National Aquarium Overview

Located in Al Qana, the National Aquarium in Abu Dhabi is the largest in all of the Middle East, spread across 9,000 square metres and home to 46,000 species of marine animals, reptiles, amphibians, mammals as well as birds. The aquarium features 60 amazing exhibits, divided across 10 themed zones, making the National Aquarium one of the most iconic tourist as well as lifestyle attractions of Abu Dhabi.

The National Aquarium in Abu Dhabi is the largest aquarium in the entire Middle East, and serves as the home of 46,000 animals spread across 10 different themed zones. Located in Al Qana, this aquarium is also the abode of more than 200 sharks and rays of 25 different species, along with animals of hundreds of other species, all of which are cared for by a team consisting of 80 experts. 

It is here where you can get to walk through the largest tunnel in the Middle East, surrounded by divers, and over 22,000 animals, ranging from mammals and reptiles, to marine creatures, amphibians, birds and more. Furthermore, it is here where you can see a variety of habitats, from corals to rainforests, etc. 

Wondering what else you can see here? The aquarium houses hammerhead sharks, bull sharks, tiger sharks as well as black tip reef sharks, eagle rays, and even the Super Snake, which is a seven-metre-long reticulated python, the biggest known living snake in the whole world. From hand-feeding sharks, to enjoying a glimpse of the shipwrecks, rainforests, frozen oceans and other zones, the entire tour of the aquarium takes a couple of hours and guarantees visitors a memorable experience. 

Basic information about The National Aquarium:

Location: Al Qana - Rabdan - Al Maqta' - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates

Suggested Read: Popular Theme Parks in Dubai


• Pay a visit to the largest aquarium in the entire Middle Eastern region
• Spread across 9,000 square metres, the National Aquarium in Abu Dhabi is the home of around 46,000 animals, ranging from marine and freshwater creatures, to mammals, amphibians, reptiles as well as birds of hundreds of different species
• The aquarium is divided into 10 themed zones, including the Jewels of Arabia, the Red Sea Shipwreck, submarine in the Mediterranean, and the areas of the Pacific and Amazon, among others
• Don’t forget to take a walk through the longest tunnel in the Middle East while you are here Catch sights of more than 200 sharks and rays, and get a chance to hand-feed some of them on your visit as well
• For a more exotic experience, head over to see the Super Snake, which is seven metre long, and is said to be the longest living snake in the UAE, if not the whole world
• You can also see and learn about how the different animals, including sharks and turtles and rescued, transported safely and rehabilitated here during your visit

Other Essential Information

Best Species to See at National Aquarium Abu Dhabi:

  1. Sharks: The National Aquarium is home to more than 200 sharks, including the whale shark, hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, black tip reef sharks and bull sharks, among others. In addition to seeing these beautiful predators, you can also swim with them and hand-feed them on your visit to the aquarium.
  2. Stingrays: With over 20 species of stingrays available at the aquarium, including the manta rays and eagle rays, stingrays are some of the most beautiful species that you can see here. They are often known as the dancers of the ocean, owing to their kite-like bodies and huge fins that make them appear to be dancing in the water.
  3. Fish: When visiting the Aquarium, you are bound to see some of the most diverse fish species in the world here. From salmon and eels to other fish species, all with different colours, shapes and characteristics, you are sure to find some that are extremely rare here. 
  4. Corals: Contrary to popular belief, corals are actually aquatic invertebrates that are found under the surface of seas and oceans. However, they also serve as habitats to tiny animals, fishes and polyps. At The National Aquarium, you can get the chance to witness many different coral reefs, all bright and beautiful, in different shapes and sizes. 
  5. Birds: Besides fish species and other marine animals, The National Aquarium is also home to some of the most spectacular species of birds, with beautiful colours, unique feathers, big and small and belonging to different regions around the world. 
  6. Reptiles: The National Aquarium of Abu Dhabi also houses some of the most fascinating reptiles in the world, from snakes and lizards, to turtles, geckos, chameleons and more. You can also find the Super Snake here, which is a seven-metre-long python, and is the largest known living snake in the whole world. 
  7. Amphibians: Another species of animals that can be found in this aquarium is amphibians, which means creatures that are typically born in water and transition to living on land as terrestrial animals. You can find a lot of different species of frogs, toads, newts and salamanders here. 
  8. Mammals: Besides marine animals and birds, the National Aquarium also boasts of a wide range of mammals, such as dolphins, otters, sea lions, etc. You can also find the capybara here, which is the world’s largest living rodent, along with sea lions and many other mammals.

Must Read: Best Places to See in Abu Dhabi

Preserving UAE Wildlife:

The National Aquarium also aims to preserve the wildlife of the UAE, and has a Wildlife Rescue Program. The main objective of the program is to rescue, rehabilitate and release the native wildlife in the Abu Dhabi Emirate. 

It is under this program that the aquarium has already successfully rescued and rehabilitated hundreds of animals and birds. One such is Jambo, the African Grey Parrot, which was rescued from the aquarium’s construction site in 2020, and now resides in The Flooded Forest by the Waterfall within the aquarium. 

