One of the most popular attractions in the city, the Riyadh Zoo was established in the year 1987. It occupies an area of 55 acres; thus, making it one of the largest zoos in the country. Also known as the Malaz zoo, it is home to over 196 species of exotic animals as well as 20,000 diverse trees and flowers. Here, one can find animals such as hyenas, kangaroos, tapirs, griffon vultures, lions, monkeys, rhinoceros and gazelles. The Malaz Zoo also offers a glimpse of endangered wildlife animals of Saudi Arabia, including houbara bustard bird, Arabian desert leopard and Arabian Oryx. One can also enjoy the local train ride, which offers a complete tour of the zoo. It has amazing landscapes coupled with the ideal setting of terrains, which suit the native animals.
Visitors can look forward to an onsite restaurant and coffee shop to enjoy delicious food. In addition, there are six snack kiosks within the premises; thereby, making it easier for the visitors to satiate hunger pangs. Enjoying a central location in Riyadh, the zoo is easily accessible from different points in the city. Some of the other amazing features of Malaz Zoo include 5D cinema, prayer halls for men and women, an outdoor plaza, Romanian theater and a conservation center.
Formerly known as Riyadh Zoological Gardens, Malaz Zoo was established in 1957 for King Saud and his family. In 1981, the entire structure of Riyadh Zoological Gardens was completely demolished, and six years later, in 1987, a new public zoo was established. Designed by London-based consultants, Riyadh was opened to the public in the corresponding year. One year later, i.e., in 1988, many animals from different countries, like Singapore, the U.S., Peru, Australia, Egypt and Kenya, became a part of the Zoo.
Flora & Fauna at Malaz Zoo, Riyadh
- It is home to 1,500 wildlife animals of 196 species
- The zoo dispatched two native sand cats to the U.S.-based Cincinnati Zoo
- Visitors can also see Bengal Tigers, which are native to the Indian subcontinent
- The Malaz Zoo also houses endangered species
- There are nearly 80 species of birds in the zoo
Location, Timings, Entry Fee
Riyadh Zoo Location: Mosab Ibn Umair St, Al Ahsa, Al Malaz, Riyadh
Riyadh Zoo Timings: The Zoo timings are different for each day of the week. Some are just the ‘family days’, i.e., on those particular days, only families are allowed within the premises. Moreover, some days are also reserved for males and females differently. The zoo remains on Sundays. The opening time of Malaz Zoo is 8:30 am, and recommended visit duration for the zoo is two to three hours.
Days Reserved for Men:
Monday: 8:30 am – 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:30 pm – 12:00 pm
Days Reserved for Women:
Tuesday: 8:30 am – 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am – 12:00 pm
Days Reserved for Families:
Wednesday, Thursday: 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Friday: After Jummah Prayer – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Best time to visit : The best time to visit the national zoo in Riyadh is between November and March. The weather in these months is cool and pleasant.
Riyadh Zoo Entry Fee: The ticket prices of the Zoo vary as per the age groups
- For 12 years and above – SAR 10.50
- For children below 12 years of age – SAR 2.5
- Train ticket price at Malaz Zoo – SAR 2
Riyadh Zoo Reviews & Contact
Things to keep in mind
There is no doubt about the fact that watching animals in the zoo is a treat to sore eyes. However, while visiting the zoo, visitors should keep some basic pointers in mind so that the overall experience can be hassle-free and memorable.
- Visitors should carry hats or caps to protect themselves from the sun
- One should also apply sunscreen before heading out to visit Malaz Zoo
- Travelers should wear proper attire and shoes
- One should not try to enter animals’ enclosures
- Feeding animals or birds, teasing them or playing any type of music is strictly prohibited
- Travelers should not litter anything and ensure that the premises are kept clean
- Smoking should also be avoided within the premises
- Visitors should also adhere to the signboards and directions from the staff
- One should cooperate with the staff during checking
- Travelers should not carry their pets while visiting the zoo and keep an eye on their children
- Visitors should purchase tickets beforehand to avoid queues
Attractions near Riyadh Zoo
Riyadh Zoo has many attractions that offer fun and entertainment for kids. Besides, there are popular places to see and eat at nearby. There are snacks available at the onsite café and restaurant but there are options outside as well. Some of the best eating joints around are Zoo Grill Restaurant, Zaitoon Indian and Chinese Restaurant, The Sandwich Company, The Butcher Shop & Grill, and Yauatcha Riyadh. If you have time at hand, some of the top sightseeing places to visit near Malaz Zoo are King Abdullah Park, Kingdom Centre Tower, Masmak Fortress, Al Faisaliyah Centre, and The Saudi National Museum.
Riyadh Zoo FAQs
Does one need to follow a dress code while visiting the Malaz Zoo?
There is no dress code at Riyadh Zoo, but travelers should wear proper attire in mind the family-friendly atmosphere.
Is there any restaurant within the zoo’s premises?
Yes, it is home to a restaurant and coffee shop where guests can enjoy delectable food.
Is it safe to visit the Riyadh Zoo with kids?
Yes, visiting the zoo in Riyadh with kids is safe as proper guidelines are followed, and animals are kept in proper enclosures.
How much area does the zoo occupy?
It is spread over a vast area of 55 acres, owing to which it is one of the largest zoos in the country.
What types of species can be found in Riyadh Zoo?
The Zoo has three main types of species: reptiles, mammals, and birds.