The Green Planet indoor rainforest is a signature destination on Dubai’s City Walk for tourists and Dubai residents alike, visited by around 750,000 people per year.
If you’re cruising to or from Dubai and looking for something different to do, The Green Planet Dubai has you covered. The indoor rainforest within a massive bio-dome is home to more than 3,000 different fauna, flora and wildlife, giving visitors the chance to explore all four layers of the rainforest via a walkway that descends through a living tree.
You enter the eco-system via an aquarium that is home to around 1,000 piranhas (which are fed at 4pm, offering quite a spectacle).
This level is the Flooded Forest, and provides a glimpse into the aquatic world of the rainforest, with stingrays, motoro rays, archer fish, arapaima and turtles all living as they would in an actual rainforest, there’s even waterfalls and rivers to re-create the natural currents of the wild.
You then ascend 45-metres to the Emergent layer of the rainforest, where birds, bats, gliders, and butterflies go about their day among the human visitors.
A walkway takes you gradually down through to the Canopy layer, where insects, birds, monkeys, frogs and sloths thrive.
Further down into the Understory layer, more birds abound, along with lizards and bats. The lizards and bats are safely contained, but there are iguanas lurking on branches within an arm’s length of visitors, providing an immersive up-close experience.
At this level, there’s also a dark bat cave in which the flying creatures of the night flit back and forth as you explore their natural habitat.
Then it’s down to the Forest Floor, where scorpions, more iguanas, army ants and a wide variety of snakes are found. Don’t worry, they’re all contained within large, natural habitats with glass walls, although for the intrepid few there are opportunities to hold a boa constrictor snake and a massive Madagascar hissing cockroach.
The entire experience is designed to be safe yet immersive, and is controlled by an international team of specialist engineers, scientists and animal husbandry experts.
In addition to the piranha feeding at 4pm, there’s also a daily thunderstorm at 1pm, during which rain and lightning create the short-lived rain showers that give these forests their name.
With your tour of the bio-dome complete, take the opportunity to indulge in a smoothie at the cafe near the entrance – the Tropical Green Smoothie comes highly recommended.