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Dubai Dolphinarium


Page update - Oct 28, 2022

The Dubai Dolphinarium is interesting, although it is not on the list of major attractions in Dubai. You can see shows of dolphins and seals there inexpensively, even if you compare the prices with dolphinariums in other countries. Read all the details below on this page: how to get there, prices and discounts, show hours, important nuances.

Prices, schedules and other information on this page were updated in October 2022. Starting September 28, 2022, in all the emirates of the UAE the mask wearing is not necessary in restaurants, hotels, stores, and malls. BUT! Nothing has been said about dolphinariums and entertainment establishments in general. Therefore, all of these venues are now making their own rules. Somewhere they require masks, somewhere they do not. The Dubai Dolphinarium does NOT require masks.

However, we advise you to always have a mask with you. Masks are still required on public transport. A mask does not take up much room in your pocket.

An Important Moment

There are TWO dolphinariums in Dubai. The first one is the Dubai Dolphinarium, which is the subject of this page. There they arrange dolphin shows. The second one is Dolphin Bay, which is located at Aquaventure Water Park on the artificial island The Palm Jumeirah. They do NOT arrange shows there, but only have sessions of interaction with dolphins. Do not confuse these two dolphinariums. Read our detailed review of "Dolphin Bay" about the second one.

Short Description

The Dubai Dolphinarium opened in 2008 in the city's Creek Park. Since then it has developed into a real entertainment complex. It has not only an arena and pools for dolphins and seals, but also trampolines, a 5D movie theater and much more.

The dimensions of the Dubai Dolphinarium are modest (by world standards). The arena has a capacity for 1,250 people, pools for dolphins have a volume of 600 cubic meters (158,500 gallons), and the area of the complex is 5,000 square meters (53,800 square feet). Dubai Dolphinarium was not particularly famous for anything, except for a big hype in August 2019, we will talk about this scandal in detail at the end of our page.

The show of dolphins and seals in Dubai is quite standard: dolphins jump out of the water, jump through a hoop, bring hoops and balls at the command of the trainer. It will be fun and interesting, but you will not see anything extraordinary. There is no point in telling about the show, we'd rather detail the technical points - transport, prices, discounts.



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Where is located and how to get there

The Dubai Dolphinarium is located inside the public Creek Park in the Bur Dubai area. It's not very convenient to get there by public transport, as the park is far from the subway stations.

Option 1 - subway + bus. You need to get to the Oud Metha subway station on the green (second) line. For the subway map with all the last updates see our detailed review "Dubai Metro".

Under the metro station (don't be surprised, the station is elevated) there is a bus stop. The main thing is not to make a mistake - choose the right direction. You need the bus in the direction that your subway train was going (south, away from the coast).

At this stop get on the bus 6. It runs every hour and takes you right to the main entrance to the Creek Park in 10-15 minutes. The problem is the very large interval, so this option is not convenient. If you can take advantage of the "30 minute rule" then you will get the bus for free. Read more about this rule in our review "NOL cards in Dubai".

So you can plan your trip accurately, we give you the exact schedule for Bus 6 as of October 2022.

Option 2 - subway + walking. Take the green (second) line to the Dubai Healthcare City subway station.

After leaving the station you will find yourself on the big street (26th Street). Follow this street in the direction in which your subway train left. After about 600 meters across the street you will see a park. Cross the road and go left for another 600 meters to the main entrance of Creek Park.

The way is not bad for the winter season when it is not so hot. But in the summer months, we don't recommend it. Read our review "Weather in the Arab Emirates by month".

Option 3 - subway + taxi. There are no cab stands near the Dubai Healthcare City and Oud Metha stations (closest to Creek Park). You can catch a cab there along the road by the usual "hand vote". This is inconvenient - you can stand for at least half an hour. You can call a cab by phone or application, but then the boarding fare is 8 dirhams instead of 5 dirhams.

The cab ride will cost at least 12 dirhams (minimal price for a cab ride in Dubai), although it is only 1-1.5 km (0.6-1 miles) to the park. See the current exchange rate of dirham in our review "Money in the UAE". Not a very convenient and expensive way. It's easier to take the bus.

Option 4 - taxi. You can take a cab directly from the hotel or any other place in Dubai. But it's hard to predict the cost in this case, because Dubai is a big city, on top of which it stretches a lot along the coast. It can be from 12 to 100 dirhams, depending on the distance. For the cab fares, read our detailed review "Taxis in the Arab Emirates".

If you stay in Abu Dhabi then you need to get to Dubai first. Read our detailed review "How to travel between Abu Dhabi and Dubai".

If you stay in Sharjah then you need to get to Dubai first. Read our detailed review "How to travel between Sharjah and Dubai".

We do not see any point of visiting the Dubai Dolphinarium from other emirates. It is too long, too expensive, too exhausting. The acceptable option is to buy an excursion if such an excursion is available. Read our detailed review "Excursions in Dubai".

Hours of operation

The timetable has changed since the UAE switched to a new work week on January 3, 2022. Read all the details in our review "Fridays and weekends in Dubai and the UAE". The timetable for the dolphin and seals show is now as follows:

Wednesday through Monday: 11 am, 2 pm, 6 pm. There are no shows on Tuesday.

