Antarctic Gentoo Penguins have a new home at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo at The Dubai Mall now offers a glimpse of life in the icy Antarctic.
June 10, 2010 9:42 by Rasha Reslan
For the first time in the Middle East region, three pairs of Gentoo Penguins now call Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo at The Dubai Mall, their home.
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo has created a special exhibit that simulates the natural environment of the Gentoo Penguins with ice beds, water surfaces and the ambient temperature regulated at zero and sub-zero degree Celsius.
The six Gentoo Penguins, three male and three female, will add to the penguin community of Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, which already features Humboldt Penguins, a warm-weather species found on rocky mainland shores off the coasts of Chile and Peru. The Gentoo Penguin exhibit, themed as ‘Melting Ice’, also puts a spotlight on global warming and its impact on polar ice.
There are very few facilities worldwide that exhibit these Antarctic Penguins, and they have been brought in from the UK following all international norms regarding the transfer.
Mr Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Retail LLC, said: “We are focused on continuously enhancing the visitor experience at our leisure attractions in The Dubai Mall. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is a global leisure destination and we have added new exhibits that are a novelty to the region, thus setting new benchmarks.”
Mr Damian Prendergast, General Manager, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, said: “Gentoo Penguins are amazing animals and will give unique insights into the Antarctic marine diversity and way of life. We are proud to be the first facility in the Middle East to exhibit Gentoo Penguins. The home of the Gentoo Penguins here has been specially created with lighting effects providing a translucent appearance of frozen water with rays of sunlight falling from behind. A snow making machine creates a real-snow habitat.”
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is one of the largest and most diverse aquariums in the world, featuring over 33,000 aquatic animals and the world’s largest acrylic viewing panel. New species are regularly added with recent additions being the exquisite Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks and Electric Eel.
A 270-degree walk-through tunnel experience, Glass Bottom Boat Rides, Shark Dives, Cage Snorkeling Experience, The Ocean School Programme and the Aquarist Programme are amongst some of the activities that offer an interactive experience for visitors to Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.
Underwater Zoo, located on Level 2 above the main Aquarium, presents the bio-diversity in different ecological zones including Rainforest, Rocky Shore and Living Ocean. Apart from Humboldt Penguins and Caiman Crocodiles, the animals featured here include Piranhas, Giant Spider Crabs, Water Rats, Giant Catfish, Clown fish and Dart Frogs.
Other leisure attractions at The Dubai Mall include the Olympic-size Dubai Ice Rink; SEGA Republic, the region’s first and largest SEGA indoor theme park; the 22-screen Reel Cinemas; and KidZania®, a unique children’s edutainment concept.