Imagine being inside a spacious submarine. You are dipping in the depths watching through the glass sharks floating quietly and dangerously. Here is a stingray fish “levitating” gracefully like a bird. And now let’s rove from the visionary world to the real one – the Dubai Mall.

The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. In the neighbor of sharks

A colossal in size aquarium with denizens of the sea is in this very Dubai Mall. Sand and great basking sharks are certainly public blue-eyed boys. Other public minions are stingrays. Their gliding can be watch endlessly.

The marine animals are separated from the spectators by a huge acrylic panel.

By the way this panel has entered the Guinness Book of Records as the largest one in the world. It is 32.8 meters in width, 8.3 meters high and 750 millimeters in thickness and it’s weight is 245 614 kilograms!

This transparent acrylic panel made due to the most advanced technology is able to take up pressure of 10 million liters of water.

The Dubai aquarium and Underwater Zoo collection numbers more than 200 fish and marine animal varieties.  And this is not the limit – the Aquarium is constantly replenished.

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Hundreds of mall visitors gather around the Aquarium daily. You must admit that it’s so nice to meditate after having done shopping enjoying underwater let alone it’s a free sight.

Underwater tunnel entrance is payable (it is on the first level). Tunnel view is 270 degrees. Strolling under a well-rounded arch creates an illusion you are at the bottom of the sea surrounded by sharp-toothed sharks.

The feeling is so cool and is worth experiencing!

You should keep your ticket allowing you to visit Underwater Zoo located one level above (the ticket allows you to get a discount upon promotional products buying).

Telling the truth, I have been ignoring this Underwater Zoo considering it being beneath notice. But having found myself inside I realized how wrong I used to be.

The zoo is amazing!

First there are lots and lots of aquariums with fish of all colours of the rainbow. The water is crystal clear and bright, natural water-inhabiting plants are waffling slightly, fish are staring at you and you are staring at them. The majority of visitors purposefully go to the aquarium with highly-publicized piranhas.

There are a lot of other living creatures but fish: marine turtles, huge crabs, and star-fish.

One of the most interesting things in the zoo is a gentoo penguin enclosure. Clever birds are behind the glass but they can see the visitors and even having dived try to play with them. Pretty little things!

People say there is a nutria (a water rat) enclosure but unfortunately I failed to find it.

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Iguana and Cayman crocodile enclosures will make the ones who like them happy. Local magazines publish an advertisement about a rare 5-meter crocodile’s arrival to the Underwater zoo of Dubai.  Well, I am going to visit it again to have a look at this long sharp-toothed miracle.

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Here on the second level, there is a glass floor observation deck: one can watch the fish floating beneath. Those who have sailed on a glass-bottom boat will be able to find a lot in common. In fact, you are at the very top of the huge Dubai aquarium and its depth is quite tactile. Looking at this fish world from the top you keep on asking yourself a question:

“How haven’t they gobbled each other up?” It’s wired….

Having paid extra you can scuba-dive into the main 10-milion –liter aquarium and go scuba-diving side by side with sharks. Anyone can require this service: PADI divers have an opportunity to dive without any advances, but newcomers will have to take a short course developed by Al Boom Diving. All dives are held under this company divers’ supervision.

Finally, you are invited to my favorite aquarium with spectacular Pterois volitans. They have so many names! Both a lionfish for their padded mane-like fins and a zebra-fish for their striped coloration. Pterois volitans  is equally as dangerous as beautiful. It is a predatory fish. Poison-bearing needles cellar in her luxurious fan-like fins. Pterois’ envenomation is painful and dangerous.

Dozens of lionfish coexist with large bright yellow fish floating fearlessly among them. Pretty wired, sharp-toothed, almost finless. They are guineafowl puffer or golden puffer. They are unique in changing color during their lifetime several times. Being in danger they double grow in size.

A little bit more figures and facts

The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is developed by Oceanis Australia Group, one of the biggest aquarium owner and operator.

The Aquarium grand opening took place in the Dubai Mall in November 2008.

About 400 species of shark inhabit Dubai aquarium. The total number of fish and marine animals inhabiting the Aquarium and Underwater zoo is more than 30 000.

The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo provides educational program of Oceanic school.

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The Dubai Mall with total floor area 5,9 million square foots is one of the six biggest malls of the world.

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  • Cropping me
    Author and photographerVictoria Lazareva
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