Under water above ground - United Arab Emirates

Special feature United Arab Emirates: Under water above ground

Under water above ground
Dubai is king of achieving the decadent without a doubt and aquariums seem to be the city's speciality. The Dubai Mall, the largest Mall in the world, houses the very impressive Dubai Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the world, where shoppers can swim with sharks until their heart's content in between picking up a few items from Dior to Westwood. Shoppers can also opt for a simple visit of the aquarium for 50 Dirham (just under £10) which is well worth it. The fish are spectacular and they look well looked-after, unlike at The Lost World of the Atlantis hotel. The Lost World costs twice the price, the décor is extremely Disney-like and an extremely poor effort has been made to give fish enough room in the aquariums. Some fish had severe signs of cataract, and one even had a missing eye. Furthermore the interior of the tanks have plastic plants and Formica rocks...although the fish are striking, such as the glowing blue and red jellyfish, the visit is not worth it and we came out feeling robbed and saddened by the ill-treatment of the fish. Plus, if you are really dying to have a look at The Lost World tanks despite the above, then don't get cheated and ask for the main lobby of the hotel where you can join the crowds to gawp at the largest and most impressive of the attraction's tanks for free. If you are a huge fan of aquariums and you are keen on putting in the budget to have dinner whilst admiring an array of happy well cared-for fish, then the colourful Burj al Arab Hotel Al Mahara seafood restaurant is the obvious choice, with its marine theme and large circular aquarium in the centre of the seating area.

Text: Rooksana Hossenally.

Image: Stéphanie Poli

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