The Green Planet in Dubai - Indoor Rainforest
The idea of nature in Dubai tends to conjure up a singular image for most people - desert safaris. You might think that you need to go beyond the confines of the city to see any wildlife, and that even that would primarily be composed of desert-dwelling animals such as camels, falcons and the like. However, you might be surprised to know that there is a diverse array of fauna that you can discover within the city itself. There is the stunning Dubai Aquarium located within Dubai Mall, Dubai Miracle Garden in Al Barsha and of course, the decades-old Dubai Zoo, which was relocated and reborn as Dubai Safari Park just over a year ago. Perhaps the most unusual and intriguing of Dubai’s wildlife harbours is Green Planet, located in City Walk.
City Walk is a unique destination unto itself, starting out as an open-air shopping mall and evolving into a stylish retail, dining and entertainment hub with a blend of indoor and outdoor spaces. It has the requisite shopping center (closed, but with a glass canopy that gives it a vibrant open air feel), a selection of streetside cafes, a boutique hotel, a boutique cinema and a retro video game arcade. And of course, there is Green Planet Dubai by Meraas.
Rising along the rear side of City Walk - and looking onto a stunning view of Burj Khalifa - Green Planet is an indoor rainforest and wildlife preserve hosting a collection of over 3,000 plants and animals. It has a distinctive look, comprising a three-storey glass cylinder surrounded by metal panels to create a box-like shape. The structure is divided into four tiers: the Flooded Rainforest, the Forest Floor, the Midstory and the Canopy.
Each level offers a different set of activities and different animal species and ecosystems for you to discover. The Flooded Rainforest is dedicated to marine life, showcasing a variety of fish and other underwater creatures. You can discover unusual species such as Motoro Rays and Archer Fish, and you can even catch a live piranha feeding frenzy every afternoon. On the Forest Floor, you will find land animals including different lizard species, tortoises and small rodents. The newest additions to the collection are the Sugar Gliders, nocturnal squirrel-like creatures who have the ability to glide between trees. The Midstory has tree-dwellers such as monkeys, snakes and birds such as the Cuban Amazon Parrot. Two of the most exciting wildlife experiences take place at the Canopy level - the Sloth Encounter and the Bat Cave Experience, where visitors can spend some time with nature’s tranquil tree dwellers and explore the home of the fruit bat.
Needless to say, this is a fantastic educational opportunity for children and The Green Planet organises school trips and birthday parties. However, you can also host corporate events there, whether it’s a team building exercise or a very out-of-the-box company meeting. The Green Planet provides a fun way to discover the natural world and further showcases Dubai’s unique ability to provide a diverse array of experiences in one single area.
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Toucan and blue lizard images courtesy of Isaac Harris (@dxb.snaps on Instagram). Sloth and Komodo Dragon images courtesy of The Green Planet Facebook page.