Skip to Content

Visiting the Dubai Aquarium: Tickets & Tips [2024]

Visiting the Dubai Aquarium soon? Discover what you’ll find here and check out the best Dubai Aquarium tickets to make the most of your money and time!

The Dubai Aquarium is one of Dubai’s most visited attractions, and visiting it is one of the best things to do in Dubai. Since it’s enjoyed by children and grown-ups alike, it’s the perfect go-to place for families, and for everyone hoping to be marveled by the astonishing view of thousands of animals swimming in front of and around you. 

Whether you’d like to witness from the other side of the glass or get in there for a memorable diving experience, there’s an activity for everyone at the Dubai Aquarium in Dubai Mall. 

I’m personally not a huge fan of aquariums, but since I was living in Dubai I decided to go check out this attraction that is one of the most popular in the city. I loved the tunnel, while I liked less the Underwater Zoo (more info in the section about sustainability). In any case, I was glad I got to visit!

⚠️ Before we move on, notice that Dubai is home to two big aquariums, the Dubai Aquarium we’ll be discussing in this post, and the Lost Chambers Aquarium at the Atlantis. Don’t confuse them! 

Before Visiting the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Dubai Aquarium Opening Hours 

🕤 The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo opens from Sunday to Wednesday from 10 AM to 10 PM, and from Thursday to Saturday until midnight. The last admission is 45 minutes prior to its closing time. 

👉 Since it’s open till late, it’s something you can do in Dubai at night!

How to get to the Dubai Aquarium

📍 Dubai Aquarium Location – it’s inside the Dubai Mall, which is a whole other attraction in itself. In fact, I’ve written a whole post about all the fun things you can do at the Dubai Mall.

▶️ One of the most popular ways to get there is by Metro (the Red Line). The nearest metro station is the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station, and from here you have to walk through the Metro Link Bridge, a passage that gets you directly from the station to the mall. 

▶️ Alternatively, you can get there by bus. Route 27 and Route 29 leave you on the lower ground floor of the Mall. 

▶️ If you’d rather not depend upon public transport, use Careem to call a taxi or Uber. 

▶️ You can also get there with the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour. You’ll get off right outside of the Mall, and when your visit to the Dubai Mall Aquarium is done, hop on again to continue exploring the city. 

If you plan on getting there by any other means, the Dubai Aquarium address is Doha Street, Sheikh Zayed Road in Downtown Dubai. 

Best Tickets for the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

There are several Dubai Mall Aquarium Tickets you can choose from, it’s all about finding the one that best suits your interests! Let’s check them out. 

➤ With the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo Day Ticket, you’ll be able to enter the aquarium on your selected day, without booking a timeslot in advance. Once there, you’ll walk through the Dubai Aquarium tunnel, meet the incredible wildlife that lives there and visit King Croc, one of the largest crocodiles in the world. ➥ BOOK IT HERE 

➤The Dubai Aquarium, Underwater Zoo & Penguin Cove Experience takes you on a journey to explore the different animal habitats in the aquarium. You’ll see the sharks and rays swimming in the 10 million-liter tank, step into the Submersible Stimulator for a virtual underwater experience and meet the penguin colony that inhabits the zoo. This explorer experience in the Dubai Aquarium is especially fun for children. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ Get the Burj Khalifa & Dubai Aquarium Combo Ticket to enjoy both landmarks with only one ticket. You’ll travel in the world’s fastest elevator to the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa and be rewarded with incredible views, and you’ll also get to see the best of the underwater world in the aquarium of Dubai.

From encountering over 400 marine species in the largest suspended aquarium to getting to the top of the tallest building, you’ll be hitting world records while you enjoy the sights. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Save Money with the Dubai Go City Explorer Pass

If you intend on visiting a few attractions during your stay in Dubai, you can save money (and time!) with the Dubai Go City Explorer Pass. 

The Go City Dubai Explorer Pass grants you access to 3, 4, 5 or 7 attractions, depending on your choice, and allows you to save up to 35% in admission fees. You’ll have over 40 attractions to choose from, and you can make your decision as you go; no need to pre-select them! 

The aquarium in Dubai is included in this pass, and so are other famous landmarks, such as the following:

  • At the Top – Burj Khalifa
  • Big Bus Dubai Panoramic Tour 
  • Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis the Palm
  • Sunset Dinner Cruise Dubai Marina 
  • 4×4 Quad Bike Ride in the Desert

This pass will save you queuing time, money and energy, as with one single purchase you’ll get the tickets to all your desired attractions. All you have to do is choose the activity and show up with the pass on your phone. ➥ BUY YOUR PASS HERE

⛔ I’ve written a whole post about the Go Dubai City Pass, where I compare the Dubai Explorer Pass with the Go Dubai All-Inclusive pass, and I show you in detail how much you can save. ➥ CHECK IT OUT

What You’ll Find at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo in Dubai 

The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is home to 33 thousand animals, including otters, penguins, sharks, rays and an immensity of all kinds of fish. Just seeing these many animals swimming around in their 10 million-liter tank is an overwhelming experience, but there are really fun activities at the Aquarium, besides watching. 

