The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is one of the must-visit Dubai attractions that adds a splash of aquatic life to the desert landscape. The biggest aquarium in Dubai has been captivating visitors since its opening in 2008 and is located in the Dubai Mall, the largest shopping mall in the world by land area. It’s not just a giant fish tank. It’s an immersive experience that allows visitors to come face-to-face with some of the ocean’s most incredible creatures.
The Dubai Mall Aquarium is home to over 33,000 marine animals, representing over 140 species, all housed within a 10-million-litre tank. But that’s not all!! Moreover, it features an impressive 48-metre-long walk-through tunnel, providing a 270-degree view of the aquatic display, a glass-bottom boat ride and an interactive Underwater Zoo. In this post, I will tell you from my experience all you need to know about the Dubai Aquarium tickets, prices, things to do and experiences. Moreover, I will provide a comparison with another famous Dubai aquarium in Palm Jumeirah.
Is the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo visit worth it: pros and cons
Check my quick overview of the pros and cons below to make a balanced decision.
- Central location: The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is a unique attraction that offers visitors a chance to experience the wonders of marine life up close in Downtown Dubai, near the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain and other iconic landmarks.
- Fun for all ages: This biggest aquarium in Dubai is perfect for families with kids as well as adults who are interested in marine life and nature.
- Educational value: Visitors can learn about various marine species, their behaviour and habitat.
- Crowded during peak hours: The Dubai Mall Aquarium can get very crowded, especially during peak hours, and visitors may have to wait in long queues.
- Expensive: The cost of entry to the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is quite expensive considering its size, which may discourage some budget-conscious travellers.
What is the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
The Dubai Aquarium is an awe-inspiring aquatic world that encompasses a massive tank, a walk-through tunnel, glass-bottom boats (actually made of acrylic) and an Underwater Zoo. Moreover, it welcomes you with the world’s largest fish tank panel that you can see from the outside. It is an exciting tourist attraction that offers an unforgettable journey into the marine world, providing both educational and entertaining experiences for visitors of all ages.
Now, I will tell you more in detail about the areas mentioned above.
- Dubai Aquarium Tank: At the heart of the Dubai Mall Aquarium is the enormous tank. The Dubai Aquarium Tank stands as one of the largest suspended aquariums in the world. With its 51 m x 20 m x 11 m dimensions and filled with 10 million litres of water, it’s a sight to behold.As you gaze into the depths of this giant fish tank, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to an underwater world, far away from the bustling city of Dubai. You will see a stunning array of colourful corals, graceful rays, menacing sharks and countless species of vibrant fish.
- Dubai Aquarium Tunnel: A journey through the Dubai Aquarium Tunnel is an experience like no other. As you walk through this 48 m long tunnel, you’ll be surrounded by an array of marine life, swimming freely all around you. The tunnel offers a 270-degree view, providing an immersive and thrilling experience. You’ll come face-to-face with sharks, rays and thousands of colourful fish, all without getting wet.
- Glass-Bottom Boat: For those who prefer to stay dry but still want an up-close encounter with marine life, the Glass-Bottom Boat offers the perfect solution. This unique experience allows you to glide over the top of the Aquarium Tank, offering a bird’s eye view of the aquatic creatures below. It’s an exhilarating experience that’s sure to leave you in awe.
- Underwater Zoo: The adventure continues at the Underwater Zoo, where you’ll encounter a variety of fascinating creatures, from playful otters and penguins to the formidable King Croc. The Underwater Zoo at the Dubai Mall is not just about viewing animals. It’s an interactive experience that allows you to learn about different aquatic environments and the creatures that call them home.
The Dubai Mall Aquarium experiences
The aquarium in the Dubai Mall offers many experiences that cater to all types of visitors, whether you’re an adventure seeker, nature enthusiast or someone looking for a unique family outing. Here’s a glimpse of what you can look forward to when you visit.
King Croc Encounter
One of the star attractions at the Dubai Mall Aquarium is the King Croc. This colossal crocodile, weighing in at a whopping 750 kg and measuring over 5 metres in length, is one of the largest reptiles in the world. The King Croc encounter gives you a chance to witness this magnificent creature up close, while learning about its natural habitat.
Who doesn’t love penguins? At the Dubai Mall Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, you can not only watch these adorable creatures but also interact with them. The Penguin Encounter allows you to meet and greet these friendly birds, learn about their lifestyle and even feed them.
