By Faisal Masudi
Dubai: Dubai Safari, which will replace Dubai Zoo and offer new features, is expected to open in 2015.
The plan to relocate roughly 1,000 animals has been developed and revised many times in the past decade, pushing back the opening of Dubai Safari.
The project was first announced in 2009 but work restarted in 2012 after a pause in the intervening years.
The new wildlife attraction, developed by Dubai Municipality, will come up in Al Warqaa area, opposite Dragon Mart.
An official had earlier told Gulf News the project consists of 12 phases. The wadi phase has already been completed.
The first phase took some time as the area was a landfill that had to be levelled and cleaned.
Meanwhile, the Safari Park will be divided into four different sections — African, Asian and Arabian Villages and an open safari — for animals coming from different geographical locations, with architecture and landscaping to match.
As a whole, Dubai Safari will cover 120 hectares of land, and the municipality has been carrying out excavation works since September 2012.
The Dubai Safari project will consist of a zoo, safari and butterfly park, botanical garden, resort, and golf course, in addition to educational, conservation and veterinary facilities.
By comparison, Dubai Zoo, which was built in 1967, covers less than two hectares.