Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is a large fishtank in The Dubai Mall, hosting thousands of fish and other underwater wildlife for visitors and residents to watch. No fishing allowed though. Enter the tunnel on the ground floor, or go to level 2 to visit at the Underwater Zoo. View the fish for free from far away on ground floor, level 1 or 2, or buy a ticket for the tunnel to stand up close and make funny faces while the fish wonder if you really are the most intelligent species on the planet. You can press your nose against the glass for free if you walk behind the aquarium on level 1 (where Chillis, Romano's Macaroni & Grill, and H&M are), or sometimes downstairs behind the tunnel entrance or exit (if it's not roped off).
- On 02 June 2010, the UAE Ministry of Education gave their official approval for school trips to the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo in an agreement signed with Emaar Retail. So does that mean that students have to swim with the sharks to get their A-levels in Fishing?
- Three different zones - Living Ocean, Rainforest, Rocky Shore?
Night Safaris at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
- Walk through a jungle rainforest with headlamp and safari tour guide to get a Night Safari feeling in a shopping mall.
- Night Safaris available 04 January 2012 to 29 February 2012 (announced 15 December 2012)? Extended to 31 March 2012 (announced 20 March 2012).
- Discount of 30% on ticket prices for UAE residents (bring UAE ID card according to announcement, unknown if passport with residence visa or driver's licence is acceptable).
- Ticket prices - Platinum Aquarium Package AED 75, Diamond Aquarium Package AED 85, Ultimate Aquarium Package AED 100.
- Located on level 2 of The Dubai Mall. Contact tel +971-4-4485200.
Dubai Aquarium ticket prices (2011 prices?)
||Dubai Aquarium tunnel
||Aquarium tunnel + zoo
||Swim with the sharks
||AED 25 (US$7.00)
||AED 50 (US$7.00)
||AED 25 + 50
||AED 625 or AED 825
||AED 20 (US$5.50)
||AED 50 (US$7.00)
||AED 25 + 50
||AED 625 or AED 825
Dubai Aquarium opening hours
- Sunday to Wednesday 1000-2200 (10am to 10 pm). Last admission to tunnel at 2145, last admission to zoo at 2100.
- Thursday to Saturday 1000-2400 (10am to midnight). Last admission to tunnel at 2345, last admission to zoo at 2300.
List of activities at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
- Cage Snorkelling Experience
- Glass Bottom Boat Ride
- Ocean School Program
- Shark Dive
- Specialty Dive - shark identification and underwater photography
List of fish species and other animals in the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
- Antarctic Gentoo Penguins
- Bigeye Trevally
- Black Tip Shark
- Caiman Crocodiles
- Coral Cat Shark
- Clown Fish
- Cownose Rays
- Crocodiles - Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman and West African Dwarf crocodiles, special exhibit (Crocodylia) during September 2012.
- Dart Frogs
- Fantail Rays
- Giant Catfish
- Giant Grouper
- Giant Spider Crabs
- Giant Trevally
- Golden Trevally
- Grey Reef Sharks
- Humboldt Penguins
- Leopard Sharks
- Leopard Stingray
- Nurse Sharks
- Rainbow Runners
- Reef Sharks
- Sand Tiger Sharks
- Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks
- Shovel Nose Ray
- Silvertip Sharks
- Spotted Bamboo Shark
- Unicorn Fish
- Water Rats
- White Tip Shark
- Wobbegong Shark
- Zebra Horned Shark
Feeding times for stingrays at 1300, 1800, & 2200 (1pm, 6pm, 10pm). Ask at aquarium about feeding times for other fish (or check the swim with the sharks timetable).
- View different ocean environments - Living Ocean, Rainforest, and Rocky Shore
- Animal species include Crocodiles, Dart Frogs, Giant Catfish, Giant Spider Crabs, Harbour Seals, Humboldt Penguins, Leaf Fish, Leafy Sea Dragons, Moray Eels, Nutria Water Rats, Otters, Piranha, Seals, Sea Jellies.
- Some Gentoo Penguins joined the family in 2010 (announed 09 June 2010).
Specialty Dives at the Dubai Aquarium
- "Specialty Dives" is a series of 3 dives for PADI certified divers, organised with Al Boom Diving (press release 16 August 2010).
- Dive 1 is a swimming session with Sand Tiger Sharks, Reef Sharks, Rays, Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks, and Silvertip Sharks.
- Dive 2 is for learning about shark identification and practising underwater photography. Includes a 30 minute theory and tracking session, and photography tips.
- Dive 3 is in the cage for a shark feed photography session. Dubai Aquarium feed the sharks while you take photographs. Keep your fingers and toes behind the bars please.
- Camera equipment provided by Dubai Aquarium.
- Cost is AED 1,875 total for all three dives (can be done on the same day or spread out over more than one day).
- Telephone +971-4-3422993 or email email@example.com for bookings.
