The United Arab Emirates is a country that offers a variety of attractions for visitors of all ages and interests. One of the most popular and family-friendly activities is visiting the zoos and aquariums that showcase the diverse and amazing wildlife of the region and beyond. Whether you want to see exotic animals, marine creatures, or tropical plants, there is a zoo or aquarium for you in the UAE. Here are 10 of the best zoos and aquariums in the UAE that you should not miss.
## 1. The Lost Chambers Aquarium
Located at the Atlantis The Palm hotel in Dubai, The Lost Chambers Aquarium is designed to resemble the mythical lost city of Atlantis. It features 10 themed chambers with more than 65,000 marine animals, including sharks, rays, piranhas, seahorses, and jellyfish. You can explore the aquarium on your own or join a guided tour, a behind-the-scenes tour, or a diving experience. You can also enjoy feeding sessions, interactive shows, and educational programs at The Lost Chambers Aquarium.
## 2. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is one of the largest and most impressive aquariums in the world. Located at The Dubai Mall, it holds 10 million litres of water and showcases more than 33,000 aquatic animals, including over 300 sharks and rays. You can walk through a 48-meter-long tunnel that offers a 270-degree view of the aquarium, or take a glass-bottom boat ride, a cage snorkeling experience, or a shark dive. You can also visit the Underwater Zoo above the aquarium, where you can see penguins, crocodiles, piranhas, water rats, sea horses, and more.
## 3. Dubai Dolphinarium
Dubai Dolphinarium is the first and only fully air-conditioned dolphinarium in the Middle East. It is home to six bottlenose dolphins and six fur seals that perform amazing shows and interact with visitors. You can watch the dolphins and seals perform acrobatic tricks, dance, sing, play ball, jump through hoops, and even paint. You can also swim with the dolphins, feed them, or have a photo session with them. Dubai Dolphinarium also offers other attractions such as a 5D cinema, a mirror maze, a trampoline park, and a bird show.
## 4. The Green Planet
The Green Planet is a unique indoor rainforest that recreates the natural environment of a tropical forest. It houses more than 3,000 plants and animals, including sloths, monkeys, toucans, parrots, snakes, lizards, frogs, butterflies, and spiders. You can explore the four levels of The Green Planet on foot or by elevator, and learn about the different ecosystems and species that live there. You can also enjoy various activities such as feeding sessions, animal encounters, educational workshops, and birthday parties at The Green Planet.
## 5. Arabian Wildlife Center
Arabian Wildlife Center is the only zoo in Arabia that exhibits all the animals naturally occurring in the Arabian Peninsula. It is located in Sharjah Desert Park. A wildlife conservation center that also includes a children’s farm, a botanical garden, and a natural history museum. The Arabian Wildlife Center has more than 100 species of animals, including Arabian oryx, Gazelles, Leopards, Wolves, Foxes, Hyenas, Owls, Vultures, and reptiles.
You can view the animals from air-conditioned walkways that overlook their enclosures, or from glass panels that allow you to get closer to them.
## 6. The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi
The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi is one of the newest and largest aquariums in the Middle East. It is part of Al Qana, a waterfront destination that also features restaurants, cinemas, a wellness hub, and a marina.
The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi spans four floors and displays more than 45,000 marine creatures from around the world, including sharks, Rays, Turtles, Corals, Seahorses, and jellyfish. You can enjoy immersive exhibits that showcase different habitats such as mangroves, coral reefs, deep sea, and tropical rainforest.
You can also join educational tours, feeding sessions, and diving experiences at The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi.
## 7. Al Ain Zoo
Al Ain Zoo is one of the oldest and largest zoos in the UAE, covering an area of 400 hectares. It hosts more than 4,000 animals, representing over 200 species, many of which are endangered or threatened. You can see Arabian oryx, gazelles, leopards, lions, tigers, giraffes, zebras, elephants, rhinos, hippos, and more. You can also enjoy various activities such as feeding sessions, safari tours, camel rides, bird shows, and a children’s garden. Al Ain Zoo also supports conservation and breeding programs for wildlife .
## 8. Emirates Park Zoo & Resort
Emirates Park Zoo & Resort is a family-friendly destination that combines a zoo, a resort, and a theme park. It has more than 1,700 animals, including elephants, giraffes, white tigers, bears, monkeys, flamingos, and reptiles. You can interact with some of the animals at the petting zoo, the farm, or the sea lion show. You can also enjoy various attractions such as a zip line, a splash park, a funfair, and a gaming zone. You can also stay at the resort that offers rooms overlooking the zoo or the pool.
## 9. Sharjah Aquarium
Sharjah Aquarium is the first and largest government educational center in the UAE that focuses on marine life and conservation. It has more than 250 species of marine creatures, including sharks, rays, eels, seahorses, sea stars, and coral reefs. You can explore 20 different exhibits that display the diverse habitats of the Arabian Gulf and beyond. You can also learn about the history and culture of Sharjah’s fishing and pearling industry at the adjacent Sharjah Maritime Museum .
These are some of the best zoos and aquariums in the UAE that offer an amazing and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you want to see land animals, marine creatures, or tropical plants, you will find something to suit your interests and preferences at these attractions. So don’t miss the chance to visit these zoos and aquariums when you are in the UAE!