UAE. Dubai Aquarium at The Dubai Mall now hosts the first batch of 30 Sand Tiger sharks, which were delivered under the stringent supervision of the Oceanis Australia Group in line with international best practices.
Dubai Aquarium, one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world, will open to the public on August 28, 2008, alongside the mall opening. Developed by Emaar Malls Group, The Dubai Mall is one of the largest shopping and entertainment destinations in the world and will feature over 1,200 retail stores and over 120 restaurants and cafes.
The Sand Tiger sharks form part of the 33,000 expected population of aquatic animals in Dubai Aquarium. Also known as Grey Nurse sharks, Sand Tiger sharks are large bodied animals, reaching up to 11 feet (3.5 metres). They are a docile, non-aggressive species. These sharks can grow up to 30,000 needle-like teeth in their lifetime which they use to grab small prey. They are found in warm or temperate waters throughout the world’s oceans, except the eastern Pacific and have a tendency towards shoreline habitats.
Yousif Al Ali, General Manager, The Dubai Mall, said: “With the largest viewing panel in the world, Dubai Aquarium is a fascinating attraction that will appeal to visitors. Apart from its leisure aspect, the aquarium will also educate visitors on the fascinating array of aquatic life. The Sand Tiger sharks are among the 85 species to be hosted in the aquarium.”
Paul Hamilton, Curator of Dubai Aquarium said: “Total care was taken in the transportation of the sharks which are now adapting to their new environment. The management of marine species for Dubai Aquarium involves careful logistical planning and we are working with a highly qualified and vastly experienced staff. Sand Tiger sharks are amazing creatures and their arrival to the aquarium marks a major milestone for the project.”
The methodology employed in transporting, housing and maintaining the selected species within Dubai Aquarium comply with all relevant international and regional government permits, including CITES. The planning and setting up of Dubai Aquarium is in accordance with the guidelines of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), and abides by a comprehensive Code of Ethics and Animal Care with respect to the acquisition and display of the selected species.
Other attractions at The Dubai Mall will include the region’s first SEGA indoor theme park covering 76,000 square feet; the world’s largest indoor gold souk with 220 retailers; a 440,000 square foot fashion precinct with 70 flagship stores dedicated to haute couture; the Middle East’s first Galeries Lafayette department store; KidZania, a 80,000 square foot children’s ‘edu-tainment’ centre; a 22-screen Cineplex; an Olympic-size ice rink; and The Grove, an indoor-outdoor streetscape with fully retractable roof.