Not licensed to dive but desperate to get under water? Try Shark Safari, where you’ll don an astronaut-style helmet that is weighted to allow you to walk along the bottom of the Shark Lagoon at Aquaventure, breathing normally while sharks, fish and rays swim right past you. No training or experience is necessary, and anyone over the age of eight can give it a try. Guests must have purchased access to the waterpark to participate.
Dhs290 per person, UAE residents waterpark entry Dhs165 (adults), Dhs140 (kids). Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.atlantisthepalm.com (04 426 1040).
Swim along the top of Atlantis The Palm’s impressive Ambassador Lagoon, home to roughly 65,000 marine animals including 12 species of rays and sharks, which includes hammerheads. The water is so clear you’ll feel a sense of vertigo when you first look down beneath you. There are no changing rooms so you’ll need to be wearing your swimming attire under your clothes, but a towel, wetsuit and buoyancy jacket are provided on arrival. Kids aged six and over can take part, but under 16s need to be accompanied by an adult. You’ll get to keep the provided mask and snorkel when you leave.
Dhs250 per person. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.atlantisthepalm.com (04 426 1040).
Taking place in the same tank as Ultimate Snorkel, this two-dive experience allows fully certified divers to explore the depths of the hotel’s enormous Ambassador Lagoon and feed stingrays before enjoying a light lunch of Arabic mezze on the rooftop terrace. If you’re not utterly desperate to get fully submerged, the snorkel option offers better value for money.
Dhs2,500 per person. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.atlantisthepalm.com (04 426 1040).
PADI-certified divers can try the speciality experience at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, which includes three dives covering shark conservation and identification, underwater photography tips and shark feeding. The course counts towards a PADI Master Scuba Diver rating. Want to keep things simple? There are also daily shark dives for those with PADI licences – and if you’re without one, you can do a short course with the aquarium’s partner Al Boom Diving to get into the water quickly.
From Dhs675 per dive, Dhs1,875 for Speciality Course. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, The Dubai Mall, www.thedubaiaquarium.com (04 448 5200).