A rainforest in the middle of the Arabian desert? Something as outrageous as this is only possible in Dubai. An indoor rainforest, The Green Planet By Meraas is home to 3000 plants species. Having visited its counterpart in Singapore, we were quite excited to give this one a try. It literally feels like stepping into an oasis in the middle of the desert.
HOW TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS
You can buy tickets at the entrance or online on the The Green Planet By Meraas website. The online tickets are priced cheaper and needs to be booked a day in advance. Keep a look out for special offers on the website. You can also book your tickets on Get Your Guide or Klook. Compare prices on these sites before booking.
HOW TO GET TO THE GREEN PLANET BY MERAAS
In case you are using the metro, the nearest station you need to get down is Business Bay. Green Planet is under 4 kilometers from this station. From here, the fastest way to reach would be by taking a cab or Uber. The cheapest way would be to either take Bus 7 from Business Bay MS to Dubai Petroleum Corporation 2 and walk for 10 minutes. (This walk is best avoided in summer months) OR take a free shuttle from your hotel. There are free shuttles from most hotels to City Walk and the drop off location is Hub Zero, which is right opposite Green Planet.
DUBAI’S INDOOR RAIN FOREST- THE GREEN PLANET BY MERAAS
If you are visiting during the infamous summer months, you will experience your body & mind instantly cooling down as soon as you step in. The loud cacophony of Kookaburras and Amazonian Parrots fill the air, transporting you into another world (Jumanji Jungle!).
Modeled as a rainforest, Green Planet is divided into four broad categories.
- Flooded Rainforest
- Rainforest Floor
- The Midstory
- The Canopy
You start your tour with the flooded forest, home to Piranhas (Did you know that Piranhas can bark?), Stingrays and Archer Fish. You soon move up to the rainforest floor which houses the leaf cutter ants, turtles, crocodiles, snakes and other reptiles.
The Midstory is next with the ever smiling Sloth, Squirrel Monkeys, Chameleons. The sloth makes an appearance at timely intervals and is always a crowd puller.
The Canopy which is the noisiest of them all, is home to colorful Parrots, Kookaburra, Mynahs and a creepy bat cave full of micro bats. The animal keepers here are extremely friendly and a few would have snakes casually wrapped around their arms or a bird pecking at their ears or a sloth hugging them (Sigh!).
Green planet is also home to the famous Lonely Loris and Amal, two abandoned Slow Lorises who met here and fell in love!
IT’S A THUMBS UP FROM US!
In spite of the fact that it is an artificially created forest, there is something endearing about The Green Planet By Meraas that will leave a smile on your face. It is an excellent bonding activity for families with kids.