Since childhood I was always fascinated about marine life. May be because it’s that mystic world, which we scarcely know anything about. Or may be because a million of species inhabit sea. Or may be because ocean is that place where, first form of life evolved. Thereby to have a closer look at sea life, we decided to visit Dubai aquarium and underwater zoo.
As we explored inside this mini-ocean, we realised that it is an atypical place. It’s so vivacious, vibrant and variegated.
This blog would explore all details of Dubai mall aquarium and Underwater zoo. Also it will be a roadmap for all those who have not visited it as yet.
How To Reach Dubai Mall Aquarium ?
Dubai is a city of sky-kissing towers. Amongst these soaring towers and at heart of this city lies the largest mall of world i.e. Dubai Mall. The surrounding locality is otherwise identified as Downtown. You can go to Dubai mall by walk, or taxi, or bus or metro.
While feeling lost inside this supersized Dubai mall, don’t forget to explore Dubai aquarium and Underwater zoo that is inside. For better navigation into the building there is a “Dubai mall app” available for download. You can also take help of security or help counters to get there at entrance of aquarium.
How To Book Ticket For Dubai Aquarium And Underwater Zoo ?
Online tickets are open at https://www.thedubaiaquarium.com . Combo package which includes Burj-khalifa top, aquarium and underwater zoo etc are there too.
If not you can simply book ticket in person at the ticket counter of aquarium, like we did.
How Much Does Ticket To Dubai Aquarium cost ?
Aquarium is viewable through a glass display for all visitors of mall. You can get a glimpse of it from outside for free.
But if you are wilful to visit aquarium tunnel and see all exotic animals of underwater zoo then ticket is needed. Price of ticket basically depends on what package you choose for. This is depicted below. Price may vary.
Furthermore there are 4 types of encounters namely penguin encounter, ray fish encounter, otter encounter and crocodile encounter. These are optional activities that costs 100 AED each.
Scuba diving is open for PADI certified divers. Again mermaid show tickets are sold separately.
We opted for ultimate package worth AED 299. As we had formerly registered in an app “entertainer app” ( it’s chargeable ), we got tickets at a discount of buy-one-get-one-free. Notably entry fee is also free for particular credit card users.
Tickets for kids less than 2 year are free.
Is It Worth The Money ?
Well, when a person is seeing world’s largest suspended aquarium of 10 million litre capacity, housing around 33,000 aquatic animals, then ticket price seems legit.
There you will be offered 2 framed photos of yours as remembrance. It costs around 200AED each. That’s quite pricey. But again photos are open to choice.
What is Dubai aquarium and underwater zoo timings ?
Dubai aquarium and underwater zoo is open 365 days a year or 7 days a week. Opening time is at 10 am.
Dubai aquarium and underwater zoo closing time is 12 am. But penguin dove and behind the seen closes at sharp 10pm.
4 THINGS YOU MUST SEE INSIDE DUBAI MALL AQUARIUM
As discussed in picture-1, there are 6 things to see inside Dubai aquarium. Out of which I will describe 4, which are focal point of interest here.
- Aquarium tunnel
- Glass bottom boat
- Underwater zoo
- Penguin cove
1. AQUARIUM TUNNEL
As soon as a person enters there is this 48 metre long Aquarium tunnel standing right in front in a welcoming gesture. It’s stationed at the base of vast Aquarium tank.
Through glass walls of aquarium tunnel one can have an awe-inspiring 270 degree view of aquatic animals inside. As you walk by, it seems like these creatures are swimming all around you.
Most of us had sight of sea animals only in discovery or national geographic channel, but not in real. So It was captivating to watch them closely ; even more so for kids.
My kid who is barely able to say few words was very much thrilled to spot sharks. After all sharks are her favourite, thanks to ‘baby shark song’.
Aquatic tank is enormous in size measuring 51*20*11 metre-cube. It’s home to 140+ marine species, that includes over 400 sharks and ray fishes.
There are arrays of vegetations, corals and colourful fishes ranging from small, medium and large sizes all around. I guess sharks must be well fed not to harm other fishes.
This king-size ‘saw fish’ or ‘carpenter shark’ which caught our attention as soon as we were in ( shown in above video gallery ) It’s amusing to see shape of it’s head. But mind you, these sharks are not at all funny.
These are unrelated to some cartoons dancing as ‘do do do dooo….. do do’. They are hunters of sea, much as same as tigers on land. That’s why only trained personnels and divers are permitted inside.
What are sharks inside Dubai aquarium?
Dubai aquarium has largest clusters of sand-tiger-shark. Other sharks include reef sharks, zebra sharks, wobbegongs, grey reefs and nurse sharks etc.
