Hi there! My name’s Shelly and I’m a turtle. Yeah, I know Shelly isn’t super imaginative, but people give animals dumb names sometimes. It’s like me naming a human Leggy or something.
Anyway, I’m a spoilt little city turtle. I don’t remember where I came from but my current home is in the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, on the ground level of the massive Dubai Mall. It is the largest suspended aquarium in the world. That’s 10 million litres of water! How cool is that? I mean living in the open sea would be cooler, I suppose; but I get well taken care of, I’m fed every day, I don’t have to fight for survival and I get so much attention. Life is peachy.
Additionally, I have lots of friends here! Over a thousand other aquatic creatures comprising about 140 different species, all sorts of fish and other turtles, otters, rays and sharks, snakes and crocs. The biggest show-offs here are the sharks and the rays because people come to see them up close. Especially those Sand Tiger sharks, they act all cool because they are a big attraction, being one of the largest collection of their kind to be seen in one spot.
I’m quite the sight too. I’m beautiful, with huge flippers of a greenish-brown hue. I may appear grumpy, but I’m adorable just the same. I like the attention people give me, making my existence here in captivity feel validated. You can visit me starting from just 100 AED!
Some of my friends are priced a little higher. Like the otters, who you can visit for about 200 AED. It’s a whole meet and greet experience, where you can be up close and personal with them. They are super cute and love the attention! Much the same as the rays who you can feed for 200 AED. I also heard the crocodile exhibit’s for about the same amount, but they are mean so I’m not really friends with them. You can also see all sorts of snakes. But, eh, I don’t care much for them either.
There’s more to my home than that. You can walk through the Aquarium Tunnel, explore rainforests and rocky shore ocean environments. There’s even an underwater observatory, simulator experiences and glass bottomed boats you can check out. You can even try the PADI courses, dive experiences, shark week, cage snorkelling experiences and other such aquatic adventures. I heard you can even dress your kids in mermaid costumes and take photos. I don’t understand the fascination behind that, that’s like me putting human feet onto my babies’ flippers, so weird.
Anyway, watchu waiting for? You can visit me and my friends anytime between 10am and midnight, daily. Please do come; I like looking at humans, you look strange and do stupid, funny things.