Dubai Mall Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

I’m the kind of person who is pretty easily impressed. I mean, if you’ve read this post, you’d know that I turn into a bit of a child when it comes to going to amusement parks. So, for things that other people find not so impressive, I’m already saying things like “wow”, “OMG” and “how amazing is this?”. I did exactly this when I saw the Dubai Mall Aquarium.

The Dubai Mall is an amazing place in itself, but I’ll tell you more about that in a later post. For now, let me just say that in the middle of the mall is an aquarium that is 3 levels tall. It’s quite unbelievable to look at, as it’s just this massive wall of glass and you can see all these colourful fish swimming gracefully in and out of coral and staying out of the way of the sharks and sting rays.

It was completely free of charge to just stand and admire the wall of the Dubai Mall Aquarium, (because it’s in the middle of the mall) but hubby and I decided to pay the money and go through the tunnel. It kind of reminded me of the tunnel at Kelly Tarlton’s in New Zealand, but even though this one was shorter, it seemed way better.

Before heading into the tunnel we stood in front of a green screen and had our photo taken and were told it would be available to look at (meaning purchase) when we exited the tunnel. Keep reading to see the amazing green screen photo.

The tunnel itself would have been about 10 metres long but it took hubby and I about 20 minutes to get from one end to the other. We’d take another step down the tunnel and then a new fish/ shark/ sting ray would catch our eye and we’d be mesmerised by it. Hubby took what seemed like hundreds of photos of the sharks, because he’s absolutely fascinated by them.


Once we’d finally made our way through the tunnel we were shown our green screen photo. It was presented in a blue, crocodile like, leather look folder and on one side was our photo (which isn’t that bad) and on the other, an excellent photo of one of the sharks in the tank. We gave in and purchased the folder, but we also got a cute little shark shaped USB stick with a digital copy of our photo.

green screen photo
Green screening at it’s best

From there we were directed up to the 3rd level of the shopping mall to go to the Underwater Zoo (which is included in the ticket cost). When we started walking through it, all I was thinking was “how in the hell is this in a mall?!” They way it was set out, made it seem like you were in a purpose built building.

The tanks which are home to the many creatures are super duper clean, so absolutely no issues seeing the fishies through the glass. A stark contrast from when I owned some fighting fish a wee while ago… Their little water cubicles would get dirty and it would take a lot of effort to make sure they stayed clean. Imagine how much time the Dubai Mall Aquairum staff spending on cleaning!

The funniest thing I saw in the Underwater Zoo was the penguins being fed. The penguins were all standing, waiting in a line. The first penguin in line would be given a fish, dive into the water, swim around and then go back and line up. When it was the next penguin’s turn, it did the same as the first one. I really liked watching the penguins and I think I spent the most amount of time watching them, than I did any other animal.


Except maybe the bright red jellyfish and the turtles. The red jellyfish were in a tank with a royal blue background, which meant their red colouring stood out even more and made for an extremely awesome photo. The turtles were also cool, as they would follow you around and it felt like they were looking you in the eye the whole time.


There was one part where you could even stand on a glass floor that was straight over top of the aquarium tank!

standing over tank with sharks
This is us, standing over the tank with all the sharks in it

Another funny thing was the fact that hubby and I were half way round the world, but we still saw a crocodile! He was the newest addition to the zoo and was being advertised as “King Croc”. He was a saltwater crocodile and not the biggest I’ve ever seen, but big enough. There was a glass floor over his enclosure as well, so here’s our obligatory “standing on the glass above a big crocodile” photo.

king croc

The Underwater Zoo is very child friendly, with an “up in the sky bridge walk” (hubby and I did this, I’m really just a big kid) and a really neat “touch tank”. There is a staff member at the tank and they will answer all of your questions, while you see what a starfish feels like. The entry ticket also included a behind the scenes tour and while hubby and I didn’t do that part, we did see several families with children of different ages, come out of one of the tours and everybody looked really impressed.

jaylene on the bridge
Me posing for a photo on the “kids” bridge walk

Both hubby and I really enjoyed both the Dubai Mall Aquarium and the Underwater Zoo. We even spent more time just standing and watching the aquarium in the mall each time we passed it. Needless to say we lost track of time very easily in the mall.

*all the photos used in this post were taken by my hubby – didn’t he do an awesome job?!
What’s the best thing you’ve ever since in a shopping mall?
Have you ever been to an aquarium or underwater zoo? Which one was it and did you enjoy it?
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