Long seen as a symbol of wealth in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), owning an exotic animal is now illegal!
Only zoos, wildlife parks, circuses, breeding and research centers are entitled to keep wild or exotic animals. The public is urged to report cases of wild animals being kept as pets. Anyone who takes a leopard, cheetah or any other kind of exotic animal out in public will face a jail term of up to six month and a fine ranging between Dh10,000 and Dh500,000.
Whereas the photo of the man driving with his pet cheetah is what most people think of, the actual list of top exotic pets in the UAE consists mainly of birds and reptiles:
The British Veterinary Hospital, which works with Dubai Municipality at the Birds and Pet Market in Al Warsan 3, revealed the figures on Tuesday, indicating that the majority of exotic animals consist of birds and reptiles.
For a list of the top 10 exotic pets in the UAE, you can find more information here.