The Otter Encounter is another highlight of the Dubai Mall & Underwater Zoo. Here, you can watch these playful creatures as they swim, slide and frolic around. You’ll also get a chance to feed them and learn about their unique behaviours and adaptations.
The Ray Encounter offers a unique opportunity to come face-to-face with these graceful creatures. You can feed them and learn about their fascinating biology.
Shark Trainer Encounter
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to train a Bamboo or Leopard shark, the Shark Trainer Encounter will give you a glimpse into this exciting world. In this interactive program, you’ll learn about shark behaviour, conservation and the importance of these apex predators in the ecosystem.
Shark Dives provide an adrenaline-pumping experience as you descend into the depths of the Aquarium Tank in the Dubai Mall and swim alongside sharks. This encounter is primarily designed for certified divers, offering a unique opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures in their habitat.
If you’re not a certified diver, fear not. The Cage Snorkelling experience allows everyone aged 8 and above to get up close with the sharks, rays and fish while safely enclosed in a cage. This exciting activity doesn’t require any diving experience.
The Cage Walker experience is another unique adventure offered by the Dubai Mall Aquarium. In this activity, you’ll don a special helmet that allows you to breathe normally while you walk on the bottom of the Dubai Aquarium Tank, surrounded by thousands of fish and other marine animals.
Discover Scuba Diving
If you are above 10 and you’ve always wanted to learn to scuba dive, the Discover Scuba Diving program is the perfect start. Under the guidance of professional instructors, you’ll learn the basics of scuba diving and then take a dive in the Aquarium Tank, experiencing the thrill of being underwater. Keep in mind that this is just an introduction program, and no full PADI certificate is issued.
To join any diving or snorkelling activity, you need to get in touch with the Dubai Aquarium and reserve your spot in advance.
Is the Dubai Aquarium ethical?
When visiting any animal attraction, it’s important to consider the ethical aspects. The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its animals, and it adheres to international standards of animal care and welfare. The aquarium in the Dubai Mall has a team of marine biologists and veterinarians who monitor the health and well-being of the animals, ensuring they are well cared for.
The Dubai Mall Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is also involved in several conservation efforts. It takes part in breeding programs for endangered species, raises awareness about the importance of marine conservation and conducts research to contribute to the understanding of marine life.
How long does it take to visit the aquarium
Wondering how much time is required to visit the Dubai Aquarium? Visiting the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is not a rushed affair.
- 2-3 hours: To fully appreciate the beauty and diversity of the marine world, and to take part in the various experiences, you’ll need to set aside at least two-three hours. This will allow you enough time to marvel at the Aquarium Tank, walk through the Aquarium Tunnel, take the Glass-Bottom Boat ride, visit the Underwater Zoo and participate in one of the interactive encounters.
- 1 hour: For a basic experience, one hour will suffice.
The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo tickets
There are several Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo ticket types available. Which Dubai Mall Aquarium ticket to choose? It depends on how much time you have, whether you prefer a basic or enhanced experience, if you are a marine enthusiast or attending with kids. I will explain the differences below.
When purchasing tickets, it’s a good idea to check the various options and choose the one that suits your interests and budget. Also, keep in mind that some experiences, such as snorkelling or dives, need to be booked in advance and may have age or health restrictions.
- Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo ticket price: AED 150 to AED 400, free entrance for children under 2 years old
Here are the main Dubai Aquarium ticket types:
- Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo general entrance ticket: This basic ticket gives you access to the Aquarium Tank, Aquarium Tunnel and Underwater Zoo.
- Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo Explorer ticket: Apart from access to the Aquarium Tank, Aquarium Tunnel and Underwater Zoo, you can also ride a Bottom-Glass Boat. Select the ticket from the list here.
- Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo + Penguin Cove ticket: This is a combination of a general entrance ticket and interaction with Gentoo penguins in the Penguin Cove.
- Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo + Burj Khalifa tickets: This is a great combination that allows you to see two main Dubai attractions and save money. I highly recommend this combo deal because you will save up to 40% via the link below! You will need to visit both attractions on the same day, and for the Burj Khalifa observation deck selecting a time slot is required. Therefore, not to rush things, I suggest that you first visit Burj Khalifa and then the Dubai Mall Aquarium.
- Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo opening hours: Monday to Thursday 10:00 to 23:00, Friday to Sunday 10:00 to 00:00
- Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo address: Dubai Mall, Second Floor, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
How to get to the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
The Dubai Mall Aquarium is easily accessible using Dubai’s efficient public transportation system.
