Atlantis The Palm is celebrating Shark Week Dubai from July 23-31. But… isn’t that something on the Discovery Channel? You’re right. The Discovery Channel’s week-long shark-focused programming is where Atlantis takes its inspiration from.
To hammer home the importance of protecting sharks, Atlantis’ underground aquarium called The Lost Chambers will host two educational experiences that are open to kids and adults. Isn’t this such an adventurous and practical way to get your children to care about the ocean than listen to ‘Baby Shark’ on repeat till your ears bleed!
Why should you care about sharks?
Did you know the UAE’s coastline is a thriving ecosystem for sharks and there are seven species of sharks that are sighted in Dubai’s marinas and beaches, including whale sharks?
Before you imagine a gory JAWS scene and swear off ever going to the beach, hear us out! Sharks are actually quite gentle and instinctively turn away from humans. And the fact that they show up in the waters around Dubai’s coastline is proof that the UAE’s coral reef system is healthy.
The idea of Atlantis’ Shark Week is to dismantle the bad rap Hollywood films like Jaws and The Shallows and sensational news reports of shark attacks have given these gentle fish. Sharks, in reality, are far from being deadly serial killers of the deep blue sea and are, sadly, the hunted victims. Approximately 75 million sharks are killed every year, mainly for their fins which are a prized delicacy used to make shark fin soup.
Let’s dive in
For the next week, these three experiences at The Lost Chambers aquarium will allow Dubai residents to get up close and personal with UAE’s native shark species.
1. Shark Specialist
This educational programme is specifically for kids aged 8 to 14 years and will see budding marine biologists enjoy a visit to the state-of-the-art Fish Hospital. There, Atlantis’ trained aquarists will teach children about the different species of sharks and how they’re cared for. Kids will also have a chance to feed newly born sharks right out of their hands!
When: July 23- July 31; 1pm-3pm
Price: From AED 300
Also see: Swan Lake Ballet Comes To Dubai In August
2. Shark Snorkel
This experience is open to every aged 6 and above. You’ll get to swim on the surface of The Shark Lagoon and marvel at seven stunning shark species – Zebra Sharks, Whitetip Reef Sharks and Arabian Carpetsharks. Some of these are native to the UAE’s coastline. The experience includes a briefing, wetsuit loan, towels and refreshments
When: Daily at 11am, 11:30am, 4pm and 4:30pm
Price: From AED 295
3. Complimentary Activities
Throughout the next week , there are free activities that aquarium visitors can participate in such as a Shark Quest and Shark-themed educational talks from 10am-9pm that focus on topics such as Shark Anatomy & Reproduction; Shark Senses; Shark Diversity; Jaws, Teeth & Diet, and more.