Dubai is a modern emirate and city in the United Arab Emirates, popular for its ultramodern architecture, a luxury shopping experience, and a plethora of restaurants and lively nightlife options. In the vast Dubai Mall, besides the shopping on offer, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo offers visitors the chance to gaze in wonder at an incredible aquarium, watching sharks and other fish swimming over their heads. Find out more about this exciting destination by visiting Dubai. The city has many attractions, including Burj Khalifa, a 2,723 ft (830 m) tower that stands tall over the skyline. Artificial islands have been built, including exclusive hotels and resorts and marine animal parks. Scroll below to read a guide to Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.
Things to do / Highlights
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo hosts more than 30,000 aquatic animals, including more than 400 sharks and rays. Visitors to Dubai Mall can view the aquarium for free through the largest acrylic panel in the world. However, by buying a ticket, visitors can experience so much more, including a 270-degree view while walking through the 157 ft (48 m) aquarium tunnel.
King Croc is a 16-foot-long (5 m) saltwater crocodile. The massive reptile used to live in Queensland, Australia, where he had taken over Botanic Gardens. King Croc weighs in at 1,653 lbs (750 kg), around as much as 14 and a half men. He is one of the biggest reptiles currently in a protected environment and has the most powerful bite force of any animal in the world. The crocodile is 40 years old and is expected to grow even bigger in the next 50 years.
UAE’s night creatures include the fruit bat. The bat is mostly nocturnal and hunts for food at night. It aids humans by eating mosquitoes, which cause a number of diseases, including malaria. The barn owl has the most acute hearing of any bird or animal, as well as binocular vision. While most owls hoot, the barn owl tends to screech or hiss. The desert hedgehog is blind and deaf and relies on its remarkable sense of smell to find food in the desert. it can normally be seen around the rich wadis and forested areas of the desert and burrows to avoid the daytime heat. The false cobra has this name due to its unusual behavior—lifting the front of its body off the ground, similar to a cobra. False cobras are found in the deserts of Eritrea, North Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula. The veiled chameleon is similar to other reptiles in that it changes color to blend into its environment. It has a flattened body that makes it look like leaves and a muscular tongue to grip and capture insects for meals.
There are two fun adventure experiences for children at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo—Junior and Senior Aquarists. By experiencing this adventure, the young ones can find out if they would like to be a marine biologist when they grow up. The activity is for kids 5 to 15 years of age, who will enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour, meeting an aquarist, riding in a glass-bottom boat, watching a shark feeding, and helping to feed the animals. Advance bookings are required, and the program is available from 2pm to 5pm every day, excluding Fridays and Saturdays as well as public holidays.
Ray feeding allows visitors to see the creatures eating from a diver’s hands. This option is available at 10:30am. Just as exciting is shark feeding, which happens every day at 2pm. A team of expert divers heads into the shark tank to feed the locals, which go into a feeding frenzy. The best place to watch is in the aquarium tunnel, where an additional ticket is required. You can also watch other creatures such as the otters at 2:30pm and the piranhas at 2:45pm. If you’re curious how King Croc eats, wait for 4pm. Another way to observe the marine animals is through glass-bottom boat rides. They leave every 10 to 20 minutes, with room for 10 people.
What to eat
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is located in Dubai Mall. The mall features numerous eateries, serving something for everyone.
Markette serves great homemade food, including delicious crepes, pastries, salads, and sandwiches, all accompanied by good coffee. Besides food, Markette offers great views of the aquarium.
Rainforest Cafe is a fun destination for the whole family and serves international food, while surrounded by thick tropical vegetation, robotic animals, and waterfalls. Food items here include quesadillas, chicken wings, chicken tenders, sandwiches, soups, salads, and burgers, and there is also an extensive cocktail menu. The restaurant even features a breakfast menu and a children’s menu.
The restaurant serves a range of gourmet doner kebabs, made with premium lean meats, accompanied by delicious sauces and served on homemade toasted bread. You can also choose a side of fries, such as nacho fries or flaming fries, as well as onion rings and salads.
What to buy
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo Gifts & Souvenir Shop sells a selection of exclusive T-shirts, gifts, and souvenirs. For sure you’ll find here something suitable for anyone visiting the aquarium.
What not to do
As with all of the UAE, there are certain things that visitors should not do in public in the aquarium. These include openly displaying affection, losing your temper, taking drugs, as well as not eating and drinking in public during Ramadan.
Regrettably, around half of the experiences to be had at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo are not wheelchair-accessible. However, the other half should still bring some fun and excitement to differently abled visitors.
Women in Dubai can wear the same outfits as they would at work back home. However, certain extremes should be avoided, i.e., they should wear dresses or knee-length skirts or full-length trousers—no shorts and miniskirts. A blouse or T-shirt should have sleeves covering the upper arm.
How to get there
If planning on renting a car in Dubai, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is located in Dubai Mall. Head over to Google Maps to see where the mall is located and get directions. Parking is available in the mall at a fee.
Taxis can be hailed anywhere in the streets, or a taxi pickup can be arranged by phoning +971 4 208 0808.
By Uber or Careem
Book an Uber or Careem ride by accessing the app on your cellphone.
Take the subway and catch a metro train on Red Line to the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station and walk to the mall. If you’ll be using the metro on a regular basis, purchase a Nol card, which can also be used for taxis, tram rides, and buses in the city.
Tickets to visit Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo are available on the official ticket page, where visitors can choose a day ticket or an individual ticket to a specific experience, such as the option to watch the sharks feeding, from a diving cage. You can also purchase tickets from third-party vendors.
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo information
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Address: Ground & Level 2, Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE
Official website: Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Department of tourism: Visit Dubai
Opening hours: Sun - Wed: 10am - 12am; Thu - Sat: 10am - 1am
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