When the temperatures in UAE keep soaring high beyond 45 degree Celsius, you may have very few choices in hand to enjoy your weekend or holidays with your family and friends. Some of the options available are either visiting a shopping mall, swimming, participating in any indoor event (games or entertainment) or visiting any good destination like the Sharjah Aquarium, which very few people in UAE, may be aware of . That?s what we did during one of the weekends recently.
We visited the Sharjah Aquarium situated in the Al Khan district of Sharjah which is a home to a different variety of marine species of the world.
The outer structure and design of this Sharjah Aquarium will remind you of the movie "Titanic" because it has the shape of a huge ship. Once you enter the venue the posters remind you of photographic etiquette not to use the camera flash because it makes the fish sick. As you tread ahead you are then lost in the underwater world which will leave you spellbound. The tunnel with a glass enclosure in the basement which is approximately 50 meter long will leave you amazed. It makes you feel as though you are under the sea having a close glimpse of the different creatures experiencing and admiring the beauty of ocean life.
You are totally lost admiring and capturing images of the colorful and diverse underwater world that is home to a variety of marine life in and around the UAE. It is at this point you will hear a lot of Ah?s, Oh?s and Yeah?s from the crowd that is engrossed in deep admiration of natures wonder and creation.
It has so many different species (more than 250) and if you observe closely you may see the smallest clown fish , lion fish, delicate sea horses, to moray eels, rays, reef sharks and many more colorful fish. There are touch screens installed in different locations that give you an insight and information about the fish, their lives and their habitats, and the different type of species that are seen in the aquarium. They are basically classified into 5 different categories based on their shapes, viz., Horizontally Flattened, Long and thin, Typical, Vertically Flattened and other fish.
The aquarium was inaugurated June 6th 2008 by Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi UAE?s Supreme Council member and ruler of Sharjah. It has been built with British and local collaboration. The extension area is still under construction and will hold many more bigger varieties of the ocean world. Once complete it will be known as the "Maritime Museum".
The Entry Fee for Adults is AED 20 and for children between the age group of 6 -15 is AED 10. Children below 5 years entry is free. There are special packages for families and groups. A family of 2 adults and 3 children pay AED 50. An adult group of 6 or more persons can enter paying AED 15 per head and children group can enter paying AED 5 per head. It is open only four days of the week from Wednesday to Saturday and is closed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The timings are as follows:
Wednesday (for families only) : 4:00 pm ? 7.30 pm
Thursday : 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
Friday : 3:00 pm – 8:00pm
Saturday : 9:00 am – 8:00pm
For more information visit: www.sharjahmuseums.ae
Author: Claude Fernandes- UAE