Abu Dhabi is about to welcome the biggest reptile in the Middle East

A seven metre-long python will be just one of the features at the National Aquarium at Al Qana

Abu Dhabi is about to welcome the biggest reptile in the Middle East

If you’ve got a fear of snakes, you might want to look away now. For the rest of you, keep reading - this is good.

A massive seven-metre long python is coming to Abu Dhabi as part of the new National Aquarium at Al Qana, making it the largest reptile in the country.

The new aquarium is due to open in 2020, and, in an exclusive chat with Time Out, bosses let slip that the enormous snake will be one of the stand-out features.

Right now the legendary King Croc at Dubai Aquarium is the biggest reptile in the Middle East, but the five-metre crocodile will soon have that title taken from him by the hand-reared snake, says Fouad Mashal, CEO of Al Barakah International Investment (the developers of Al Qana).

Paul Hamilton, general manager of The National Aquarium (also the man who set up Dubai Aquarium), tells us about about what we can expect, but is keeping tight-lipped on most of the finer details.

He says: “We have a few key creatures that will get a huge amount of attention. We are talking both large and unique, charismatic and aggressive.

"Guests will also encounter a species that has an enormous reputation for being dangerous. We’ve also expanded the exhibits to go into never-done-before areas. Some might break records but we’ve been careful to maintain the integrity of the journey."

The enormous aquarium at the Al Qana development will be the biggest in the Middle East and it is currently about 70 percent completed.

The exhibits will include 300 different species and 35,000 creatures split between ten different zones.

Promising a dazzling display of creatures, marine biologist Hamilton adds: “We have a huge range of creatures, ranging from one centimetre to three metres to seven metres.

“Other aquariums have maybe three different environments, we have ten. Guests will move between sections on the jewels of Arabia, a Red Sea shipwreck, a submarine in the Mediterranean, areas like the Amazon and the Pacific and right through to the big tank at the end. Each will have its own exciting theme.

“It will have double the exhibits and double the animals of its direct competition, there will be so much to see and experience.”

We absolutely can’t wait to go and check it out. Watch this space for more information.

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