If you are on your maiden visit to Dubai then the Dubai Dolphinarium is one place that must find a place on your travel itinerary. One of its kind amusement venues, the Dubai Dolphinarium is an indoor facility, fully air conditioned where seals and dolphins find habitat. It might sound a little strange to imagine a mammal facility in the midst of the desert land. However, it is true that the desert land or Dubai, is world to the Middle East’s greatest indoor mammal facility.
The Dubai Dolphinarium was opened by the Dubai Municipality on May 21, 2008. The Dubai Government supported and sponsored the project with the thought that it would educate the general public about the importance of conservation of endangered marine species and dolphins.
The Dubai Dolphinarium is located at Bur Dubai amidst the Creekside Park at Umm Hurair. It is a part and the first one of the five concepts of the Dubai Marine World, the others being Fish Farm, Coral Reef Aquarium, Research and Therapy Center and Gatorville.
The Dophinarium takes you through an adventurous journey of the marine world. It has been mainly developed to provide entertainment to visitors of all ages. However, it also helps in educating the visitors about the need to conserve the dolphins and other species of marine life and generate a sense of responsibility towards the endangered mammals, in the younger generation. The Dophinarium is actually a fine blend of science and nature that will leave the visitors agape in awe and amazement.
Facilities and Mammals at the Dolphinarium
Covering an area of 54,000 sq ft, the Dolphinarium can seat around 1250 people at one time. The main arena pool is connected to the private habitat of the dolphins via 600 cubic meters of sea water. Ensuring good care and health of the mammals, the Dolphinarium has a separate sea pool and medical pool for them.
Here at the Dubai Dophinarium, visitors can see five black sea bottlenose dolphins, namely, Fekla, Senya, Tetka, Ksyusha and Jerry. The complex also has four Northern fur seals and they are named as Fila, Ghosha, Lusha and Max.
Besides the main arena pool, the complex has other activity area like the kids’ corner, mini 5-D cinema theatre, school field trips, Arabesque dance school, area for birthday parties, kids’ activity corner and a restaurant as well.
Several activities like the Dubai Summer Surprises and Summer camp for kids are held at the complex during the summer holidays every year. Various promotional activities for kids with special needs are also held here regularly.
Facts and Figures about Dubai Dolphinarium
- The Dubai Dolphinarium is the first of its kind marine mammal facility in the Middle East.
- he project which was sponsored and supported by the Dubai Government cost around AED 33 million.
- The Dolphinarium is spread over 5,000 square meters of area with the 180 degree main arena that can seat around 1200 people.
- The temperature of the Dolphinarium is maintained between 21 degrees Celsius to 25 degree Celsius.
- The seats of the main arena are arranged around a sea water pool that is 5.5 meters deep and has more than three million liters of water.
- The habitat pool of the dolphins is such made that it resembles their natural habitat.
- The Dolphinarium regularly organizes promotional events especially for kids with special needs.
- During March, 2012 the complex welcomed its one millionth visitor and several promotional activities and events were organized to commemorate it.
Popular Activities and Shows
The main activity at the Dubai Dolphinarium due to which the visitors are attracted to this place is the performance of the seals and dolphins. The 45 minutes performance by the marine animals will leave you entertained, amused and amazed. The animals juggle, dance, play basketball and even paint. Performing acrobatics and singing are other popular activities of these animals. You will be left agape after watching the performance. The seal and dolphin show is highlighted by nice and up-to-date spotlights and lasers along with suitable music.
Swimming with the Dolphins
Yes! You can swim with the dolphins, albeit for a fee. If you know swimming and want to touch the animals from close, you can buy yourself tickets to swim with the dolphins. There is shallow water swimming and deep water swimming with the dolphins for a fee of AED 450 and AED 600, respectively. For deep water swimming, you must have the scuba certification without which the activity is not allowed. All gear and equipment is provided. Only 2 guests per session are allowed and you can spend 25 minutes with the dolphins watching their behavior and activities under water.
Dolphin Meet & Greet
You can get close to the dolphin and touch them by taking the Dolphin Meet & Greet. You need not get into the water and wet yourself as you can kiss, hug and even dance with the dolphins from the pool side. Families with small children especially love this activity as it brings them up close to their favorite marine mammal. It is also perfect for those that do not know swimming. Only 8 visitors per session are allowed to meet the dolphin and they can spend 10 minutes with the dolphins.
Up Close & Personal to Dolphins
If you or your kid is interested in touching the dolphins in water, you can choose the up-close and personal to dolphin sessions. The water is quite shallow with it being only up to knee height. You can sing, dance or play with the ball with the dolphin. The activity is ideal for children that are not too confident in water. All such activities are conducted under the presence and supervision of the trainers. The session is limited to 8 guests only at a time.
