Last year over winter break we took the girls for a short trip to Dubai. I wasn't up for shopping so we instead visited The Green Planet. Located near The City Walk in Al WAsl area, The Green Planet is a five-story simulated rain forest inside a building. I was a bit skeptical at first but hubby convinced me that the girls would really enjoy it and he was right.
The Green Planet looks like another Dubai building from the outside until you round the corner and see the cylindrical glass casing that houses the ‘rain forest’. Inside there are literally thousands of plants, free flying birds, butterflies (sadly these are quickly eaten by the birds when released) and other insects and reptiles.
The Green Planet is multi-storied, so you start at the top and wind your way down, around a massive rain forest anchored in the middle by a simulated tree. Birds including toucans, parrots and others native to tropical rain forests fly freely around the atrium. The staff are friendly and offer short lectures on the animal and plant life.
Our girls had the chance to pet a snake – something both weren’t too keen to try but eventually did. They learned that contrary to popular belief, snakes aren’t slimy but as Safyre noted, “they are squishy under their skin, like they just ate a giant rat!”.
There is a butterfly exhibit showing the butterflies hanging in the chrysalis stage with a staffer to explain the process. Reptiles, a sloth, jeweled beetles and other small animals comprise the most exciting of the exhibits and there are a few interactive videos that help explain what an ‘ecosystem’ is and how it works.
To walk the entire ‘forest’ takes about an hour, more if you pay to pet the sloth or feed the feed. We stopped to watch birds being fed and take photos.
If you are planning a trip to Dubai over the winter break, I highly recommend this. It was an unusual and educational experience that we all enjoyed. Totally worth it and one of the highlights of our trip.
Entrance is AED 99 (AED 89 if you book in advance).
Sunday – Wednesday: 10am-7pm
Thursday – Saturday: 10am-8pm
(Last tickets are sold one hour before closing)