Dubai now has an indoor rainforest
Dubai is perhaps the last place on Earth you would expect to find a tropical rainforest, but years ago people said the same about a ski slope, then look what happened. Defying the odds this time around is The Green Planet, an attraction that has opened at City Walk.
More than an indoor rainforest, this is an enclosed ecosystem, with the humidity kept at 70 per cent toreplicate the natural habitat of the 3,000 plants, animals and free-flying birds found inside. That doesn't include the 25-metre-high man-made tree at its core, which actually resembles a kapok tree, native to Central America. This is said to be the world's largest artificial tree, but rather than simply being there from a structural point of view, with walkways and balconies leading off it, real plants will be allowed to creep and grow around the trunk and branches over time, increasing the venue's environmental credentials and providing homes for even more tropical creatures.
Dotted all over The Green Planet, amongst the waterfalls, steam and animal noises, are aquariums and various exhibits. Different bird species, including toucans and parrots, seem to have settled in well, and there are lizards, tree frogs and even stingray to admire, with a sloth that roams freely (and slowly). Plus, visitors are welcome to channel their inner Bear Grylls, facing up to snakes, spiders and ant colonies, although it might be worth asking one of the professional handlers to show them to you, rather than trying it unsupervised. Or try and listen in on one of the various educational shows that The Green Planet hosts for children.
Step in from the dry heat outside, then breathe in some of that refreshing tropical air – you'll need it to get over the surprise that this place actually exists.
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Open Sat-Wed 10am-10pm, Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. Entry is Dhs95 for adults, Dhs70 for children aged two-12.