Known for dazzling visitors with its many man-made wonders, Dubai has one more attraction on the list that must not go missed. The world’s largest suspended aquarium, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is home to a captivating marine world and exotic animals from different ecosystems.
Go beyond your imagination and try something you’ve done before like, ray encounter, cage snorkelling and even shark feeding.
What is Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
One of the largest aquariums in the world, the Dubai Mall Aquarium – officially called the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo (DAUZ) – is located within The Dubai Mall, The aquarium houses over 140 species of aquatic life, including over 400 Sharks and Rays. It’s more than just a water tank. It’s an experience spread over different levels, complete with animal encounters and diving experiences.
Starting off at this 10 million litre tank and in front of the world’s largest aquarium viewing panel is where you will find the largest collection of Sand Tiger Sharks and schools of Giant Groupers, a marine ray-finned fish. Time your visit around 2:00 pm, and watch the resident divers dive into this large aquarium to feed the sharks.
Next, access the 48-metre walk-through Aquarium tunnel with a 270-degree panoramic view. It’s the best vantage point for seeing some of the most incredible aquatic animals swim overhead while feeling submerged, and also for getting some of the best photos to show family and friends.
Another way to experience the sharks and rays at the aquarium is to take the glass-bottom boat rides. It’s a 10-minute ride, where you sit back and relax on a boat while enjoying a bird’s eye view of the largest aquarium in the world. To access this ride, you need to move on to the second level, where the Underwater Zoo is located.
At the Underwater Zoo, you will find three different ecological zones set up – the Rainforest, Rocky Shore and Living Ocean. It’s where you will spot friendly otters, have exotic parrots flying overhead, spot piranhas, see giant-sized spider crabs in water tanks, touch a starfish, be mesmerised by the colourful coral reefs and so much more.
This is also home to the undisputed star, the 5.1m-long Australian saltwater crocodile, weighing almost 750 kgs, named King Croc, along with his female companion.
Local to UAE, also present are the nocturnal desert animals such as the fruit bats, barn owl and gerbils, that you can spot in the low light caved zone.
Top Tip: If you are able to time your visit right, you may spot regular feeding sessions take place for Rays at 10:30 am, Otters at 2:30 pm, Piranhas at 2:45 pm and King Croc at 3:00 pm. (Timings may be subject to change)
Top Experiences at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo:
Once inside the aquarium, there’s a great list of the animal encounters available to choose from, in addition to your basic entry ticket:
Interact with a cute bunch of Antarctic Gentoo Penguins in the Penguin Cove. The cove is a purpose built temperature controlled facility, which replicates the Subantarctic environmental conditions, including the air temperature and their annual light cycle. Step into a penguin- friendly terrain with temperatures upto 2 degrees as you learn about their fascinating natural behaviours, get up-close and personal, and also take lots of pictures with them.
King Croc Encounter
Not an encounter as close as the penguins, but considering the size of these sharp teethed beasts, you will probably want to maintain a safe distance from them. Home to the impressive King croc and Queen croc, spend your time learning facts about these impressive cold- blooded creatures, such as their habitat, their dietary requirements and how much they weigh. Complete the experience by feeding these mighty crocodiles with complete safety measures in place.
Have the opportunity to get close to Asian small-clawed Otters, shake hands with them and learn various facts about their lifestyle. Watch these clever furry friends interact with their trainers and treat you to some cute moves.
Meet, touch and hand feed upto 50 sting rays at this exhilarating experience. Step into specially designed feeding platforms in waterproof gear, and enjoy the experience as these inquisitive, yet gentle creatures breach the water surface to grab the fish from your hands.
Shark Trainer Encounter
Stand in shallow tanks with your family, in your waist high waterproof waders, as you experience interacting with sharks. Have the Bamboo Sharks and Leopard Sharks swim around you, as you learn how DAUZ takes care of them, complete from their feeding to breeding habits.
There’s also several diving experiences available for you to choose from:
(some height and age restrictions apply)
Embark on a memorable diving experience as you swim up close and personal with Tiger Sharks, Reef Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Tawny Nurse Sharks, Giant Groupers and Stingrays. Don’t worry if you are not a certified scuba diver, as you can still experience the thrill of diving with sharks after completing a short Discover Scuba program with Al Boom Diving.
Similar to the scuba diving experience, but without the diving equipment and diving experience. Simply put on snorkelling gear, and feel the same thrills of getting close to sharks and rays in a safe cage setting. Participants need to be at least 8 years and older for this activity.
Shark Walker (Cage)
Put on an oxygenated helmet that allows you to breathe underwater and get close to the largest collection of sharks and other marine animals. Similar to the above activity, you will be suspended in a cage and won’t need any scuba diving experience. You can even film your experience using the DAUZ trainer’s GoPro, and have that memory to share with friends and family later.
Other Facilities at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
A visit to DAUZ is wheelchair and stroller friendly, with designated stroller parking areas too.
Toilets are accessible at Level 2 of the Underwater Zoo, and visitors can also access the toilets, baby changing facilities and prayer rooms of The Dubai Mall, at different levels.
