Jewels of Arabia at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

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  • Focus on aquatic animals and creepy crawlies from local habitats
  • Diverse species from four different terrains – open ocean, reef & shore, desert and wadis
  • A range of educational activities that will inform and delight children and adults alike

From the wadis of Arabia to the wilderness of its deserts, from the depths of the Arabian Sea to the shallow shores and reefs, nature offers a flourish of animal diversity.

The Arab world’s own animal diversity now takes centrestage with ‘Jewels of Arabia,’ a spell-binding showcase of aquatic and desert animals at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo in The Dubai Mall.

From October 13 to November 30, 2011, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo opens new windows of learning and insights into animal and marine species from the Gulf region. Visitors who opt to experience the walkthrough tunnel of Dubai Aquarium and tour Underwater Zoo can revel in the sheer diversity of the Arabian fauna, and learn fascinating details about their way of life and how they adapt to the natural environment.

Gordon White, General Manager of Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, said: “The Arabian bio-diversity will captivate every nature lover with the animals demonstrating intelligent adaptive mechanisms that help them survive the harsh conditions of the desert. The seas of the Arabian Peninsula, similarly, have a wealth of aquatic animals that will charm you with their features.”
He added: “Jewels of Arabia is a concerted effort by Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo to showcase aquatic animals and other species from the region. Our objective is to enhance awareness of the nature around us, and inspire visitors to respect the environment we live in, as it is home to innumerable species.”
The Jewels of Arabia showcase will include aquatic animals such as the Arabian Killifish, found in UAE mountain wadis and coastal lagoons, and can withstand temperatures as high as 46 degree C; the Oman blind cave fish, one of the common native fish species; the blue-spotted ray with bright blue spots and venomous spines; the common lionfish with distinctive red and white strips and elongated fins; the common clownfish alias the Hollywood-fame Nemo; the Triggerfish Picasso, named after the globally renowned artist, Pablo Picasso; the blacktip shark and orange-spotted groupers, among others.

To mark the ‘Jewels of Arabia’ celebration, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is also showcasing turtles that are tagged as part of the World Wildlife Fund Protection Fund, and will be released to their natural habitat shortly.

Diverse species from the desert are part of the Creepy Crawlies exhibit at Underwater Zoo. Spot an array of geckos – the large-headed ground gecko, the Khobar ground gecko, the frog-eyes gecko and the button-scaled gecko. Spiny-tailed lizards, many species of sand skinks, a world of beetles, scorpions, spiders, toads, and snakes – all indigenous to Arabia – are part of the display.

To give informed insights on the way of life of these species, special presentations will be held at the Aquarium Tunnel and at Underwater Zoo. The sessions cover the self-defence tactics of the creepy crawlies and Tales from the Reef, among others.

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is approved by the UAE Ministry of Education for field trips as part of the academic curriculum, and Jewels of Arabia serves as a unique opportunity for schools in the region to provide their students with insights on Arabian aquatic animals and other desert species. Students will be provided educational collaterals with detailed information on different Arabian species when they visit Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo during ‘Jewels of Arabia.’

With over 33,000 aquatic animals and some 250 different species, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is a must-visit tourist and leisure attraction in Dubai. It has a 270 degree walkthrough tunnel offering closer encounters with the aquatic animals include sharks and rays, and the Guinness World Record-holding acrylic viewing panel.

Underwater Zoo, located on Level 2 takes visitors through various aquatic environments and individual aquatic displays. The experience tells a story following the journey of a raindrop falling from the sky into the Rainforest, crashing into the Rocky Shore, before flowing into the Living Ocean. During the ‘Jewels of Arabia’ showcase, there will be four zones that are specific to the region – Wadi, Musandam, Mangrove and Desert.

Visitors to Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo can take part in a range of interactive activities including Shark Dives, Cage Experiences, Specialty Dives, Glass-Bottom Boat Rides and Aquarist Programmes.

Tickets for the full ‘Jewels of Arabia’ experience can be bought from the counters at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, and are priced starting from AED 50.

In addition to Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, Emaar Retail LLC manages a strong roster of exclusive leisure and retail concepts at The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination, including KidZania®, a unique children’s edutainment centre; the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink; the region’s largest SEGA indoor theme park, SEGA Republic; and the 22-screen Reel Cinemas.

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