Animals in United Arab Emirates

Below you can find a complete list of Emiri animals. We currently track 140 animals in United Arab Emirates and are adding more every day!

The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven historically distinct monarchies: the capital of Abu Dhabi, plus Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain. Situated against the Persian Gulf, the country shares a land border with Oman toward the east and Saudi Arabia toward the south.

The UAE has a long, winding coast that contains the most suitable climates for humans. Here you can find the country’s largest cities and their gleaming skyscrapers (including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa). Beyond the coast, the desert is the dominant geographical feature of the country’s interior. With few large bodies of water, it contains some of the largest sand dunes in the entire world. The east of the country is also dotted with the Hajar Mountains, which flow into neighboring Oman.

The Official National (State) Animal of the United Arab Emirates

The Arabian oryx, a type of long-horned antelope, is the official national animal of the UAE. However, the falcon is the national bird, the emblem on the coat of arms, and an important cultural symbol.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in the United Arab Emirates

More than 10 national parks and wildlife reserves are spread out across the entire country.

  • The Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, located directly to the south of the Dubai International Airport, is an enclosed bird haven situated among the sprawl of the city. It contains about 180 different species, including kingfishers, eagles, spoonbills, plovers, and godwits. It’s also a good place to find foxes, hedgehogs, vipers, and hares.
  • The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, located directly east of the city itself, is home to caracals, sand cats, antelopes, hedgehogs, shrews, foxes, hares, snakes, lizards, and several species of bats.
  • The Wadi Wurayah National Park, located near the eastern waters of the Persian Gulf, is considered to be a wetland of international importance. Situated amid the Hajar Mountains and scenic waterfalls, the park is home to the caracal, various species of freshwater fish, and even the unique and elusive Arabian tahr.
  • The Mangrove National Park encompasses 7 square miles of mangrove forests just outside the city center of the capital, Abu Dhabi. Visitors can expect to find a large variety of unique animals such as herons, flamingos, dolphins, dugongs, foxes, crabs, and fish.
  • The Kalba Conservation Reserve, located near the eastern border with Oman and the Persian Gulf, is an internationally recognized wetland area. It encompasses both a bird of prey center and a wild mountain conservation center for scenic hikes.

The Most Dangerous Animals in the United Arab Emirates Today

The UAE is home to several species of venomous animals that people should try to avoid at all costs. Fortunately, most of them reside in the more remote parts of the country.

  • Scorpions – The UAE has two types of dangerous scorpions: the deathstalker and the fat-tailed scorpion. Both of them are capable of producing dangerous and painful venom. Several deaths are known to occur every year, usually involving the young, old, or already infirm.
  • Arabian Horned Viper – Identified by the large scales protruding from the body and the big horns above each eye, the horned viper likes to lie submerged in the sand to surprise prey. The venom itself can cause pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting, and tissue necrosis.
  • Indian Saw-Scaled Viper – Aggressive and quick to strike, the saw-scaled viper is found throughout India and the Middle East. Its venom can cause severe pain, swelling, and bleeding within minutes of a bite. The mortality rate might be as high as 20%, but fortunately, anti-venom is widely available.

Endangered Animals in the United Arab Emirates

Most of the country’s wildlife lives out in remote areas, undisturbed by human activity. But several species, particularly near the coast, are at risk of becoming extinct from overhunting and habitat loss. Another persistent problem is overgrazing from domesticated animals, which changes the natural landscape of the country.

  • Arabian Leopard – This endangered subspecies of the leopard is exceptionally rare in the UAE. Occasionally there are reports of a sighting or a footprint left behind, but nothing definitive about its status in the country. With only a few hundred remaining in all of the Arabian Peninsula, it is already on the brink of becoming extinct. Habitat loss, prey depletion, and overhunting are primarily to blame for the dramatic fall in numbers.
  • Arabian Tahr – Native to the steep slopes of the Al Hajar Mountains, the endangered tahr looks a bit like a goat. It has long been under threat from habitat loss, hunting, and overgrazing in the area.
  • Sea Turtles – Four species of sea turtles (the green turtle, olive ridley turtle, loggerhead turtle, and hawksbill turtle) once roamed the waters of the Persian Gulf in large numbers, occasionally coming ashore to reproduce. But this unique animal is currently in danger of becoming extinct from the combined effects of pollution, accidental bycatches, human exploitation, and loss of nesting sites from coastal development.

Emiri Animals

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Aurochs

Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

Avocet

Has a curved, upturned beak!

Barb

There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Bear

There are 8 different species!

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Camel

Can survive without water for 10 months!

Camel Cricket

The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.

Cat

First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!

Caterpillar

The larvae of a moth or butterfly!

Catfish

There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Centipede

There are about 3,000 documented species!

Chameleon

There are more than 160 different species!

Cheetah

The fastest land mammal in the world!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Cicada

Cicadas have one of the longest insect lifespans

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Cow

There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!

Crab

There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings

Crane

Many are critically endangered species!

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Deer

There are around 40 different species!

Desert Locust

Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

Dormouse

Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Eagle

Has exceptional eyesight!

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

Elephant

Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!

Fox

There are 12 different species in the world!

Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Gerbil

Originally known as the Desert Rat!

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Goat

Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!

Goose

There are 29 different species!

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

Hedgehog

Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Badger

One of earth's bravest creatures!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Hoopoe

Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!

Horse

Has evolved over 50 million years!

Horsefly

Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Hyena

There are four different species!

Ibex

Can jump over 6 feet straight up from a standstill

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jackal

Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!

Jerboa

Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Liger

The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Long-Eared Owl

Ear tufts make it look bigger!

Magpie

They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mongoose

Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!

Monkey

There are around 260 known species!

Moorhen

Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Neanderthal

Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!

Newt

Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!

Nightingale

Named more than 1,000 years ago!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Persian

Thought to have originated in the Middle East!

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pig

Thought to have been domesticated in 9,000 BC!

Pigeon

They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Pika

Found in mountainous regions and rocky areas

Pond Skater

There are 500 different species!

Porcupine

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Rhinoceros

It's horns are made from keratin!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!

Robin

There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.

Slow Worm

Found widely throughout British gardens!

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Stoat

Average adults weigh about 200 grams!

Striped Hyena

The striped hyenas usually mark their territories with the help of the scent gland secretions from their anal pouch.

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Thrush

The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

Water Dragon

Spends most of it's time in the trees!

Weasel

The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!

White Tiger

None have been seen in the wild for 50 years!

Wild Boar

Males have a top tusk to sharpen the bottom one!

Wolf

Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Woodlouse

Actually a crustacean, not an insect!

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Emiri Animals List

Animals in United Arab Emirates FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals live in the United Arab Emirates?

The UAE is considered by many people to be a birdwatcher’s paradise. More than 400 species of birds have been recorded, many of which come to the UAE as a staging ground for their journey to and from Africa. Snakes and lizards are also quite common throughout the country. By comparison, the UAE only has a few mammals specifically adapted for the difficult conditions of the desert such as gazelles, foxes, gerbils, hares, camels, and domesticated goats and sheep.

What animals live in the UAE desert?

The deserts of the UAE are home to foxes, camels, snakes, lizards, and many species of birds.

Are there monkeys in the UAE?

No, monkeys are not adapted for the dry desert conditions of the UAE. Africa, India, and southeastern Asia contain the most common habitats for monkeys.

What dangerous animals live in Dubai?

Poisonous snakes and scorpions can be found throughout the emirate of Dubai, though less commonly in the city itself.