Ripple effect

Educating children on the state of the world’s oceans and sealife needn’t be as dull as dishwater. We headed to Under the Sea at City Walk to find out more


Teaching the next generation about the importance of aquatic life is essential if we want to continue enjoying it for years to come. Being able to savour a shopping trip and treat oneself is also important, which is why we’re so excited about City Walk’s Under the Sea experience.

Call us shellfish (get it?) but we like to finger rails of far-too-expensive clothing in relative peace and quiet. So, the next time you fancy some retail therapy why not head to City Walk and make the most of their interactive, sea-themed pop-up. Be sure to go before it packs up its tentacles on August 12, mind.

Truthfully, bribery isn’t a tactic Time Out would usually recommend when it comes to dealing with the little ones, but sometimes (whenever shopping is involved) it is necessary. Which is why City Walk’s latest attraction is ideal. Browsing the aisles at Whistles with your tiny terrors yelling that they’re “BORED” is no fun. To be fair, we see their point. As does City Walk. If you treat yourself to a cheeky new purchase at any of the retail, leisure or restaurant outlets before August 12 you will secure your family four passes for Under the Sea’s live shows.

City Walk, Dubai’s slick shopping and living destination, has made family entertainment and education its priority over a period of four weeks in summer. From early July until mid-August, the neighbourhood is host to an interactive underwater themed experience.

While you’re off spending your hard-earned dirhams, curious kids can hit the creative corner and try various experiential zones in the wonderfully named Mermaid’s Hangout. Fun activities such as popsicle stick art, sand crafting and loom band stations give little fingers plenty to do.

A live magic show will blow their tiny minds (and yours) as will meeting the stars of the show post-performance for a selfie and a chinwag.

There’s also a treasure hunt for sprogs to get involved in. The sea-themed hunt takes place in and around the Walk. All children need to do is collect a map from the information desk before setting out on their adventure. The search for hidden clues takes place in and around City Walk in areas such as The Pirate’s Cove (the indoor courtyard) and The Giant Pearl (a spot right by the fountain). If your little darling manages to decipher the clues and find out the secret password, they will be in with the chance of winning prizes and bagging a ticket to see the live show in the Mermaid’s Hideout (which otherwise would set you back Dhs200 of store purchases).

The live shows take place every Friday and Saturday at 4.30pm, 7.30pm and 9pm. Once safely ensconced inside the Mermaid’s Hideout (she’s terribly accommodating, that mermaid) you’ll be treated to an acrobatic show inspired by the flow of the sea and the movement of sea creatures. There is a keen element of #girlpower when a headstrong mermaid takes centre stage, surrounded by her fishy friends, and controls the ocean via her dance skills. The mermaid’s key message is that we need to protect our subaquatic environment from outside harm and destruction – a very important topic for children nowadays. Puppets, light sculptures and a vibrant LED light show all help deliver this powerful edict without it feeling like a lecture.

Furthermore, the gaming arena drives that same point home with the use of interactive touch technology and augmented reality. Little squirts are taught the importance of anti-pollution, sealife preservation and how the world can fish more responsibly. To be fair, all three are lessons adults can benefit from learning a little more of, too.

Under the Sea is packed with vital lessons disguised by lots of fun. An excellent way of opening children’s eyes to the world around them without making them feel anxious.
Free. Until August 12. Weekdays 4pm-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm. City Walk, Al Safa Street, Dubai. (04 317 3999).

Three top
City Walk spots

Nerd pleaser
Geek Nation

Get lost inside this emporium of all things geeky. Pick up a Marvel figure, a brand new brain-training boardgame or a pair of 100 percent UV 400 protection superhero sunglasses. Because they’re the coolest.

The Roxy Boxpark

Take your brood out of the boiling heat and into a comfy, cool cinema as a treat post-shopping. Nab an upgrade and visit the director’s lounge where you can watch your favourite movie in 3D/2D for just Dhs99.

Snack attack
Serendipity 3

Iconic New York food hit Serendipity 3’s City Walk location is a great stop-off for shattered shoppers and knackered kids alike. Choose from tummy-filling pasta smothered in sauce or deliciousice cream sundaes.
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