- By metro: Take the Dubai Metro to the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station (red line), then walk via a footbridge to the Dubai Mall
- By bus: Take the bus to the Dubai Mall or The Palace Hotel bus stops
- By taxi: Taxis and ride-sharing services such as RTA, Uber and Careem are available across Dubai
- By car: Free parking areas available under the Dubai Mall, including the Grand Parking, Cinema Parking, Fashion Parking and Zabeel Parking
Which is better: Dubai Aquarium or Lost Chambers Aquarium?
Deciding between the Dubai Aquarium and the Lost Chambers Aquarium can be a tough choice, as both offer unique experiences and are different in terms of look and feel. The Dubai Mall Aquarium stands out for its massive fish tank with the world’s largest panel, walk-through tunnel and a wide variety of interactive encounters and experiences.
On the other hand, the Lost Chambers Aquarium is known for its stunning design inspired by the mythical city of Atlantis and its focus on the lost world of ancient ruins and marine life.
- Location: The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is centrally located in The Dubai Mall close to Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain, while The Lost Chambers Aquarium is located inside Atlantis, The Palm resort on Palm Jumeirah island adjacent to the Aquaventure Water Park.
- Aquarium and area size: The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is larger by total area and features a 48-metre tunnel, however, The Lost Chambers Aquarium has a larger 11-million-litre fish tank.
- Theme: The Lost Chambers Aquarium is based on the myth of the lost city of Atlantis, while The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo has a more generic theme.
- Marine life: Both aquariums have a wide variety of marine life, but The Lost Chambers Aquarium has more than 65,000 marine animals, including sharks, rays and octopuses.
- Activities: The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo offers unique activities like glass-bottom boat rides and animal encounters, while The Lost Chambers Aquarium offers, in my opinion, more interesting diving and snorkelling experiences at an additional cost.
- Price: Entrance tickets to the Lost Chambers Aquarium at the Atlantis are cheaper, so it will be more appealing to budget-conscious travellers.
|Dubai Aquarium||Lost Chambers Aquarium|
|Location||Dubai Mall||Atlantis the Palm Hotel|
|Other attractions nearby||Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain, Sky Views Observatory, Dubai Ice Rink||Aquaventure Water Park, Dubai Balloon, Palm Jumeirah Monorail, beach|
|Aquarium size||10 mln litres||11 mln litres|
|Theme||General||The lost city of Atlantis|
|Marine life||33,000 sea creatures||65,000 sea creatures|
|Activities||Tunnel, Glass-Bottom Boat, animal encounters, snorkelling, diving, behind the scenes tour||Interactive touch tanks, Ambassador Lagoon, The Abyss, snorkelling, diving|
|Ticket price||From AED 150||From AED 115|
|Book tickets here||Book tickets here|
Other attractions and things to do nearby
Close to the Dubai Aquarium, there are many other best Dubai attractions and things to do that you can experience.
- Burj Khalifa: The tallest structure in the world majestically rises above the city at a staggering height of 828 metres and makes all other Dubai buildings look like dwarfs. Burj Khalifa Observatory on the 124th or 148th floor is a must-visit in Dubai. Book your Burj Khalifa tickets here
- Dubai Fountain: The Dubai Fountain directly adjacent to the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, offers an impressive water and light show. It is synchronised to music and provides a magical and captivating experience. You can watch the shows each day from 18:00 till 23:00, every 30 minutes. They are free, but to get close and personal, you can take an abra ride in the Burj Lake. Book your abra ride in the Dubai Fountain Lake here
- Dubai Mall: The aquarium is located inside the world-known Dubai Mall featuring over 1,200 shops, many dining and entertainment options.
- Sky Views Dubai: Directly connected to the metro station and the Dubai Mall via a covered and air-conditioned footbridge, the famous Dubai Sky Views observation deck offers fantastic Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain vistas, the Glass Slide, made entirely of glass, and the Edge Walk outdoor experience that will spice up your visit. Book your Dubai Sky Views tickets here
- Dubai Ice Rink: The Dubai Ice Rink is another exciting attraction in the Dubai Mall. Seasoned skaters and novices can chill from the outside heat on the Olympic-size rink. Book your Dubai Ice Rink tickets here
- Dubai Opera: The Dubai Opera is a modern concert venue where you can watch celebrities and artists in action. Book your Dubai Opera tour here
- Souk Al Bahar: Adjacent to the Dubai Mall, Souk Al Bahar is a modern market where you can buy textiles, carpets, lamps and souvenirs. Furthermore, it offers plenty of dining venues with amazing Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain views.
Prepare for your Dubai trip
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