Dubai's fascination with aquariums

Published: 3 June 2020 - 3:37 a.m.

Eating with the fishes continues to enthral diners in the UAE, and all things aquatic have long been part of the emirates' heritage.

The floor-to-ceiling aquarium inside Al Mahara, which is Arabic for 'oyster,' is exactly the opulent underwater dining experience you’d expect
from a restaurant within the luxurious Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.

At the landmark hotel, Atlantis, The Palm, no scuba gear is required to dine at Ossiano, an opulent eatery with views of the resort's Ambassador Lagoon.

For a more down-to-earth encounter with ocean creatures, The Dubai Mall's huge Dubai Aquarium harbours more than 33,000 aquatic animals from more than 200 species, including sharks and rays.

It was designed by an Australian-based architecture and interior designing firm, Peddle Thorp. The acrylic viewing panel, which weighs 245,614 kg, is built to withstand the enormous pressure of 10 million litres of water used in the 10.5-metres-deep aquarium, but transparent enough to give visitors a clear view of the stunning marine life on display.

The emirates' obsession with diving deep continues, as Peddle Throp returned in 2016 to build another world-first for Dubai - a 20-metre demi-tunnel that housed the Discovery Channel Shark Week attraction.

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