Mesoporous zirconia and nickel incorporated zirconia catalysts were prepared following different routes. Synthesis of mesoporous zirconia and Ni incorporated zirconia with very narrow pore size distributions and high surface area was achieved. Ni incorporated mesoporous zirconia materials showed high activity in carbon dioxide reforming of methane, performed at 600 degrees C. Coke formation during dry reforming was eliminated over the Ni incorporated zirconia catalyst prepared by the one-pot procedure, using Pluronic P123 as the surfactant. It was shown that Ni was very well distributed within this material with cluster sizes smaller than the detection limit of XRD. This catalyst also showed highly stable catalytic performance. However, the catalysts prepared by the impregnation method showed higher activity but much higher coke formation than the catalyst prepared by the one-pot route. Copyright (C) 2015, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.