Yes, staring into the cold eyes of the tiger sharks from Dubai’s Aquarium viewing tunnel doesn’t exactly make you want to get into the tank with them. But the thought of floating in ice-cold water during Dubai’s sticky summertime just might. We say freezing –
the water is actually 24°C, but trust us, you’ll need that full 5lb wetsuit they provide, and the funny shoes (we could have even done with some gloves). Not only do they keep you warm, they make you float.
After watching a quick safety video with
Al Boom’s friendly team – in which they assure us that while 791 people die each year as a result of faulty toasters, apparently just four are killed by sharks – you are led to the stairs leading down into the ‘cage’. This consists of bars around the sides and an acrylic panel at the bottom. Lots of smaller fish swim in and out of your ‘pen’, but the bigger fish – the stingrays, the groupers and, yes, the sharks – can only be spotted through the bottom screen. This window, coupled with your mask, means they come to resemble blurry blobs – just like the people down in the tunnel waving and taking your picture.
You even become part of the show for those on the glass-bottomed boat tours, which pass every 10 minutes. But through the rush of being a sudden celebrity, you will still feel the cold. After 30 minutes of bobbing about, it’s time to hit the steaming-hot showers, struggle out of the suits and make your way as fast as possible to Pappa Roti’s for a well-earned hot chocolate and bun. Becky Lucas
The Dubai Mall (04 342 2993). Cage snorkelling, daily 12pm-8pm, Dhs225 for
30 minutes’ floating time, minimum age
five years. Call 04 342 2993 or email