Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo Reviews
Dive the Dubai Mall Aquarium (The Shark Dive) Jun 02, 2011
To dive the Dubai Mall aquarium will be an interesting experience to even seasoned divers. It will most certainly be an unforgettable experience to new or non-divers. The fact that you will be in a tank (albeit a giant one) full of many different species of sharks, can be a bit unnerving, if not crazy, for new divers. The common knowledge however, that sharks are typically shy creatures and tend to avoid human contact, should be of some comfort for the inexperienced. Nonetheless, the Shark Dive program at Dubai Mall is an exhilarating underwater adventure that you can experience in half-a-day, with complete safety and airconditioned comfort.
The aquarium's visitor dive programs are managed by 'Al Boom Dive Center', which is well established and one of the oldest dive shops in Dubai. The aquarium offers dive experiences to both certified and non-divers. Al Boom Dive Center can be contacted by phone on +9714 342 2993 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Certified divers must present their c-cards and make payment in advance to turn up for briefing at the Underwater Zoo (located directly above the Aquarium), whilst non-divers must visit the Al Boom Dive training center, located on Jumeriah Road (33rd St., Villa 254, corner Al Wasl Road, next door to the Iranian consulate and 500 meters away from the Iranian hospital) for the "Discover Scuba Diving Course" in the morning. This is an easy and very safe training session on Scuba basics in a swimming pool with full Scuba gear, followed by the Aquarium Dive (at the Mall) later in the day. Even children 10 years and older can participate.
As I hadn't planned for this visit to Dubai to include diving, I didn't have my gear nor my c-card. Therefore I had to undergo the discover scuba program and train a bit in the pool at the dive shop training center in Jumeirah and drove to the mall (about 30 minutes away) afterwards for the briefing and dive.
The Shark Dive briefing included key topics such as keeping your arms to yourself and not reaching out to the sharks etc; which took about 20 mintes. The use of personal underwater cameras are not allowed, but the souvenir pictures staff photographers stand outside of the aquarium to take your pictures, which you may choose to purchase when leaving.
The dive itself was a fantastic experience with close encounters of some of the deadliest underwater predators, but the sharks always maintained distance and appeared accustomed to having divers in their space. The rays and groupers in the tank together with the numerous other fishes make for a dive experience that will be hard to forget.
This is a must-do activity if you are in Dubai and like to indulge in exhilarating activities and especially if you are into water sports or diving.
The cost may make a significant dent in your holiday budget, especially if you are a couple, but more than make-up with such a unique experience. I was told that it's also a favorite marriage proposal option for couples :).
Cost and other info as provided by the Dive Center in February 2011:
1) For non-certified divers, the PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience with Shark Dive, is 825 Dhs (about US$240)
2) For certified divers, the Shark Dive at the Dubai Aquarium, is 625 Dhs (about US$180)
3) For Master Scuba Diver candidates, the PADI Dubai Aquarium Speciality at the Dubai Aquarium with Shark Dive, is 1,875 Dhs (about US$520)
The Discover Scuba Diving and Speciality courses will start at 11am at Al Boom Diving on Al Wasl Rd.
The dives will be run at 3pm; 5pm and 7pm daily. You will need to arrive one hour beforehand, at the entrance to the Underwater Zoo on the 2nd floor. A short and informative presentation will be given to prepare you for your dive. Actual dive time will be 20-30 mins and the water temperature is 23°C.
You may use your own mask and dive computer. All other dive gear will be provided, as we keep it aquarium-clean. Cameras may only be use by divers conducting the PADI Dubai Aquarium Specialty Course. The dive is 625 Dhs inclusive of dive gear rental, the training presentation, DAN diver insurance and a certificate of participation.
Please note that according to safe diving and flying procedures, you must allow for 12 hours for a single dive or 18 hours for multiple dives after your dive before you can fly.
Note: As the Burj Khalifa is over 300m tall, allow 18 hours after your dive before going to the observation deck—or go before your dive.
Pre-payment with a 48 hours cancellation policy will be applicable, with some terms and conditions.
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