The visit starts from the Dubai Aquarium Tunnel, which for me is the absolute highlight of the visit. You may be tempted to rush to go the next area, but take your time to soak it in!

The 48-meter tunnel allows you to walk below the tunnel, therefore being completely surrounded by water and its inhabitants, making you feel in the midst of it all without getting wet. For people who don’t scuba dive, it’s probably the closest they’ll ever be to these beautiful animals, especially the sharks and manta rays.

📷 If you’re looking to take a picture with no else like the one above, you can either be the first in line at the ticket office and run here before everyone else arrives (that’s what i did!), or you can be one of the first visitors and wait for the perfect time where all other people have passed to the next section. If you arrive later in the day, forget about it! The Dubai Aquarium is usually pretty crowded, and I don’t see it happening.

The exterior of the tunnel can be seen from the Dubai Mall (although of course you’ll be separated a few meters from the glass). If you just want to take a glimpse to the aquarium, you don’t even have to buy a ticket, although for me being inside the tunnel was totally worth the cost.

You can even get into a glass-bottom boat to slide on the surface of the tank, and see the animals at your feet, but there’s an additional fee for this.

The Underwater Zoo is divided into three zones, each of them adequate to the needs of its inhabitants. The first zone, the Rainforest Area, hosts freshwater animals such as otters, catfish, and piranhas and a few colorful parrots.

The second one, Rocky Shore Area, is home to the Dubai Aquarium penguins and spider crabs.

The third zone, the Living Ocean, has all the marine animals found in the oceans. Here you’ll find all kinds of smaller fishes and jellyfishes.

You can also see King Croc, a crocodile from Australia that weighs 750 kg (1653 pounds) and is over 5 meters (16 feet) long! King Cros has sort of become the mascot of the place, and spends his days hanging out with his female companion, Queen Croc. This crocodile was labeled a problematic crocodile (the guy has quite the temper!), and so he has to stay in a protected environment such as this one.

If you’re looking to actually get in the water, there are some crazy experiences you can do for an extra fee and that will remain in your memory forever. 

Try the Dubai Aquarium shark dive for the thrill of a lifetime, getting face to face with the largest collection of Sand Tiger sharks in the world! Alternatively, you can opt for an educational dive to learn about shark conservation and underwater photography, or dive (in the safety of a cage) during the shark’s feeding time. 

If you don’t have your diving certificate, you can also snorkel in the aquarium, and get to know the sharks and other creatures from the safety of a cage; all enjoyment and no worries. 

For kids unwilling to get into the tank (unwilling parents, rather!) the Ray Encounter allows them to meet, touch and feed 50 rays, and they can also witness the otters from up close, or meet the Dubai Aquarium crocodile King Croc during feeding time. The activities are, besides entertaining, very educational. 

There’s also a fantastic Virtual Reality experience that will enable you to swim among whale sharks in the Maldives, trek among elephants in South Africa, or meet the gorillas in the forests of Uganda, all without leaving Dubai Mall. 

Tips for your Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo Visit 

What’s the Best Time to Visit the Dubai Aquarium? 

The best time to visit the Dubai Aquarium is early in the morning. Arrive and queue up before opening time (10 AM) to avoid the crowds, which is especially important if you want to take pictures at the tunnel without strangers appearing in it, or if you’re going with children. 

Visiting in the evening is also a good idea when the crowds are already gone (remember to get there at least 45 minutes before closing time to guarantee your entrance).  

How Much Time Do You Need for Your Visit?

A visit to the Dubai Aquarium can last as long as you want, once you make your entrance. If you’re only interested in watching the animals and walking through the tunnel, and you’re not visiting with kids, plan to spend about an hour there. If you’re going with your children, however, or want to experience some of the activities, you may end up spending 2 to 3 hours in the Aquarium. 

Unless you have other plans for after your visit, you can then spend some time wandering around the Dubai Mall. There are several restaurants and cafés near the Aquarium if it’s mealtime when you’re done visiting. 

What Should You Know Before Visiting the Dubai Aquarium? 

The Dubai Aquarium is suitable for all ages and a great plan for enjoying yourself. Here are some extra tips to help you make the most of your visit: 

➤ Buy your tickets in advance to save some money and avoid scouting for ticket booths or queuing to get them.

➤ Taking pictures is allowed at the Aquarium, however, the flash could harm or alarm the animals, so using it is not allowed. 

➤ Remember to take your ID or Passport, as you may be asked for it at the Dubai Aquarium entrance. 

➤ If you’re engaging in an activity, be there at least ten minutes before its scheduled time. 

Is the Dubai Aquarium Sustainable?

This is a question widely asked about the Dubai Aquarium, especially by those concerned about the ethics and well-being of animals in general.

We usually don’t visit zoos and aquariums unless we know that management cares about the well-being of the animals and manages the establishment in an ethical and responsible way. Before going to Dubai, I read that both of Dubai’s aquariums are sustainable ones, so I wanted to check them out and report back on my thoughts.

