Phase 1 consists of a 50-hectare facility, which includes the zoo entrance, car parking, support service facilities for staff accommodation, a veterinary care centre, a quarantine, a plant nursery, a conservation centre, captive breeding and waste management and service workshops. It also includes Asian, Arabian and African habitats as well as a children’s garden and a multi-purpose function centre. Singapore’s Design for Life Consultancy (DFL) has been appointed by Atkins to provide specialised zoo design services.

Plans for a new zoo have been on the drawing board for a number of years. The existing zoo is located in a residential area on Jumeirah Beach road and cannot be easily expanded. The new zoo will built at an out-of-town site near Mushrif Park and will be designed to be an open safari-type enclosure (MEED 9:5:03).