Burj Al Arab Size:
Lobby tanks 500,000 litres; Al Mahara predator tank 300,000 litres.
The flashy hotel boasts a mammoth aquarium system, only a third of which is visible from the lobby. A recent refurb has jazzed up the internal lighting in the tanks, created cave systems and revamped the artificial coral. As you’d expect in a seven-star hotel, the fish here are well looked after: a whiteboard inside the feeding room shows they have a specific diet of mostly fish and squid, and are fed different meals on each day of the week.
Further behind the scenes, the aquarium specialists have a high-tech centre with all sorts of monitoring equipment. They’re on call round the clock to be notified if there is a problem in the tank, whether it’s a leak or a change in the water parameters.
An intensive care unit for sick or injured turtles is nestled 18m below sea level in the basement of the Burj Al Arab. The turtles stay in this area until they’re well enough to be moved to the enclosure at Mina A’Salam, where they learn to get back on their flippers, so to speak.Species:
Guests can make friends with female zebra shark Zebedee, a resident of the tank in Al Mahara restaurant. She’s the first of her species to deliver pups without having mated, a process known as ‘parthenogenesis’. Other species include bamboo sharks, clown fish, yellow and blue tang, black tips, a humphead wrasse and a guitar shark (yes, she looks like a Fender).Free; hotel and restaurant guests only. Burj Al Arab (04 364 7555). View Mina A’Salam turtle enclosure