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Dubai Mall unveils the splendours of the marine world to Dubai

Featuring the world's largest viewing panel and a 270-degree walkthrough tunnel, the Dubai Aquarium is a spectacular display of some of the world's most intriguing marine animals. Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre at The Dubai Mall is also a significant contribution to the Dubai community, with the educational Discovery Centre offering tailored programmes for schools on aquatic environments.

The flagship development of Emaar Malls Group, The Dubai Mall is one of the world's largest shopping, lifestyle and entertainment destinations featuring a host of world-class leisure attractions. Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre is one of the eagerly anticipated opening day attractions and is expected to draw in residents, tourists and marine enthusiasts from around the world.

With the main tank measuring 50m long x 17m wide x 11m high, and the world's largest viewing panel measuring 32.8m long x 8.3m high, Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre will be a spectacular showcase of over 33,000 marine animals, representing over 85 different species. Shark and ray-watching will quickly become a favourite leisure pursuit as Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre feature the world's single largest school of sharks including 45 sand tiger sharks, 45 grey reef sharks and up to 30 spotted eagle rays. In total, there will be over 400 sharks and rays to provide for an adrenaline-fueled visual experience.

A highlight of Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre is the 270-degree acrylic glass walkthrough tunnel spanning the entire length of the tank, which enables visitors to experience a unique close encounter with some of the fascinating aquatic animals in the world. Adding to the overall ambience is a special 'lunar-cyclic' lighting system that will create a theatrical effect depending on the time of day, or cater to a specific event.

Mr Yousif Al Ali, General Manager, The Dubai Mall said: "Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre is our gift to Dubai, a tribute that also celebrates the integral association of the region with the wonders of the sea. Apart from showcasing one of the most diverse collections of marine life worldwide, Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre greatly enhances the overall mall experience for visitors and contributes to the unique characteristics of the mall created to entertain the whole family. Designed to world-class standards, Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre will allow visitors to gain a first hand insight into the exotic wonders of marine life."

Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre is developed by Oceanis Australia Group, the world's largest aquarium owner and operator – both in number of customers and volumes of display – with operations in Australia, South Korea, China and Thailand. Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre is being developed in line with an accepted Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare Policy, prescribed by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). WAZA represents over 1,300 reputable zoos and aquariums around the world and has evolved a set of well-documented standards and procedures to be followed in their operations.

All animal licences and permits conform to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES is an international agreement between governments aimed at ensuring that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. 

Designed to the highest international specifications regarding indoor aquatic environments, the Aquarium holds 10 million litres of saltwater donated and supplied through an exclusive partnership with the state-owned Dubai Aluminium Company (DUBAL) and is replenished regularly. Onsite water treatment and storage facilities also ensure that the mineral and saline content of the Aquarium is regulated with enough storage to supply the tank for a year.

Mr Al Ali added: "Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre conforms to internationally-accepted best practices in its design, development and management, and we are delighted to introduce a world-class facility to the people of Dubai. The aquatic animals have been carefully selected not only for their adaptability to the local environment but also for their diversity and appeal. The mysteries and splendours of the marine world have always been a source of wonder, awe and inspiration for mankind. For residents and visitors to The Dubai Mall, Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre will be a mainstay feature and a timeless attraction for Dubai."

The various marine animals in Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre come from different regions. The dedicated staff, trained under the expertise of the head curator of Oceanis Australia, has developed different nurturing and breeding programmes for the animals with the support of an on-site team of marine biologists and veterinarians. The dedicated team of marine biologists ensures each species of aquatic animal is cared for according to their specific needs. 

An on-site aquaculture centre, laboratory, medical facility, food preparation area and freezers assure that the aquatic animals receive timely attention. New microchip technology will allow the staff to monitor the sharks, and measure their food intake using Bluetooth technology, which will transfer information to a main, centralised laboratory.

The Dubai Mall has a total area of 12.1 million sq ft, with an internal floor area of 5.9 million sq ft and a gross leasable space of 3.77 million sq ft. It will feature more than 1,200 stores and over 160 food & beverage outlets. Amongst its attractions are SEGA Republic®, an exciting indoor theme park; the Olympic-size Dubai Ice Rink; the world's largest indoor Gold Souk; KidZania®, a unique children's 'edu-tainment' concept; and a 22-screen Cineplex.

There are over 14,000 undercover car park spaces and the adjoining The Address, Dubai Mall luxury 5-star hotel with 250 rooms and 450 serviced apartments. The Dubai Mall expects an estimated 30 million visitors within the first year of trade.