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The shark issue

The shark issue

The publicity has been priceless. Everyone in the world knows about Sammy and the angry reef sharks in The Dubai Mall, but what about the sharks?

October 30, 2008 2:09 by

Do you realize how much publicity Sammy the shark has given Atlantis, The Palm and Dubai? It’s true that negative publicity is good, but only to a point. Especially when hardcore environmentalists are pushing for Sammy’s cause.

Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahd, the UAE’s minister of Environment and Water has said Sammy will be released in the near future, but the hotel’s spokeswoman denied this: “At some point the whale shark could be released,” she said.

Sammy, however, isn’t the only shark in captivity. Aside from the sharks held in the Atlantis water park (which no one seems to talk about), the reef sharks in the world’s largest aquarium in The Dubai Mall have also made headlines. Last month they showed signs of distress when they attacked divers charged with cleaning the enormous aquarium.

So what now? Will the sharks be released or not? It’s unlikely, with all the publicity these fish have generated, that either the hotel or the mall will let them go. Which is why, when headlines such as The Sun’s “Shark tank is a bloodbath” appear, with outrageous descriptions of an all out war in The Dubai Mall’s aquarium (man against beast, who will win?) – complete with criticisms of Dubai’s hunger for publicity – no one in the emirate can complain.

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