Dubai Aquarium glass bottomed boat rides
- Guided boat tours of the Dubai Aquarium
- Ticket prices AED 25 for a 15 minute ride + AED 5 if you want to feed the fish (but you need to already have bought a Dubai Aquarium entry ticket first)
- 10 passengers per boat
Diving with the sharks
- "Swim with the Sharks" available from 09 May 2009 for both qualified and unqualified divers.
- Shark dives organised with Al Boom Diving, unqualified divers will have a preliminary pool training session with them beforehand at their Al Wasl Rd or Dubai Marina Yacht Club centers.
- Shark dive costs AED 625 (US$170) for certified divers, or AED 825 uncertified divers (includes a preliminary lesson) and scuba diving gear rental, DAN diver insurance, and a certificate of participation.
- Advance booking required, tel +971-4-3422993
- Shark dives last about 20 minutes and are available 3 times per day.
- Video film of your dive available for an extra charge.
The Ocean School
- Dubai Aquarium has ocean education programs for school students. Teachers can register on the Dubai Aquarium website for more information about how to bunk off for a day while their pupils learn something fishy.
- Programs available for students from KG to Grade 12 in both Arabic and English.
Dubai Mall Aquarium leak
- On 25 February 2010 a crack developed and the Dubai Mall Aquarium started leaking, resulting in a partial evacuation of the Dubai Mall, a cleaner floor, and discounted fish and chips at the food court.
- "There was a small problem, a simple crack, and the water leaked," according to an unidentified police officer, as reported by Reuters.
- A statement from The Dubai Mall said "A leakage was noticed at one of the panel joints of the Dubai Aquarium at The Dubai Mall and was immediately fixed by the aquarium's maintenance team. The leakage did not impact the aquarium environment or the safety of the aquatic animals."
- But a statement on the WAM website (the UAE official news agency) with the headline "Al Abbar scotches rumours over aquarium leakage in Dubai Mall" reported that Mohammed Ali Alabbar, the Emaar Chairman, denied the reports of leaking water (or maybe leaking fish) - he "brushed aside the rumours circulated by public that the aquarium in Dubai Mall has a leakage", and said there was a "technical fault in the operating device," whatever that means. Later on the same day, the report was withdrawn from the WAM website.
- Unknown if Dubai Mall Aquarium staff were looking for a Dutch diver to stick his finger in the crack until someone could come back from Ace Hardware with a tube of silicone sealant.
- Forumers, twitterers, and Chicken Little were distraught and reported a major disaster in Dubai, saying things like the fish tank had "exploded." As far as we know, the aquarium is still there, and the fish are still peering through the glass (or perspex), wondering if everyone disappeared to update their twit accounts and telephone the British press to report another Dubai goes glug glug glug story.
Big fish eating small fish
- There were reports in September 2008 of shark attacks at the Dubai Mall Aquarium - some of the Sand Tiger Sharks were eating the smaller fish and licking their lips when divers entered the tank.
- An 18 September 2008 report in the Khaleej Times said that the sharks had killed 40 smaller sharks, damaged divers' equipment and had a crack at the divers also.
- The general manager of The Dubai Mall, Yousif Al Ali, reportedly said "During the stages of setting up the aquarium, two cases of minor injuries were reported and were immediately attended to by the on-site medical team". Presumably he was talking about the divers, not the fish.
- A few months later the Dubai Aquarium said that the sharks had been trained to only eat the food that was given to them, and not to leave their vegetables behind or they wouldn't get a dessert.
Dubai Aquarium summer camp for kids 2009
- Summer Fun Camp for children over 5 years old, available from 28 June to 27 August 2009, 0900-1400 (9am-2pm)
- Includes Dubai Aquarium, Underwater Zoo, Dubai Mall Ice Rink, drinks and lunch (maybe not food & drink after Ramadan starts)
- Cost is AED 99 per child, telephone +971-4-4373155 for bookings
Dubai Aquarium other activities
- Cage diving ("coming soon" according to a poster on the wall)
- Cage snorkelling
- Behind the scenes tour (also "coming soon")
Dubai Aquarium numbers
- Tank dimensions 51 x 20 x 11 meters
- Perspex acrylic viewing panel size 32.8m width x 8.3m height (the largest in the world apparently)
- Volume 10 million litres of water
- Over 30,000 aquatic animals (unless the big fish get hungry) including 400 sharks and rays
- Over 85 different species of fish and other sea creatures (no mermaids or snorks though)
- Length of tunnel 48m
- Thickness of aquarium acrylic (it's not made of glass) is 75 cm
- Thickness of acrylic used for tunnel is 19 cm
- Water temperature kept at a constant 24 Celsius
Dubai Aquarium contact details
- Tel +971-4-4373155, fax +971-4-4373180
- Postal address: PO Box 191741, Dubai, UAE
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- General Manager of the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is Mr Damian Prendergast (16 August 2010 press release).
Last update Monday 24-Sep-2012