Ray fishes are distinct as they have electric sensors to find their prey. They are close relative of sharks. Both sharks and rays are super flexible as they have cartilages rather than bones in their bodies.
Rays have been prevailing since Jurassic period which is around 150 millions years! A special form of ray fish is Sting ray, which bears poisonous sting on its tail for defence.
In the video of ray fish in Dubai aquarium video gallery you can see a stunning leopard whipray ( a type of sting ray ). It was indeed the show-stopper. Look how elegantly it is moving, as if it’s declaring , “See, I am the queen here!”
What are rays species inside Dubai aquarium ?
There are a diverse species of ray fish in the aquarium namely cow-nose rays, fan-tails, eagle rays, leopard rays, shave-nose rays and bow mouth guitarfish.
2. GLASS BOTTOM BOAT
As we came out of aquarium tunnel on ground floor, artificial foot prints of animals guided us upstairs. On our way to first floor there were warnings to keep distance from sharks.
Glass bottom boats are placed on upper water level of aquarium. These boats have clear glass floor through which one can easily see animals roaming just below.
4-5 persons were allowed per boat, along with a guide. Pregnant women and kids less than 3 years are not given consent for boat ride.
As our baby was small me and my husband could cruise one by one. The guide of our boat was keen in addressing all our queries. Also he revealed how shark and other organisms are fed.
Many people own small aquariums at home which need maintenance. Likewise this tank needs maintenance too. I was curious to know how water here was being replaced.
Our guide showed us the nozzles through which sea water fills the tank up. There are massive water tunnels which are connected to these nozzles at one end and sea at the other. In addition, underneath tank there is system for old and used water to drain out.
We had a good time at glass bottom boat ride. It was an enthralling experience to watch sharks closely swimming by the side and also just below boat.
3. UNDERWATER ZOO
Underwater zoo is top notch. It was the number-one attraction of our whole tour.
There are seal, starfish, sea horse, octopus, giant turtle, crab, lobster, king crocodile and what not! There were so many categories of fish we could not even keep a running record.
In underwater zoo, we got a picture, how every sea animal is unique. Each one was richly-deserved for a photo or video shot. But we limited ourselves to take underwater zoo pictures. Considering that we wanted to enjoy the moment more.
Take a look at these look-alike fishes in video in above gallery. As if they are dancing with one voice. Puzzling, isn’t it!
In the above video you can see a medley of highly-coloured fishes, crab, lobster etc. It is such a surreal sight!
You can see a glamorous polka-dot sting ray in above mentioned video gallery. Admittedly we couldn’t even take our eyes off. Aesthetically pleasing in every possible way.
Jelly fishes are the first form of life, as per theory of evolution. They were so neatly kept inside underwater zoo that, it felt like watching an animated video. Refer to underwater zoo video gallery above for video.
The waves and strokes as they moved was so damn satisfying. I can literally stare at them for hours. ‘Life’ is indeed beautiful.
It is freakish to watch this 17 feet long, giant crocodile in this video in video gallery above. Look how it is lying calmly, not giving a damn about what’s going on around. I bet it is known as king crocodile for a reason.
What else to explore nearby underwater zoo?
In between our visit to underwater zoo, we took some time off to have snacks and coffee at aquarium cafe. It was there inside. There are aquarium shops too.
Apart from see animals, you can also see night animals like owls, snakes, reptiles, small birds, desert animals etc. There is an independent section for them.
See this gigantic carcass of a super crocodile which is 112 millions years old. Also there are other skeletons of archeological importance displayed inside.
4. PENGUIN COVE
My only encounter with penguins was at tender age, when we used to watch them in a cartoon show on TV. Just kidding! Penguin cove was our first ever sighting of penguins.
Penguins are flightless birds who are accustomed to frigid areas of Southern Hemisphere. So to give them a fitting environment whole cove was kept at ice cold temperature.
Look at the video of penguins in underwater zoo video gallery above.
We saw penguins standing, walking strangely and swimming in ice water. When I waved at them from out side of glass, few approached my hand. Our kid was so excited to see them, much like any other kid over there. Kids were reluctant to come out of penguin cove. But as clock struck 10pm it was time for penguin cove to shut down.
It took us total of 2 hours time to visit the place from aquarium tunnel to penguins cove all inclusive. Keep in mind to reach penguin cove before 10pm so that you don’t miss it. We made it just in time.
Dubai Mall aquarium is one of the nicest place in Dubai to visit. If you are here, don’t miss it. We enjoyed it quite a lot. Our kid too had a great time.
I hope the information provided here are useful and entertaining too. Comment your experience of any such place you have visited recently. Also share this post with family and friends.