Thursday, September 15, 2016

Aquarium in Dubai

The boys are out of school for the whole week for Eid holiday.  We actually wanted to stay a night or two in Dubai but the hotel rates were outrageous!  At least for the nice ones that we were looking at. So it was an easy decision to just make it a quick day trip to Dubai.  We decided to visit the aquarium at Atlantis The Palm. It's called The Palm because it's located on the Palm Jumeirah islands - the world's largest artificial island (at least back in 2007 when it first opened).
Pretty impressive, eh?!  There's actually a monorail that runs from one end to the other.  We will most likely opt for that next time as there's still a lot of construction going on along the streets.  Here's the view of the hotel driving in, with the elevated monorail to the left:
See what I mean by construction? Look at all those cranes!
And look at the shape of this new construction nearby - Whoa!!!
The hotel would not let us valet so we parked along the side of the street.  The weather was already so muggy at 11am!
The ceilings in the hotel were very fancy:
It was so busy by the entrance to the "The Lost Chambers" aquarium, but funny enough most of them were just standing around there!  So we were able to get in with no issues.  Graham and Charlie were so excited to see so many fishes!
There were many interesting artifacts!
The upside-down jelly fish were one of my favorites:
And the eel tank was really cool too!  A little eerie but very neat how the eels had these holes to go in and around:
See what I mean about eerie???!
The lobster tank was also very cool.  The lobsters had these bone-like structures where they could climb on sideways and even up to the ceiling!
Very creative!
And then, we came to the LARGE tank! This was the smaller section:
Charlie couldn't get enough of it:
Some interesting looking sharks!
And this was quite hilarious. It's like the stingray is smiling when it's moving up along the glass :-)
There was also a couple of touch tanks across from the main central tank.
There were horse-shoe crabs, sea urchins, and this interesting looking crab on one side.
And on the other tank, some starfish, sand dollars, sea worms, and sea cucumbers.  We spent such a long time in this location that by the end of it, Graham was touching and holding everything!
There was a very nice young guide that was very friendly and very patient with the boys. Graham especially, couldn't get enough of this touch tank!
I'm just glad no one fell in as both Graham and Charlie had to tippy toe a little bit.  Well, Charlie's feet were practically off the ground!
Okay, a little break for a photo op!
I didn't realize what this "thing" we were laying in was actually the underneath of a horseshoe crab.  I only noticed it last night when I was looking through the photos. Ha!
It's amazing how intricate some of these light fixtures are too:
20 minutes later the boys are still at it:
Graham is even brave enough now to turn a horseshoe crab over!
I think Graham was actually trying to explain the animal to a couple of young women.  And by time I was about to check up on him, the two women had scurried away in fright - and laughing along the way too!  I'm not exactly sure what had happened but I think when Graham turned the horseshoe crab over, it must have scared them away! Hehe :-)

Charlie eventually walked away to join me in front of the big central tank. If you sit there long enough, you can actually see different types of fish swimming by.  And also people swimming by! Prior to the touch tank, we spotted one of the staff swimming around in the tank.
Guests also get to snorkel in the tank, for a fee of course.  I'm not sure if I want to be in the same tank with over 65 sharks in it!
Charlie was busy taking lots of photos while waiting on Graham:
Time for a selfie!
Okay Daddy... are we ready to go yet???  Give them both the 5 minute warning!
After about 45 minutes hanging around the touch tanks, we are finally leaving the area. One final touch of the starfish!!!
We drive over to a mall nearby to meet up with some friends.  Charlie was asleep all throughout!  When we finally get back to the car 3 hours later after all the "chitty chitty chat chat", we find out that our minivan has been side swiped!  How rude!!!
Oh well, nothing we can really do about it.  At least it was a nice sunset for the drive home.

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