Where the desert and rainforest meet: The Green Planet, Dubai

Dubai is home to many unexpected attractions;  skiing in a shopping mall, water-sliding through a tank of sharks, and zip-lining past the world’s tallest building amongst others. However, this week saw the opening of a unique attraction in the region  – The Green Planet.

The Green Planet is the first biodome in the region and it recreates a rainforest ecosytem in a creative, informative and absolutely beautiful way. After being welcomed by the wonderful staff – about whom more later – you are whisked up to the canopy on the 4th floor to begin the adventure.  You then gradually descend through the layers of the forest, from the canopy to the aquarium in the flooded rainforest via the midstory and forest floor.

With over 3000 plants and animals and a carefully controlled environment, the Green Planet does an incredible job of recreating a rainforest. The air is filled with birdsong and butterflies, and the displays of information and insects both stimulate and inform. The variety of species is astounding; we were looking forward to seeing the toucans, porcupines and sloths, but weren’t expecting to see bird-eating spiders and poison dart frogs too!

However, the most impressive aspect of The Green Planet experience was, in fact, its staff. I have never encountered a more knowledgeable, friendly and professional team at an attraction such as this. Their expertise and passion for the rainforest was second-to-none and there was no question that they couldn’t answer. Visitors are encouraged to linger and to appreciate the full sensory experience of the biodome. The staff were able to talk to children in an informative and fun way, knowing birds by sight and by sound, explaining the habitat and habits of the snakes and frogs, showcasing particular insects and butterflies and even allowing some controlled and well-managed handling opportunities.

Our visit to The Green Planet surpassed all of our expectations and we can’t wait to go back. Open from 10am-10pm during the week and 10am-midnight at the weekends, admission costs 95aed per adult and 70aed for children aged 2-12.

www.thegreenplanetdubai.com

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