The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has signed a partnership agreement with the United States-based Zoological Society of San Diego for the development of the multi-billion dirham Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort.
The agreement with one of the US' best known zoos covers the design of project facilities, operations and research as well as conservation and education.
Upon signing the agreement, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority Chairman Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan said the project aims to more than double the number of visitors to the wildlife park.
"The current premises of Al Ain Zoo had 700,000 visitors last year. After the entire project is complete, we expect the number of annual visitors to reach two million by 2015."
Commenting on the partnership, Douglas Myers of the San Diego Zoo said: "We are looking forward to many successful years of collaboration with Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort.
"We believe that our organisations share a similar goal… and that is to connect people with wildlife and conservation."
Under the project, the current zoo, which spans an area of 45 hectares (110 acres), will be expanded to cover an area of 900 hectares (2,200 acres) and it will become a mixed-use development.
The plan was approved earlier this week by The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi.