Animals in United Arab Emirates

Updated: January 24, 2023
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Below you can find a complete list of Emiri animals. We currently track 216 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.

The Flag of the United Arab Emirates

The national flag of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has red, green, white, and black, with unification being the flag’s main theme, and each color has a different meaning. It is rectangular in shape separate into four rectangular sections within. Check out more about the flag of the United Arab Emirates here.

Emiri Animals

Admiral Butterfly

Stunningly beautiful wings


First evolved 100 million years ago!


Renew their horns every year!

Arabian Wolf

Rare desert wolf


They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food


Arsinoitherium was a twin-horned mammal that looked like a rhino but is more closely related to present-day elephants.


Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!


Has a curved, upturned beak!

Banana Spider

People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.


There are over 1768 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.


Detects prey using echolocation!


There are 8 different species!

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.


Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years


There are more than 350,000 different species

Beewolf wasp

They hunt bees


Not all birds are able to fly!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Brahminy Blindsnake

These snakes have been introduced to all continents, except Antarctica!

Brazilian Treehopper

“Mild-Mannered Minimonsters”

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors


The most common species of bee!


There are thought to be up 17,500 species!


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.

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!

Carpet Viper

The Carpet Viper probably bites and kills more people than any other species of snake.


May have been domesticated up to 10,000 years ago.


The larvae of a moth or butterfly!


There are nearly 3,000 different species!


There are about 3,000 documented species!


There are more than 160 different species!


First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!


Cicadas have one of the longest insect lifespans


Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Codling Moth

Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common Furniture Beetle

The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood

Common House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.


They can fly 35 mph and dive 150 feet below water.


There are nearly 1.5 billion worldwide!


There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings


Many are critically endangered species!


Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together


Have changed little in 200 million years!


A group of these birds is called a Murder.


There are around 40 different species!

Desert Locust

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


First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals


First domesticated 5,000 years ago!


Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!


It's larvae are carnivorous!


Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight


Has exceptional eyesight!


They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs


There are nearly 2,000 different species!


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

Egyptian Vulture

They steal large ostrich eggs and use rocks and pebbles to crack the shells.


Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

European Robin

Male robins are so aggressive and territorial that they will attack their own reflections.


The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders

Fiddler Crab

The fiddler crab gets its name from the motion the males make with their over-sized claw during the mating ritual.

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!


The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world


Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air


There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!


Only 12 species are considered "true foxes"


There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world


Named for the Arabic word for love poems


There are thought to be over 2,000 species!


Originally known as the Desert Rat!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

Giant Trevally

The largest fish in its genus

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!


Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!


Males form large mating swarms at dusk


Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Eagle

Their calls sound like high-pitched screams, but they are quiet most of the time.

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!


There are 29 different species!


There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

Gypsy Moth

One of the most invasive species in the world


Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!


Can reach speeds of over 50 mph!

Hawk Moth Caterpillar

Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.


Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!


Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Badger

One of earth's bravest creatures!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!


Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!

Horned Viper

Horned vipers sidewind across the desert sands of their home.


Has evolved over 50 million years!


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


The fly has no teeth


Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!


There are four different species!


Can jump over 6 feet straight up from a standstill


Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!


There are an estimated 30 million species!


Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!


Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!


Has 10 pairs of eyes!


The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!


There are around 5,000 different species!


Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Long-Eared Owl

Ear tufts make it look bigger!

Long-Tailed Tit

Often hangs upside down while feeding!


They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!


There are 2,500 known species worldwide!


They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.


Some species have a poisonous bite!


Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!


Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!


Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!


There are around 260 known species!


Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!


Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood


There are 250,000 different species!


Found on every continent on Earth!


The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!


Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!


Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!


Named more than 1,000 years ago!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males


They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!


There are 13 different species worldwide


The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees


Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.


Can live for up to 100 years!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth


Thought to have originated in the Middle East!


Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!


Thought to have been domesticated in 9,000 BC!


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


Found in mountainous regions and rocky areas

Pompano Fish

They are bottom-feeders

Pond Skater

There are 500 different species!


There are 30 different species worldwide!

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.


Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!


There are more than 300 different species!


Omnivores that eat anything!

Redback Spider

The redback spiders found in New Caledonia differ from other populations in that they don’t practice sexual cannibalism and don’t bite people as much.


It's horns are made from keratin!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!


There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!


The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.


Will mate with the entire flock!

Sable Ferret

Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.


There are more than 700 different species!

Sand Cat

They can survive for weeks without drinking water because the get moisture from their prey.

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

Saw-scaled Viper

This is the smallest venomous snake in India's Big Four.


There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner


Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Short-Eared Owl

The short-eared owl is one of the most widespread owl species in the world, covering five continents.


The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.


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!


They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case


There are nearly 1,000 different species!


There are around 4,000 known species worldwide


There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.


Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!


Average adults weigh about 200 grams!


They can’t sing like other birds.

Striped Hyena

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


Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.


Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!


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


They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world


Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!


Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted


Vipers are one of the most widespread groups of snakes and inhabit most


There are 30 different species worldwide!


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!


The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

White Tiger

None have been seen in the wild for 50 years!

Wild Boar

Males have a top tusk to sharpen the bottom one!


Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.


This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodlouse Spider

Unlike most spiders, woodlouse spiders don’t build a web.


There are 200 different species!


Doesn’t have eyes.


They feign death by making their bodies limp and closing their eyes.


There are around 75 different species!

Emiri Animals List

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

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.