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Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo: Tickets & Visit Guide

    The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is the most famous, largest, and significant aquarium in Dubai, located right inside the Dubai Mall. This setting is undoubtedly unique: even just strolling through the shopping center, you can’t help but notice a massive glass wall that offers a glimpse into one of its largest and most fascinating tanks! Also known simply as the Dubai Mall Aquarium, it is indeed one of the largest aquariums in the world and a must-see in Dubai!

    The Dubai Mall Aquarium house one of the world’s largest and most diverse marine life collections and offer a breathtaking experience that will leave you speechless. Behind the enormous glass walls live over 140 species, including 300 sharks and rays, and a dramatic glass tunnel allows you to walk right inside the largest tank, surrounded by over 33,000 marine creatures!

    But the Dubai Mall Aquarium is not just an aquarium. It’s an engaging and fun experience for the whole family: the visit continues upstairs with the Underwater Zoo, which continues to amaze with rare and fascinating specimens, such as the king crocodile, luminescent jellyfish, and exotic creatures like penguins, seals, and crocodiles. The bravest can literally dive into the depths of the aquarium, thanks to the underwater cages and shark diving experiences, or could just stay dry and enjoy a ride on a glass-bottomed boat to observe marine life up close.

    Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo: Things to Know Before You Go

    The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is a must-see in Dubai and is hard to miss. It is located on the second floor of the Dubai Mall, the enormous shopping center situated in the heart of Dubai, right at the foot of the Burj Khalifa. A casual stroll through the mall will lead you to its massive glass wall, which offers a sensational (and free) view of its huge tank where thousands of fish and sharks live.

    Undoubtedly, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is the most visited attraction in the Dubai Mall and and one of the most visited in Dubai. It is a record-breaking aquarium and a must-see attraction for families. It holds the record as the world’s largest suspended aquarium, and its 10 million liter water tank, measuring 51 meters in length, 20 meters in width, and 11 meters in height, is the second largest globally. It is home to approximately 33,000 aquatic animals from 140 different species, including over 300 sharks and rays, and also one of the largest collections of Sand Tiger Sharks in the world.

    Dubai Aquarium Underwater Zoo Dubai Mall Aquarium

    The visit unfolds through through the large aquarium tank, reproducing the depths of the ocean, and interactive exhibits, which allow you to learn more about the species you encounter. The most famous attraction, however, is the 48-meter walk-through tunnel of the aquarium, which offers sensational 270-degree views right from inside the largest tank, situated 11 meters below the tank’s surface. It’s a memorable experience: as you walk through the tunnel, you can admire hundreds of colorful fish and huge sharks and rays swimming beside you or overhead.

    But it doesn’t end here! The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is so named because it is actually two attractions in one: upstairs you can visit the Underwater Zoo, which is an extensive exhibition showcasing the life of aquatic ecosystems from all over the world. It ranges between very different habitats, vaguely from deserts to poles. Here, you can observe dozens of live species, including piranhas, seahorses, penguins, seals, and even crocodiles. Indeed, one of the big stars here is King Croc, an Australian crocodile that weighs a whopping 750 kg and measures over 5 meters in length!

    All these features contribute to the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo’s reputation as the best aquarium in Dubai, as well as the most beautiful and engaging, in our opinion. It’s far from dull and is sure to amaze both adults and children. If you’re visiting with children, they’re bound to love it. Moreover, if you are one of those people who like seeking a bit of thrill, you might participate in one of the various diving experiences, such as diving in the shark tank. Anyway, there are also family-friendly experiences, like a ride on a small boat with a glass bottom sailing on one of the tanks, or various animal encounters with creatures like otters, rays, and penguins.

    Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo Tickets and Prices

    To visit the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, there are various ticket options available:

    • The Standard Ticket includes only the visit to the Dubai Aquarium and its tunnel, and the Underwater Zoo.
    • The Regular Pass includes a comprehensive tour of the Dubai Aquarium, Underwater Zoo, and Penguin Cove, along with a guided tour of areas where scientists care for and feed marine animals.
    • The All-Access Pass is the most comprehensive ticket, covering all attractions at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, from the aquarium tunnel to animal encounters and fish feeding. It also includes access to Penguin Cove, a Private Behind-the-Scenes Tour, and a Private Glass-Bottom Boat Tour. Additionally, it offers skip-the-queue entry.

