Aquariums can offer fun and educational days out for the whole family. What’s more, the UAE offers its own share of diverse and exciting aquariums. So today, we will be looking at two of the most popular ones, but which is better? The Dubai Mall Aquarium or Sharjah Aquarium.
Overall, the Dubai Mall is the better aquarium compared to Sharjah. We compared the location, prices, things to do, and size to judge which one is the best aquarium.
Read on below to see how we got to this answer!
Which is in The Best Location?
Location and ease of access is important for any attraction, and our aquariums are no different!
The Dubai Mall Aquarium is located amidst Downtown Dubai and is surrounded by other popular attractions including the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain, which are within walking distance. There is also a vast range of restaurants nearby, so you have plenty of options for dinner!
In terms of getting to the aquarium, the location is approximately a 15 minute walk from the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall Metro Station. The Dubai Mall Aquarium is in a convenient and accessible location, surrounded by various things to do.
The Sharjah Aquarium is located in the Al Khan area of Sharjah and is located a very short walk away from the beach. This is great if you are looking to unwind by the sea after your visit. Restaurants are still located within walking distance, but are a slightly longer walk compared to The Dubai Mall Aquarium.
The Sharjah Aquarium is a lot more tricky to actually get to. If you have a rental car, then this will not be a problem. Aside from that, your best means of getting there as a tourist is through a sightseeing tour bus or taxi.
Taxi costs from Jumeirah Beach Residence to Sharjah Aquarium are 80AED and around 35 minutes.
Comparing the two, the Dubai Mall Aquarium definitely comes out as the winner due to its easy to access location and surrounding attractions.
|Dubai Mall Aquarium||Free||150AED||150AED||150AED|
|Sharjah Aquarium||Free||15 AED||25 AED||Free|
Wow, how cheap is Sharjah Aquarium!
When comparing the two aquariums, Sharjah definitely has the best deals for younger children and seniors and offers a more affordable experience.
How Many Fish / Species Are There?
The Dubai Mall Aquarium offers the main Aquarium Tank, the Aquarium Tunnel, and the Underwater Zoo. The main tank houses over 140 marine species and over 300 Sharks and Rays. The Aquarium Tunnel allows you to see the aquatic life in the main tank from a different view!
The Underwater Zoo portion has species including: Otters, African Dwarf Crocodiles, Giant Spider Crabs, Piranhas, Seahorses, Water Rats, Garden Eels, Cichlids, Archerfish, Lionfish, Arapaima, Paddlefish, and Nautilus. There are 40 aquatic displays here.
The Sharjah Aquarium houses over 150 marine species including clownfish, seahorses, reef sharks, moray eels, and sea rays. The aquarium also has a turtle rehabilitation program where the team collects and takes in sick or injured sea turtles to nurse them back to health before releasing them back to sea.
Overall, The Dubai Mall Aquarium houses more marine species than the Sharjah Aquarium, but you can’t knock the good work Sharjah Aquarium does, and at an incredible price!
Which is Bigger?
The Dubai Mall Aquarium holds a whopping 10 million litres of water, with the main tank spanning 51m X 20m X 11m in size. In fact, the Dubai Aquarium is credited with being the world’s largest suspended aquarium.
The Sharjah Aquarium covers an area of 6500 m². It has two floors which hold 21 aquariums and are filled with 1.8 million litres of water.
In terms of water volume, The Dubai Mall Aquarium certainly takes the win.
Which Has Better Value for Money?
This truly depends on what you want out of your experience. The Dubai Mall Aquarium is larger and has more of a mixed range of animals, but it is at the expense of being nearly 3 times the price of a visit to Sharjah Aquarium.
The Sharjah Aquarium is more of a typical aquarium so will make for a great family day out without paying too much. However, this is at the expense of missing out on something a bit more extravagant.
We’d say if you are looking for a simple family day out, the Sharjah Aquarium would be better value for money, but if you are taken by extras, then you may prefer the Dubai Mall Aquarium.
Things to do at Each Aquarium And Which Has The Best?
The Dubai Mall Aquarium has a bunch of extras to offer guests including feeding presentations and animal encounters at both the Aquarium Tank and the Underwater Zoo. In the Aquarium Tank you can brave a shark dive, a snorkelling cage, or a shark walker cage.
There is also an opportunity to get close to some sharks with the educational shark trainer encounter. You can also touch and get close to the magnificent rays in the ray encounter. Over at the Underwater Zoo, you can take part in the blood-pumping King Croc encounter or play around with the adorable penguins and otters at their encounters!
The Sharjah Aquarium tends to operate more as an educational and conservation space, so you won’t have up close encounters with the species. However if you are wanting to learn more about the UAE aquatic life or species preservation, it is a great visit. You can also use your ticket to visit the nearby Sharjah Maritime Museum, so you can enjoy two attractions in one day!
In terms of extra things to do at each aquarium, the Dubai Mall Aquarium definitely comes out victorious.
Aquariums will always fascinate us for allowing us to get a glimpse at the enchanting marine life. The Dubai Mall Aquarium and the Sharjah Aquarium both offer very different marine experiences.
The Sharjah Aquarium offers a cheaper and an educational and historical approach to the UAE marine life..
However in terms of a tourist attraction, the Dubai Mall Aquarium is the victor as it offers a bigger range of marine life, more experiences, and holds ground-breaking records too!
Read here for more on the 5 Best Aquariums in Dubai.