Bird show:

Wednesday through Monday: 12:15 pm, 3:15 pm, 7:15 pm. No shows on Tuesday.

Dolphin interaction and swimming session: 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm. No sessions on Tuesdays.



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The price of admission

You have to pay twice.

Paying admission to the Creek Park

The Dubai Dolphinarium is located in Dubai Creek Park, and the entrance fee is 5 dirhams. And now the entrance can be paid only by transport card NOL, no cash.

NOL is the same card with which you pay the fare in the subway or buses. But not every NOL card is valid. The red one is NOT valid. Silver and Gold are fine. If you don't have a card, you can usually buy one at the main entrance to the park, the price is 25 dirhams, of which 19 are on the account.

Important point! To ride the subway and buses, each person needs their own NOL card. But to enter the park, multiple people can use one NOL card.

Payment the dolphinarium admission

Tickets can be purchased at the box office at the entrance or on the official website dubaidolphinarium.ae

The ticket counter is now (October 2022) open, but the prices at the ticket offices are slightly higher than on the website. Promo codes only work on the website.

Important point. There are discounts and promo almost all the time. Before buying the ticket, visit the discounts page at the web-site. We wish you to find a better price there. But if there will be no discount, do not be upset.

In addition, buying tickets online guarantees a seat. Seating capacity is limited. Therefore, the box office may simply not have tickets if the hall is already full. Thankfully, such situations are very rare now.

It is better to buy tickets online - with a discount and a guarantee.

The ticket price for an adult (12 years and older) is 99 dirhams online (105 at the box office).

For a child from 3 to 11 years old (inclusive) is 49 dirhams (50 at the box office).

Free for a child under 3 years old.

All tickets are non-refundable, non-exchangeable, non-saleable, and non-transferable.

VIP Tickets (Central Stand) - 125 and 85 dirhams.

Bird Show tickets - 50 and 30 dirhams.

Swim With Dolphins - 475 or 630 dirhams.

Theoretically, tickets can be purchased at the box office right before the show. In practice it varies, tickets may be available at all times, there may be only VIP tickets left, there may not be any at all.

To avoid risks, you can buy tickets in advance through the official website tickets.dubaidolphinarium.ae . VISA, MasterCard, JCB are accepted. You can choose the best seats in advance if buying at the web-site. You will not have to stand in line at the ticket office, and you can just show your ticket on the screen of your smartphone.

Of course, you can buy tickets cheaper, even twice cheaper. Use Klook, Entertainer, Smile and other options, read more about them in our review "How to buy cheap tickets to Dubai parks".

Exotic Bird Show

A short (20-minute) show of parrots, toucans, and falcons. The birds show only a couple of tricks, and most of the time is spent for the trainer chatting. The show is conducted in English.

Other attractions

A mirror maze (20 dirhams), 5D movie theater (12 dirhams), trampolines (25 dirhams), virtual reality ride.

Attention! At the moment (October 2022) the cinema is temporarily closed.

There is a souvenir store with thematic gifts and souvenirs. But the prices are high. Read about the best gifts and souvenirs in our review "What to bring from Dubai".



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Hype of 2019

In the summer of 2019, a short (10-second) video appeared on Instagram of Dubai Dolphinarium's female trainers. In this video, one of the trainers was sitting on a dolphin while it was in the air. Russian speech could be heard behind the scenes. Dolphins are not adapted to the pressure of the air, any pressure can damage their internal organs.

Animal lovers immediately caused a stir, once again accusing the dolphinarium of animal cruelty. The news broke all over the media in the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf, while the media in Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand picked up on the news.

See a frame from this video nearby, click to enlarge.

It was an unpleasant moment for Dubai, as EXPO 2020 was just around the corner. Although the Dubai Dolphinarium is a private organization, it is located in the Creek Municipal Park, and therefore investigations into such incidents are under the jurisdiction of the municipality. The act of the trainer falls under law #16 (2007) of the Emirate of Dubai.

The international tour operator Virgin Holidays even declared the termination of cooperation with hotels and destinations suspected of unethical treatment of animals. But here's the trouble - the Dubai Dolphinarium is not located at any hotel. What to do? So operator Virgin Holidays has ended its partnership with the Atlantis The Palm Hotel, which houses the second dolphinarium in Dubai, which had nothing to do with the scandal at all. Ridiculous.

The representatives of the municipality assured that they will sort everything out. That's the end of the story, and there's no more news on the subject. The Emirati censorship of the media has already turned on there, so as not to spoil the reputation on the EXPO 2020 eve.

Important tips for visitors

- It is forbidden to bring food or drinks into the dolphinarium, although most security guards do not search at the entrance. Children's food is always allowed;

- If you sit in the front rows, you risk getting a little wet from the splashing water. Take care of your photo and video equipment;

- Any purchases at the Dolphinarium and Creek Park are for dirhams only. Read our review "Currency exchange in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah";

- The park and the dolphinarium have a dress code, but far from strict. You can come in shorts or a mini-skirt or a T-shirt, but most importantly without overt eroticism. About the dress code read our review "What you can not in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah";

- If you do not want to go and buy tickets yourself, you can order a tour. The main thing is to make sure that the tour includes a transfer. The price is from USD 35 per person. Read our interesting review "Excursions in Dubai".

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