    Ticket availability is limited, with a maximum number of people allowed for each time slot. Furthermore, the ticket line can often be quite long, especially during peak seasons, so it is strongly recommended to purchase your ticket online.

    Things to Do and See at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

    The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo spans multiple levels and a single ticket grants you access to both the Dubai Aquarium and the Underwater Zoo, which occupies the upper floor plus a mezzanine dedicated to nocturnal species, overlooking the crocodile tank. Although counted among the world’s largest aquariums, this refers primarily to its large tank, which is indeed among the largest.

    One might expect a vast aquarium with many tanks, but that’s not the case: the Dubai Aquarium is actually quite compact and consists mostly of one large tank. Therefore, it won’t take you long to visit. From the ticket office, you directly enter the aquarium tunnel, which runs through the entire length of the tank. Here, you’ll have the extraordinary sensation of being inside the fabulous oceanic world.

    You’ll find yourself immersed 11 meters deep, among rocks, algae, and corals of the seabed, while sharks, rays, and thousands of other fish surround you. This is also the ideal spot to take incredible photos: when else do you get to take a selfie from the bottom of the ocean? Perhaps even with a shark in the background.

    You can visit at your own pace and stay inside the aquarium as long as you want. If you happen to be there around 10:30 AM or 2:00 PM, make sure to stay a little longer in the tunnel: every day at 10:30 AM, the aquarium’s diving team dives into the tank to feed the rays, and then at 2:00 PM, the sharks. The best place to see this is right inside the tunnel.

    Past the aquarium tunnel, the visit continues towards the Underwater Zoo, located above the aquarium tank. Divided into three main environments: Rainforest, Rocky Shore, and Living Ocean, it offers the chance to meet a variety of fascinating creatures, typical of each ecosystem, such as otters, piranhas, lionfish, catfish, seahorses, and many other aquatic animals.

    Among the highlights of the Underwater Zoo are the incredible African Dwarf Crocodiles and the Giant Spider Crabs, species that you will hardly see elsewhere, in addition to the Penguin Cove, which hosts a colony of dozens of amazing Gentoo penguins, a species native to Antarctica.

    And then there’s the undisputed star of the Underwater Zoo: King Croc, an Australian crocodile of remarkable size. Weighing a whopping 750 kg, he’s one of the largest in the world. But at just 40 years old he’s still relatively young, and he’s expected to grow even bigger. But the king is not alone: with him is Queen Croc, smaller but at least 80 years old. Every day at 4:00 PM, you can witness the crocodiles’ feeding time.

    Don’t miss admiring the colony of Asian small-clawed Otters, the smallest otter species in the world, which is seriously threatened by extinction. This rare species is carefully bred in the Underwater Zoo, which participates in international breeding programs committed to ensuring their survival and preventing their extinction. And finally, have fun with the touch tanks, where you can touch and feed about 50 specimens of Eagle Rays and Cow Nose Rays, docile fish that can be safely approached even by children.

    Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo Animal Encounters and Diving Experiences

    All ticket types for the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo include the two basic attractions: a visit to the Dubai Aquarium and its tunnel, and the Underwater Zoo. Access to Penguin Cove, animal encounters, and additional experiences like the Glass-Bottom Boat or the Submersible Simulator are exclusive to those purchasing the more comprehensive and pricier tickets, allowing for the full enjoyment of the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo experience.

    In particular, beyond the marvelous Penguin Cove experiences, behind-the-scenes tours with aquarium staff, and animal encounters where visitors can even feed them, the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo offers two other engaging experiences, designed especially for families with children.

    The most popular is the Glass-Bottom Boat Experience, which allows you to board a transparent-bottomed boat floating on the 10-million-liter tank. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy a bird’s-eye view of this miniature ocean. Another nice experience is the Submersible Simulator, a realistic simulator that allows you for a virtual journey into the depths of the oceans, learning about the aquatic animals inhabiting the Persian Gulf.