Here are some facts about the Dubai Mall aquarium’s sustainability, as well as my personal opinion on things.

In the Living Ocean area of the Dubai Underwater zoo, the temperature and pH level are controlled every day to match the seawater in the regions. The aquarium uses natural seawater, and a certain amount of the water is removed daily, substituted with fresh water that is pumped into the tank. Checks on the animals’ health, sanity level of the water, maintenance of the tank, and prevention of algae formations are also carried out on a daily basis, before the Aquarium’s opening time.   

In the Rocky Shore area, ice beds have been created in this zone, temperatures are regulated at sub-zero and the tank is replenished with freshly shaved ice daily.

Each species of animal has its own food preferences, and they are all met; so is the frequency with which each animal needs to be fed – the otters, for instance, eat twice a day, while the crocodiles, due to their slow metabolism, are fed twice a week. 

The sharks change their food preferences relatively often, so their menu is rotated accordingly; vitamins and nutritional supplements are included in their diets. 

The Dubai Aquarium chooses its animals ethically and brings in only those that are cleared by international treaties such as CITES (Convention in International Trade of Endangered Species). The aquarium promotes and supports several environmental projects and is committed to building awareness of the importance of conservation.

Personally, I thought that the animals at Dubai Aquarium were well taken care of, although please keep in mind I’m no expert and I don’t have scientific knowledge regarding how sea life needs to be taken care of.

I was impressed with the Dubai Aquarium Tunnel, but less impressed with the Underwater Zoo where some of the tanks seemed pretty small for the sealife inside of it. I also did not buy a ticket to check out the penguins area, but in general it’s better to avoid these types of animals’ encounters.

Other Things To Do Near the Dubai Aquarium

Since the Dubai Aquarium is hosted inside the Dubai Mall, you’ve got plenty of other things to do around it:

  • Check out the Dubai Mall Waterfall inside the Dubai Mall.
  • Explore the Dubai Mall – there’s so much to see and do!
  • Go up the Burj Khalifa for incredible views over the city.
  • Take some photos at the Wings of Mexico statue, located close to the Dubai Mall.
  • Enjoy the Dubai Fountain Show, which happens every night right outside the mall.

Dubai Aquarium FAQ

Is the Dubai Aquarium free? 

No, it’s not free. You can buy your Dubai Aquarium ticket here.
However, you can see part of the immense tank and its wildlife from inside the Dubai Mall, though, so if you only want a glimpse without having to get a Dubai aquarium ticket, you can – it’ll make you want to get a ticket though, trust me!

How much does it cost to go to the aquarium in Dubai?

The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo tickets cost costs around 35 USD at the time of writing. You can check here the current Dubai aquarium ticket price.

How long does it take to visit Dubai Aquarium?

A visit to the Dubai Aquarium can take you from 1 hour if you’re only planning to see the animals in the tank, to 2 or 3 hours if you’re visiting with children or planning to participate in some of the activities, from taking the glass-bottom boat to diving with sharks. 

Is Dubai Aquarium cruel?

Aquariums and Zoos are generally questioned for their ethics and treatment of the animals. While it’s perfectly understandable for some people to avoid these places due to personal beliefs, and animals being in captivity is definitely not ideal, the Dubai Aquarium is not cruel. The animals are well taken care of, fed, and attended to. They live in a 10 million-liter tank that gives them enough space, and the Aquarium supports environmental initiatives and has school programs to educate on conservation, Ocean health, and marine life. However, I personally avoided the penguins’ encounter area for ethical reasons, and I suggest you do the same.

Can you swim in the Dubai Aquarium?

Yes, you can get into the water in the Dubai Mall aquarium. Activities such as diving and snorkeling are available for an extra fee. 

Which is better, Lost Chambers or Dubai Aquarium?

Both aquariums offer spectacular sights and dives to experience the aquarium from within. The Lost Chambers has the added charm of its Atlantis recreation and decor and offers tours about the mythological lost city. The Dubai Aquarium, however, holds the title of the biggest suspended aquarium in the world, and that is something pretty impressive to look at. If you’re only interested in watching the animals or are visiting the Aquaventure Waterpark, then head to the Lost Chambers Aquarium. If you’d like to swim with sharks or feel surrounded by marine life while walking the famous tunnel, your choice should be the Dubai Mall aquarium. 

Are there sharks in Dubai Aquarium?

Dubai Aquarium is home to over 400 sharks, as well as other 33,000 aquatic animals including rays, otters, penguins, and crocodiles. 

Why did the Dubai Aquarium leak? 

In 2010, there was a leak in the Dubai Aquarium’s tank due to a small break in the glass. The leak came from one of the panel joints and it was fixed without there being further consequences. 

  • Virginia Bello

    Virginia is a writer originally from Montevideo, Uruguay. She left her career as a TV Producer to gain more freedom and never looked back. She's been traveling the world full-time ever since! Virginia has traveled extensively through Latin America, Europe and Asia. You can currently find her gallivanting through Southeast Asia.