There is a gift shop to purchase souvenirs, printed photos and videos of your experience.
The Dubai Mall Food court is also easily accessible from Level 2, in case you are feeling hungry, along with many cafes and restaurants to choose from.
DAUZ also host birthday parties and have two different packages for you to choose from. For more details please click here.
Dubai Aquarium Tickets
Tickets are available for purchase on the spot at the ticket counter in Dubai Mall or can be advanced purchased. A basic ticket includes access to the Aquarium, Aquarium Tunnel and Underwater Zoo, and then add on different experiences to customise your visit.
Popular packages include the Explorer Experience and the VIP Explorer Package. Special rates are also available if you are a UAE resident.
- Tickets are payable from 2 years old and above
- Under 15’s must be accompanied by an adult
The Annual Pass for the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is AED 400 for adults, and for children under 12, it is AED 300, giving you unlimited entry access, extra discounts and privileges.
There are many reliable third-party sellers for Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo tickets, often at a discount to buying direct. You can also package your ticket with popular nearby attraction At The Top Burj Khalifa, also attached to Dubai Mall or included hotel transfers in your ticket price.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
No, DAUZ is not the only one. You can also visit The Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai. Different to DAUZ, The Lost Chambers is a unique aquarium allowing guests to delve deeper into the fascinating world of marine life while watching 65,000 marine animals swim in the Ambassador Lagoon and have the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes tour or dive into the depths with an aquarium experience.
There are similarities between the two, but each is unique with different add-on experiences. The Lost Chambers is best when combined with a visit to Aquaventue at Atlantis water park to get the best value for money.
DAUZ is more centrally located and easier to access for tourists only on a short stopover in the city.
Yes, guests are allowed to take photographs and videos, however keeping in mind the health of some of the animals, flash photography at specific exhibits is not allowed.
For the Basic experience, which includes the Aquarium Tunnel and the Underwater Zoo, it can take up to 2 hours. Extra experiences can take longer, depending on queuing and preparation time. If you are going for the Glass Bottom Boat ride, which lasts for 15-20 minutes, it is advisable to book the boat ride on arrival to avoid long waiting period.
You are free to stay as long as you wish at the different zones in DAUZ. Once you exit, re-entry is not allowed.
The viewing screen of the aquarium is free to all from within the Dubai Mall, you will certainly get a great taste for what’s inside from any floor in the central area of Dubai Mall – one of our favourite free things to do in Dubai.
The Aquarium Tunnel, Underwater Zoo and animal encounter experiences all come with a cover charge as we’ve detailed above.
How to get to Dubai Mall Aquarium:
DAUZ is located within The Dubai Mall, with the ticket counter on the ground level. It’s where the journey begins with the 48-meter Aquarium walkthrough tunnel, before moving on to Level 2 to explore the Underwater Zoo.
To get to The Dubai Mall by car: Take the first interchange and proceed through Financial Centre Road (formerly Doha Street), and follow signs to The Dubai Mall.
To get to The Dubai Mall by Metro: Make a stop at the Burj Khalifa/The Dubai Mall station (Red Line), which is within a walkable distance from The Dubai Mall by using the Metro Link Bridge.
To get to The Dubai Mall by Bus: Take bus route 27 from the Deira Gold Souk station or route 29 from Ghubaiba bus station which drop off in front of the Grand Drive Entrance, on the Lower Ground Floor of The Dubai Mall.
Dubai Mall Aquarium Opening Hours:
Open 365 days a year, the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo operates:
- Sunday to Wednesday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
- Thursday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 12:00 am
Stay up-to-date with information on DAUZ timings and special experiences by visiting their website: https://www.thedubaiaquarium.com/
Nearby Attractions to the Dubai Mall Aquarium:
With DAUZ located within The Dubai Mall, other family friendly attractions are just a few minutes away.
You can experience the thrill of ice-skating at Dubai Ice Rink, go back in time and visit the Dubai Dino, challenge reality at VR Park, get the children to ‘work’ at Kidzania Dubai, go for a spin at E-kart Zabeel and reach for new heights at At the Top, Burj Khalifa.
Where to stay near Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Being part of the Dubai Mall complex, anywhere attached to the Mall or Downtown Dubai will be a great place to stay. Some top recommendations in the immediate vicinity include:
- The Address Dubai Mall – as close as you can get to the action! Wonderful 5 star stay for families and couples alike
- Palace Downtown – luxury offering with sensational Burj views and more resort-like facilities
- Rove Downtown – less than 10 minutes walk a fabulous inner-city stay option for travellers on a tighter budget
You can see our complete guide to the best hotels in Downtown Dubai here, or see further options including rental properties here:
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Dubai, a handy guide on what to pack and top tips for first-timers on the do’s and don’ts, laws and customs to be aware of.
- Check out this incredible list of 150+ places you should visit when you’re in Dubai.
- Pick up a Dubai Pass to save up to 50% on top Dubai attractions
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!!!
- Discover the best areas to stay in Dubai, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
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