Natisha and I are back in Canada. We had an amazing trip to Africa and capped it off with a week of R&R in Dubai before heading home.
So one of the great things about traveling is the people you meet and the friends you make along the way. During our first “backpacking” trip to Thailand in 2010, we were lucky enough to meet Stefan and Breda. Our friendship started on a boat – a scuba liveaboard that is. It was 5 days of “eat, sleep, dive”. Repeat. 4 times a day. For 5 days. We were able to chill in Bangkok together for a day (during protests!) before we parted ways.
Fast forward 2.5 years! While we’ve kept in touch online, we made a last minute booking from our hostel room in Addis Abbas to fly to Dubai for the last week of our travel. Getting our visa on such short notice was tough – we weren’t sure we would even get it in time. But thankfully we did and we enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with our friends in their current home/city.
No trip to Dubai is complete without visiting the largest mall in the work – Dubai Mall. I don’t normally enjoy shopping (and hence malls) but Dubai Mall had one particular attraction that I had to admit was pretty cool – the Dubai Aquarium and Under Water Zoo. It is simply amazing! The main acrylic viewing panel is the largest in the world, the tank holds approximately 10 million liters of water and it is home to over 33,000 marine animals!
I spent quite a bit of time just watching the scene unfold in the aquarium (Natisha was happy to leave me there while she shopped!). I particularly enjoy watching sharks – and I counted maybe 8-10 sharks. When I discovered that you can actually arrange to go “diving” inside the aquarium, I knew I had dive it. I managed to persuade Stefan to join me (this was not a very affordable diving experience!) and we had an amazing dive. Completely different than diving in the ocean. What made it spectacular? Well those 8-10 sharks I counted – hah! During our dive briefing, we were informed that there were 80 sharks. 80 sharks!!!
Unfortunately, I was not allowed to bring my underwater camera with me despite my Divemaster rating – because of the number of sharks and the electronics of the camera, a separate (and very expensive) underwater course in their tank in required. But Natisha managed to pull herself away from her shopping to take the following pics which definitely show a different perspective than most underwater diving shots.