Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
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Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo information
Dubai Mall’s most mesmerising sight is this gargantuan aquarium where 33,000 beasties flit and dart amid artificial coral and behind the ‘world’s largest acrylic viewing panel’ (as recorded in the Guinness World Records ). Sharks and rays are top attractions, but other crowd-pleasers include a sumo-sized giant grouper and massive schools of pelagic fish. You can view quite a lot for free from the outside, or pay for access to the walk-through tunnel. A highlight here is a darkened cave where you can go nose-to-nose with dozens of toothy sharks. If that’s not close enough, don a wetsuit and join a dive instructor on a shark dive (Dh625 to Dh1025, depending on whether you’re a licenced diver). Don’t worry: all sharks are kept on a closely monitored feeding schedule to keep their predatory behaviour in check. If that’s too thrilling, hop on a glass-bottomed boat for a glacial float (Dh25).
Upstairs, the very worthwhile Underwater Zoo journeys through three eco-zones: rainforest, rocky shore and living ocean, and a total of 38 aquatic displays. There are lots of rare and interesting denizens here, including air-breathing African lungfish, cheeky archerfish that catch insects by shooting water, spooky giant spider crabs and otherworldly sea dragons.
Budget at least 30 minutes each for the tunnel and the zoo.