The Dubai Mall, one of the largest in the city, never ceases to amaze and entertain its visitors. In addition to hundreds of shops and restaurants, it also houses the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, a must-see attraction especially if you are travelling with children.
The Aquarium contains ten million litres of water and is home to more than 140 species of aquatic animals, totalling more than 33,000 living creatures. Because of these characteristics, it is one of the largest aquariums in the world. Here one can learn more about the wonders of the marine world, but above all admire rare species such as the largest school of tiger sharks.
Dubai is a city that loves to amaze and captivate its visitors with its countless possibilities that never cease to amaze. Being able to visit a huge aquarium inside a shopping mall is certainly one of them. At the Dubai Aquarium, however, it is not only possible to observe animals but also to meet them and swim with them through organised dives.
A visit to the Aquarium begins with an almost fifty-metre-long tunnel, which you walk through and which enters a large tank eleven metres high and twenty metres wide. From here it is possible to have a truly spectacular view of this impressive marine world.
The tour continues with the discovery of the underwater zoo where there is a large collection of exotic species as well as piranhas, seahorses, jellyfish and more. In particular, three ecosystems are found here: Rainforest (rainforest) Rocky Shore (rocky shore) and Living Ocean (living ocean).
The area is also home to a submarine simulator that allows you to experience a virtual adventure among dugongs, whale sharks and many other creatures. Also not to be missed is a tour in a special glass-bottomed boat where you can watch thousands of creatures swim around and, at certain times of the day, even feed them.
The Aquarium not only allows visitors to learn more about the marine world but, thanks to an interactive approach, also aims to raise awareness of the problems of this ecosystem and the protection of its flora and fauna. For this reason, encounters with the Aquarium’s animals and underwater experiences have been planned, allowing visitors to come face to face with sharks and rays.
A series of animal encounters have been designed at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo to allow visitors to meet certain species up close. Among the ‘residents’ that can be met up close are the Asian small-clawed otters that are an endangered species. This is also the smallest otter species in the world as it usually weighs no more than 5 kg.
Apart from otters, it is also possible to meet Gentoo penguins. The Dubai Aquarium is home to a total of 16 beautiful Gentoo penguins: eight males and eight females that you can really get to know up close.
In addition to these, it is possible to get to know King Croc, an Australian saltwater crocodile, up close. King Croc is considered to be one of the largest crocodiles in the world as he is 40 years old and weighs an impressive 750 kg. The giant reptile lives here with its companion the Queen Croc, a specimen that is more than 80 years old!
Among the very special activities one can do at the Dubai Aquarium is scuba diving, which allows one to see certain species such as sharks up close. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo offers scuba diving lessons for students of all levels from beginners, who can study for their licence here, to the more experienced.
The dive allows you to share the water with sand tiger sharks, reef sharks, leopard sharks, giant groupers and rays, and a host of other marine species. The activity takes place in complete safety because they are protected by an underwater cage and it is also possible to watch the experts feed a school of sharks that are not too far away.
Those who do not want to dive can always enjoy the Cage Snorkelling Experience, an experience that allows you to swim in the 10-million-litre tank without diving equipment. In this case, no experience is necessary and this activity is available for participants aged 8 years and older: just don your snorkelling gear and dive into the secure cage to get a closer look at over 70 different marine species.
Tickets can be purchased on site at the ticket office or you can skip the line and buy tickets online in advance. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo offers its visitors different types of tickets to enjoy new and special experiences.
Here are some of the ticket types available:
Other experiences can be added to these basic tickets at a cost of AED 100 each. In particular, it is possible to supplement the experience with these activities: meeting the otters, meeting the King Croc crocodile, meeting the penguins, visiting the tank with shark trainers or visiting the tank to feed the stingrays.
Due to the high attendance at one of Dubai’s most visited attractions, we recommend that you buy your ticket online before you go.
It is also possible to purchase admission to the Dubai Aquarium together with other attractions such as the Burj Khalifa. We recommend combination tickets to save money on individual entries.
The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is open 365 days a year and its opening hours follow those of the Dubai Mall:
Located within the Dubai Mall, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo can be easily reached by car or public transport. You can get to the aquarium with a comfortable taxi ride or if you have a car available, you can park at P2, Grand Parking.
Those travelling by public transport can take the metro to the Dubai Mall stop. From here you need to follow an elevated footpath of about 800 metres to reach the entrance of the mall.
The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is located on the second floor of the Dubai Mall, a shopping centre in Downtown Dubai right next to the Burj Khalifa.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.