Things to Do in Dubai – Dubai Aquarium
The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, often called the Dubai Mall Aquarium, is a gargantuan artificial aquatic world which is home to more than 33,000 species of marine life all of which can be enjoyed through the acrylic viewing panel claimed to be the largest of its kind in the world. Although sharks and rays in population exceeding 400 are the main attractions here, other species which arouse equal amount of excitement are the gigantic grouper fish and massive hordes of pelagic fish.
Located at the ground level of the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is the largest suspended aquarium in the world with its aquarium tank measuring 51 metres in length, 11 metres in height and being 20 metres deep. Amongst the large variety of aquatic species, this tank boasts accommodating the largest collection of Sand Tiger sharks in the world. If you’re not really into the specifics, The Dubai Aquarium is a great view – and probably a great meeting point at the mall as everyone knows where it is.
A unique feature of the Dubai Aquarium is the Aquarium tunnel (you have to pay for this!) which extends for 48 metres and commencing from the ground floor, it would take you as deep as 11 metres under the surface. Walking right through the tunnel is a fascinating experience which is made educational by the presence of an Aquarium Educator who will enlighten you with amazing details of the creatures lurking around you.
At level 2 above the aquarium tank (you have to exit out into the mall to get there), there is the Underwater Zoo which features three ecosystems namely Rainforest, Rocky Shore and Living Ocean. This is like a water museum where children are thrilled to spot crocodiles, crabs, octopus, eels and even penguins not to mention a glimpse of how the fish food is prepared. The penguins are notoriously active and are a great finale to the zoo. This is the point in the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo at which it is possible to take a ride in a glass bottom boat and try to touch the fish. (for an extra cost)
One of the latest attractions at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is the Creepy-Crawlies section in which there are five dedicated exhibits namely an Insect Wall, a wall-mounted glass exhibit, the Iguana Enclosure, the Burmese Python Enclosure and the Tree Snake Enclosure. An attempt to cross the ‘Rope Bridge’ would provide a panoramic view of the Rainforest below teeming with life.
Points of Note –
Watch out for the massive spider on the wall in the underwater zoo.
There was a leak in the mall at launch – but it’s all fixed now!
The fare for a ride on the glass bottom boat can be included in the entry ticket to the aquarium.
Opposite the viewing panel is Candylicious, the largest sweet shop in the world.
On entry to the tunnel, you are offered a photo. You can decide later whether to buy it or not. Invariably you will.
There’s also an option to swim with the sharks or snorkel to the delight of the watching crowds.
When – The timings are 10am-10pm between Sunday and Wednesday and 10am-midnight between Thursday and Saturday.
How long – Given the size of both the the tunnel, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo you could spend perhaps 20 minutes in the tunnel and probably more in the the zoo, but obviously depending on how much of a water creature lover you are, you could become mesmerised by being so close to the sharks. We recommend anything from 20 minutes to 2 hours in total. Perfect if you are splitting off from the other half and her shopping.
Location – The Dubai Aquarium is located within the Dubai Mall.
Cost – free to look at the Viewing panel from outside, but behind the rope. A combo ticket for the Aquarium tunnel and underwater zoo is AED 50 while a Platinum Aquarium package inclusive of aquarium tunnel, underwater zoo and behind the scenes tunnel is AED 75. Diving and snorkelling ranges between AED 200 and 2000.
More info – thedubaiaquarium.com and contact via firstname.lastname@example.org