong sun here makes it a task that almost seems impossible and this is why you won’t easily find Northern Hemisphere animals here as they don’t handle heat too well.