Emirates Park Zoo & Resort’s Dr. Walid Shaaban

honoured as “The CEO of the Year”

DUBAI – June 05, 2024:

Dr. Walid Shaaban, Group CEO of the globally acclaimed Emirates Park
Zoo & Resort, a premier destination for wildlife enthusiasts in the UAE, has been honoured as
“The CEO of the Year” at the 23rd edition of The Middle East Business Leader of the Year
awards. The award recognises his exceptional leadership and dedication to excellence, putting
Emirates Park Zoo & Resort at the forefront of wildlife conservation, education, and community
engagement in the UAE.
Dr. Shaaban’s visionary leadership has been instrumental in driving Emirates Park Zoo &
Resort’s mission forward. Under his helm, the zoo has successfully combined education with
entertainment to successfully promote environmental stewardship and sustainability. Through
his guidance, the zoo has implemented various initiatives focused on conservation,
edutainment, and community engagement in alignment with the UAE’s vision of becoming a
leading global destination for sustainable tourism.
Dr. Shaaban expressed his gratitude for the honour, stating, “It is a great privilege to be
recognised by The Business Leader of the Year program. This award is a testament to the hard
work and dedication of the entire team at Emirates Park Zoo & Resort. We remain committed to
promoting sustainable tourism, and wildlife conservation, and providing unique and educational
experiences for our visitors. This recognition inspires us to continue our efforts in driving
positive change and contributing to the growth and welfare of the community.”
Most recently, the zoo attained full memberships with both the World Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (WAZA) and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), becoming the first zoo in
the Middle East to be accredited by both institutions. Emirates Park Zoo & Resort was also
recognized as the best zoo operator in the Middle East. These accolades highlight the zoo’s
dedication to maintaining the highest standards in animal care and conservation.
As an institutional member of the WAZA family Emirates Park Zoo & Resort takes its place
among nearly 400 leading institutions worldwide, forming a global community of zoos,
aquariums, regional and national associations, and private corporations. The membership
reinforces the zoo’s commitment to conservation, animal welfare, and contributing to global
efforts in preserving biodiversity and educating the public about the importance of preserving
the natural world.
Emirates Park Zoo & Resort offers a unique blend of entertainment and wildlife experiences for
families and visitors. The facility features air-conditioned chalets with traditional Arabian
designs, offering stunning views of the zoo and access to complimentary activities such as
animal talk sessions and magic performances. Visitors can enjoy animal encounters, including
breakfast with giraffes, lunch with big cats, and dinner with elephants, each providing an
educational and memorable experience.

The Business Leader of the Year program is a distinguished initiative that has been celebrating
excellence in leadership for over two decades. An independent jury evaluates nominees based
on various criteria, including corporate social responsibility (CSR), business competencies, and
overall impact on growth and welfare. The program aims to honour professionals who exhibit
exemplary leadership and drive significant advancements within their industries.

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