    For the more adventurous, advance arrangements can be made with the Dubai Aquarium for shark dives inside the tank or cage snorkeling, offering the thrill of being just inches away from a shark. The first experience requires a minimum age of 10 years old and preferably being divers certified with a valid medical certificate, while the latter requires a minimum age of 8 years old. Necessary equipment is provided onsite, and experienced staff will assist throughout the experience.

    Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo Discount Tickets and Deals

    Most visitors choose to visit the Dubai Aquarium and Burj Khalifa on the same day. In fact, a visit to the Dubai Mall is usually combined with a visit to the Burj Khalifa, which is practically located above the shopping center.

    You might therefore opt for the combo ticket that allows you to visit both the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo and the Burj Khalifa. This is a convenient choice for those traveling on a budget, as it allows you to visit both attractions on the same day, saving on the ticket price compared to buying them separately. Keep in mind that this is one of Dubai’s most popular tickets, so it’s advisable to book in advance!

    Of course, the combo ticket includes basic access to both attractions, equivalent to a standard ticket for the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo (excluding Penguin Cove and all other additional attractions) and to levels 124 and 125 of the Burj Khalifa. In our guide to Burj Khalifa Tickets, we explain well the differences between the various levels you can visit.

    Smart Choice: Visit the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo with the Dubai Pass

    In Dubai, there are many things to do and see and tickets can be quite expensive. If you want to save at least 50% on ticket prices and enjoy the most of what the city has to offer, you might opt for a Dubai Pass, the tourist cards that offer free access to many of the city’s main attractions.

    Dubai Aquarium Timings

    The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is open all year round, 7 days a week, and observes opening hours similar to those of the Dubai Mall. During weekdays, it is open from 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM, while on weekends it is open until midnight. The last admission is 45 minutes before closing.

    You can stay in the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo as long as you want, even the entire day. But usually, 1.5 hours are more than enough for a visit. On average, consider about 20 minutes to visit the Dubai Aquarium and 1 hour for the Underwater Zoo.

    How to Get to Dubai Aquarium

    Getting to the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is very easy! Being located in the Dubai Mall, which along with the Burj Khalifa ranks among Dubai’s most popular and visited attractions, you won’t have any difficulty reaching it. In fact, the Dubai Mall is located in the heart of Downtown Dubai, easily accessible by public transport and along the routes of Dubai’s tourist buses.

    The closest metro station to the Dubai Aquarium is the Burj Khalifa – Dubai Mall Metro Station, directly connected to the Dubai Mall with a footbridge (approximately a 5-minute walk). Alternatively, you can reach the Dubai Aquarium by car or taxi. The Dubai Mall boasts ample free parking.

    The double-decker Hop On Hop Off Buses stop right outside the main entrance of the Dubai Mall, and from here depart the routes to all the main attractions of the city. So it will be really easy for you to include the Dubai Aquarium in your Dubai sightseeing tour!

    Things to Do Near Dubai Aquarium

    Even if you’re not a fan of shopping, it’s worth combining your visit to the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo with that of the Dubai Mall. Indeed, this is much more than a shopping center. It’s a true hub of family entertainment, offering dozens of excellent restaurants and eateries catering to every taste and budget. Check out our guide to Dubai Mall Restaurants to discover our favorites.

    Of course, make sure not to miss the world-famous Dubai Fountain show, an amazing spectacle of light, water, and sound that runs at scheduled times throughout the day, especially after sunset. You can watch it from the boardwalk, which is the best spot to capture great shots and see the show up close, or in the most spectacular way, by watching the show from a boat that goes around the lake. Check out our guide to the Dubai Fountain for timings and tips on the best places to admire the show.

    Climb to the top of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai’s most iconic building and the tallest skyscraper in the world! You can access it directly from the mall, and from the top you’ll enjoy an unparalleled view spanning the entire city, the sea, and the desert. A stroll around Downtown Dubai will lead you to discover other intriguing attractions in the area, such as the Dubai Opera. Moreover, from here you can easily make your way to all the other popular city attractions, including the Dubai Frame and the Burj Al Arab, the lively Dubai Marina neighborhood, and the iconic Palm Jumeirah, as well as the traditional districts around Deira and Dubai Creek.

    Planning your trip to Dubai? Check out our guide to the best THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN DUBAI.