Wednesday 20 November 2019

Something for the Weekend? The Green Planet

Neece holding cockroach at Green Planet. This is the expensive way to do it. 
For the same experience at zero cost, pop the nearest drain head and scoop your hand in. 
No, no, please it's nothing. You're welcome...

Okay, let me be quite clear about this - this one's pricey, but it's worth it. To be fair, we're a bit spoiled on the general cost of a thing to do with the kids front - look at parks and attractions in the UK and you're straight into second mortgage territory right there. So if this sets you back Dhs 840 for a family of four, that's sort of fine, right?

The Green Planet by Meraas (they're a property developer or, if you prefer, lifestyle-shaping dream enabler) is a largish  but otherwise relatively unprepossessing building to the north of Satwa, near enough to the Coka Cola Arena. Inside is a tropical rainforest. And it's pretty cool as indoor rainforests go.

Now, before you get all sniffy about fake rainforests, let me just remind you that one of the most amazing tourist attractions in Cornwall, UK, is the Eden Project, a series of biomes contained in double-skinned, climate-controlled domes. And, like the Eden Project, Green Planet is a great platform for teaching kids about the world and some of its most brilliant nature.

There are 3,000 species of thing in Green Planet, from cockroaches you can handle (or, in my case, not handle the sight of, let alone touch) to sloths you can sloth at. There's a bat cave and a bit of outback and loads of little tactile experiences and things to do, see, handle, touch and generally gawp at. The whole journey starts at the top of the rainforest canopy (Green Planet is built around a massive 'tree') and then wends its way down past waterfalls and tree houses, rope bridges and walkways. There are monkeys and parrots, dazzling birds and slithery snakes, fish (including - cue dramatic sounds - piranhas) and insects everywhere.

We went with the neeces and a magnificent, royally entertaining time was had by all. Ellen wants to be a vet, so she was holding snakes and letting cockroaches run over her hand and doing all manner of other animally stuff that normal people would flip out over and that kids can, well, do.

If you want to make a real day out of it, maybe do lunch somewhere in City Walk and then nip over to the Dubai Frame for an afternoon treat...

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