Trainer for a Day Program
For those that are not satisfied by only touching or being with the dolphins for a limited amount of time, the Dubai Dolphinarium presents the ‘Trainer for a Day Program’. In this program, you can become an actual trainer. You will have to undergo a brief 3 hour training session that starts at 10:00 in the morning and goes on till 13:00 hours. At the end of the session you are awarded a certificate. You can learn about communication between the trainer and the dolphins. It is suitable for children of ages 7 and above and only 5 guests per session are allowed.
If you do not want to swim with the dolphins but surely want to have a close clicked picture with the dolphin, you can go for the video shoot. In this activity, the dolphin will pull along a small rubber boat with your kid sitting in the boat. It can be a super experience for the kid and for you, as a parent taking the video.
Creek Park Bird Show
The Dubai Dolphinarium is popular not just for the dolphins, seals and other marine animals but also for its exotic birds. The Creek Park Bird Show has some of the most exotic birds from the world performing unique tricks for the onlookers. The show is one of its kinds in the UAE and is very popular. Some of the bird species here include cockatoos, hornbill, blue and gold macaws, sun conures, toucans, Amazon parrots, green winged macaws, eclectus parrots and falcons. The birds fly over the heads of the audience and try to interact with them in their unique way. Visitors are left agape with the skill and talent of these birds.
Taking back memories from the Dubai Dolphinarium is something which no one will like to miss. You can take back photographs of your adventure at the Dolphinarium by clicking photos with sea lions, adorable dolphins and seals.
Lectures by the Experts
For those interested in knowing more about the mammals, their life and how to conserve them, the Dubai Dolphinarium presents activities and lectures that are conducted by scientists and dolphin experts. You can take back written posts and other stuff from the place.
Facilities to Hold Events
The Dubai Dolphinarium also presents facilities and areas that can be used for parties and special events. You can have birthday parties, corporate events, promotional activities, cocktail receptions, dinner parties and even weddings at the venue. Pre booking the place is allowed and you can inform the manager about the timing and number of people attending the party.
Food & Dining at Dubai Dolphinarium
When you get tired and hungry after all the dolphin and seal watching, you can treat yourself at any of the restaurants of the complex. There are take aways and dine-in facilities available at the complex. The Happy Valley Restaurant has some lip-smacking delicacies for kids and adults alike.
Other kids’ activities include visiting the multimedia library, marine themed classrooms and exercising at the kids’ gym. You can also purchase souvenirs and toys for friends and family back home from the Gift Shop located at the Dubai Dolphinarium.
Dubai Dolphinarium Tickets
The Dubai Dolphinarium is a must-visit place for families especially those with small kids as it provides a fun-filled time and amusement for everyone. Moreover, with the tickets available at affordable prices, you can surely include the place in your itinerary and get it booked with your Dubai package in advance. The prices for different shows is different and they also differ during the peak and lean seasons. To pre-book your tickets, you can either contact your agent or book them through the internet.
To get the best views of the dolphins and seals performing, you would want the VIP seats. These are available as under:
- Adults: AED 140
- Child: AED 100
The Standard seats available as under:
- Adults: AED 120
- Child: AED 70
The ticket prices for the Illusion Show are as follows:
- Adults: AED 140
- Child: AED 100
Swimming Sessions with the Dolphins are available as follows:
- Shallow water swimming with dolphins: AED 450
- Deep water swimming with dolphins: AED 600
- Private sessions for up to 3 people: AED 2100, Each additional member: AED 550
- Mixed session up to 6 people: AED 550 each
Best Time and Season to Visit Dubai Dolphinarium
Since Dubai lies in the Middle East, temperature here peaks during the months from June to September. If you want to enjoy Dubai and its outdoor spaces, you must visit it in cooler months which are from November to April. Most visitors plan their holidays during these months as they are packed with special events, promotional activities, Dubai Shopping Festival and other attractions. If you are planning to visit Dubai during this time, you must get the hotels pre-booked as they might not be available.
- The Dubai Dolphinarium is open on all days from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm. However, it remains close on Sundays.
- The dolphin show timings are 11:00 am and 18:00 pm (Monday – Saturday)
- Swimming with dolphins is available at 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 and 16:00 (Monday – Thursday)
- Swimming with dolphins is available at 11:00, 15:00, 18:00 (Friday and Saturday)
As the Dubai Dolphinarium is a centrally air conditioned complex, it can be visited any time of the year. The temperature here is maintained between 21 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius which is quite comfortable. You can simply include the place in your travel itinerary whenever you are visiting Dubai. You can book your seats in advance so that you get good views of the dolphins and seals while they perform their acrobatics.
Your visit to Dubai is incomplete without visiting the Dubai Dolphinarium. Since it is ideally suited for families, you must visit the place if you have kids traveling along. The heat of the outdoors will not be a problem as the place is centrally air conditioned. So, pack your bags and set off to Dubai for an unforgettable experience.