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Definitly dont do Dubai Zoo....its horrible!
Al Ain Zoo on the other hand is great. Its quite easy to find, just head towards al Ain, then follow the brown signs for Al Ain Wildlife park. You can spend a good 4-5 hours there, but I would say get there early as most of the big cats take afternoon naps so you wont see them.
Alternatively there is the Sharjah animal wildlife park which has a petting zoo which would be great for the children. Also Posh paws have a petting zoo I believe.
The there is also the desert ranch that has lots of animals such as camels, horses, donkeys, goats etc. They have quite a few activities for kids and adults...www.desert-ranch.com
Hope this helps.