Hand in hand, Masood and I walk past the shops in the Dubai Mall, taking our sweet time to take things slow and enjoy the moment together. We have taken half day leave from work and went out for a date. We particularly avoided visiting this place during the weekend, after hearing people complain about traffic, crowd and overall chaos.
(Left) That’s the Dubai Aquarium, which holds the record for the world’s largest viewing panel, containing about 10 million liters of saltwater You can view that for free. There’s a certain music playing in the background, a kind of sound that gives you a feeling of being underwater. I find it eerie though.
(Right) Entrance to the tunnel, which is part of the Dubai Discovery Center. Entrance fee to the Tunnel alone is Dh 25, while fees for the Tunnel plus the Discovery Center costs Dh 50.
A 270-degree acrylic glass walkthrough tunnel, featuring the world’s single largest school of sharks including 45 sand tiger sharks, 45 grey reef sharks and up to 30 spotted eagle rays.
(Left) The tunnel is filled with sharks, and the only thing between us and them is the thick glass! It is an amazing feeling to view these fierce creatures up close. I’m surprised that little girl isn’t a bit scared.
(Right) Sea lions playing around in the water. These are smart animals and know when they are watched, because when they realize that they have an audience, they show off their swimming skills!
Some crustaceans up close.
Penguins! Funny creatures. When one of the them decides to swim, the entire gang follows. Then one of them decides to come out of the water and stand on the rocks, the rest of them do the same. Oh, and they swim around like ducks.
We are lucky enough to be there right when the divers are feeding the fishes! These guys are swimming around the sharks and, if you’re an adventurous type, you too can take a dive to feed these fishes – after paying a certain fee, of course.
(Left) Masood and I stand over a glass floor to watch the fish swim beneath us. We are also allowed to touch and feel star fish and sea cucumbers.
(Right) Beautiful blue blubber jelly.
That is Dubai Mall’s runway, where they intend to organize international fashion shows.
The Ice Skating Rink
The gorgeous chandeliers hanging above the country’s largest Gold Souk.
All animal licences and permits conform to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES is an international agreement between governments aimed at ensuring that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.