Dec 6, 2011

An Aquarium and a Cup of Melbourne in Dubai.

Personally, I never thought I'd live to see the day.  Is it even possible for a person like me to spend a few hours in a shopping mall in Dubai doing (mostly) non retail related activities?

The really pretty photos of the side of the aquarium required all sorts of lenses and technology that I didn't have at my disposal.  This is my only photo that sort of conveys the height of the aquarium. 
 Apparently, the answer is yes if the activity involves an aquarium.  I am might be a creature of comfort but the allure of a well kept fish tank is one that even I can appreciate.

As with many other things here, the Dubai Aquarium at the Dubai Mall (my home away from home when  in Dubai) is Guinness World Record material.  Its 10 million litre tank is contained by the largest single acrylic panel in the world.  I wonder if that category was created especially for the aquarium?

The Aquarium just casually appears to your left as you walk along the ground level of the shopping mall. Shops to the left of you and aquarium to the right of you....

Speaking of shops.  Did you know that one of my favourites from Melbourne has made Dubai its second home?

Brunetti's have a beautiful cafe just across from the aquarium that looks exactly like the original in Carlton.  I like knowing where I'll be getting my morning cup of coffee well ahead of schedule.

I started my aquarium experience by walking through the perplex tunnel that runs along the ground after the entry point.

The path then takes you past the Rainforest Cafe which features a very realistic looking elephant on its back wall before an escalator ride to the top of the aquarium where the Underwater Zoo feature is housed.

Did you know that 5 year olds in Dubai are at school on Sundays? My visit happened to coincide with excursions for at least 80 little ones who were identified by their beige and red jumpers, aquarium crowns and high pitched enthusiasm at all the exhibits.

The walls of the underwater zoo aren't that high so many of the children visiting were close in height to the perspex.  It was a bit of an effort to stop them from touching the wall or dipping their hands in over their heads....

Besides fish, there were otters darting in and out of the water.

Turtles milling around their breakfast.

It looks as if everyone at the aquarium is extremely well fed.

This lazy crocodile basked under the light beside a stream of water housing a sting ray.

There were more of the 'rays in a special viewing deck with a clear dome over it.

I managed to crawl into the space to have a look myself.

The fish swim a pretty fast lap here in Dubai.

I got more  clear photos of the coral than I did of the fish.

At least the star fish photographed well.

I wasn't sure if the lighting in the jelly fish tank changed colours.

Or if the jellyfish did it themselves.

A school of sharks cruised serenely through their tank.

This penguin played up to his adoring fans.

There is an option to go scuba diving with the aquarium staff.

This deck runs over the aquarium and appears to be the nerve centre of the aquarium.

I had some time to kill before my glass bottom boat ride.  What excellent timing.

I could go and explore Brunetti's while I waited.

The cake cabinets in Dubai are as magnificent at those in Melbourne.

Tall refrigerated cabinets stacked to the top with those famous, elaborately decorated, almost sculptural cakes.

There were also newer products like gelati and macaroons.

And an impressive bank of espresso machines.

I made it back in time for my boat ride and aquarium feeding session.

The glass bottomed boat we sailed in is the right of the photo above.

In the distance of the photo above is the central podium where the divers set out from to feed the fish and tend to the aquarium.

I couldn't get any good photos through the bottom of the boat but here is my right foot in focus against the boat's glass floor.

At the appointed time, we were instructed to unscrew our jars of fish food and to drop our pellets into the water.

On cue, fish were soon circling the boat and churning the top of the water in their wake.

Visiting the aquarium and having a little cup of Melbourne was a lovely way to spend a morning here in Dubai away from the shops - only temporarily,  mind you.  I have more shopping adventures to share in my next post.

Until then, stay safe and take care.


  1. WOW! Once again, great pics. Are you really getting any work done I wonder? ;)
    Looking forward to your next post. x

  2. Looks amazing! What an experience. Shopping will never be the same.

    TDM xx

  3. You went on a glass bottom boat ride, in an aquarium, in a shopping centre. Wow, just wow.

  4. Really doesn't compare to my local Westfield...
    Looking forward to seeing what else you have in store for us!

  5. You know, this looks so extravagant yet so very beautiful. I love the pictures. And love this working holiday caper. You so deserve it xx


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