Another such creature rescued and thereafter rehabilitated within the aquarium is Iggy, the Green Iguana, who was rescued from an animal shelter in the UAE, and is one of the endangered species here.

The aquarium also rescued Amal, a loggerhead turtle, which is very rare in the UAE, and was found entangled in a fishing net here. She was then pre-released with other green and sea rescued turtles into the Natural Treasures Zone of the UAE, but was brought back for permanent care into the aquarium. 

Checkout & Book: Dubai Aquarium Tickets

Tips to Visit:

  1. It is important to be dressed appropriately while visiting The National Aquarium, since anyone wearing indecent clothing will be prohibited entry
  2. Ensure that you do not tamper with any life support systems around the aquarium, failing which can result in fines and penalties
  3. It is advisable not to bring any pets or animals of any nature to the aquarium
  4. Smoking of cigarettes or e-cigarettes is strictly prohibited inside all of the premises of the aquarium
  5. Always make sure that you have sufficient time in hand when visiting The National Aquarium|
  6. It is best to keep a vigilant eye of your personal belongings and other property while visiting the aquarium

Suggested Read: Best Things To Do in Abu Dhabi

Read More
Day Wise Timings
Open Today
Normal Timings:
10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Normal Timings:
10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Normal Timings:
10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Normal Timings:
10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Normal Timings:
10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Normal Timings:
10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Normal Timings:
10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Point of Interest for National Aquarium
UAE’s National Treasures

UAE’s National Treasures

The National Treasures zone of the aquarium pays homage to the country’s historic roots, where you can learn a lot about Arabian pearl fishing.

From seeing how oysters and pearls are formed naturally, to seeing the wide range of animals that contribute to the land’s rich diversity by inhabiting the coasts of the Eastern Arabian Peninsula, this zone is nothing short of a visual treat.

Red Sea Wreck

Red Sea Wreck

At Red Sea Wreck, you can see and learn about some of the most rare and incredible treasures of the sea. It is here where you can enjoy an underwater exploration through a shipwreck, while also witnessing hundreds of fishes, as well as corals, most of which are usually found in the Arabian Red Sea.

Checkout & Read: Abu Dhabi City Tour with Ferrari World Combo

Atlantic Cave

Atlantic Cave

At the rocky Atlantic Cave, you can explore and discover a wide array of creatures that are usually found in tiny crevices and corners, especially within the caves of the Atlantic Ocean Sea. From lobsters to sea sponges and other marine creatures, you can see it all here.

Checkout & Read : Abu Dhabi City Tour

The Sub

The Sub

The Sub takes visitors for an experiential visit below the surface of the sea to see how a submarine operates. In addition to witnessing the marine life in its natural habitat, it is at this zone where you can also get a chance to spot the Nautilus, which is a marine mollusc (belonging to a range of squids, octopuses and cuttlefish), among other marine animals.

Also Read: Best Things To Do in Dubai

Ring of Fire

Ring of Fire

The Ring of Fire is located in the outer Pacific Ocean, and is said to be the longest chain of volcanoes in the world. At The National Aquarium, this zone consists of fascinating marine life which can be found in the everchanging ecosystem of these volcanoes.

Suggested Read : Lotus Mega Yacht Dinner Cruise

Ocean Magic

Ocean Magic

At the Ocean Magic zone, you will get to learn about the dangerous and complex ecosystems of the oceans, and discover different marine life which thrives in such environments.

Checkout & Book the adventurous Desert Safari in Abu Dhabi

Frozen Ocean

Frozen Ocean

Experience the world of the Arctic, the northernmost part of the earth at the Frozen Ocean zone. Typically a giant ice cap, this zone is home to many different animals, including marine creatures, arctic seabirds, fishes and more.

Checkout & Book : Flying Cup Dubai Ticket

The Flooded Forest

The Flooded Forest

The Flooded Forest, or the vibrant rainforest zone of the aquarium is one of the best zones here, and consists of beautiful canopies, tropical birds and clean air for you to breathe.

From enjoying a cool and pleasant ambience here, to seeing a wide range of animals and birds that are native to rainforest regions in the world, this zone is surely one of the most interesting in the aquarium.

Suggested Read: Red Dune Desert Safari Dubai

Bu Tinah Island

Bu Tinah Island

Bu Tinah Island is one of the 200 islands that Abu Dhabi is home to. Said to be one of the best kept secrets of this region, this zone within The National Aquarium has been designed to give visitors a glimpse into the stunning Bu Tinah Island, and is complete with shallow waters, seagrass beds, tall mangrove trees as well as vibrant coral reefs.

Recommended Read: Desert Safari in Abu Dhabi

Tourism Board Alliances

National Aquarium FAQs

How big is the aquarium?

The National Aquarium in Abu Dhabi sprawls across an area of more than 9,000 square metres, across 10 different zones, and is home to over 45,000 different animals. It is also the largest aquarium in all of the Middle East.

How many animals are there in Aquarium?

The National Aquarium serves as the abode of close to 46,000 marine as well as terrestrial animals of 300 different species, all of which have been sourced in a responsible and ethical manner.

Are there any age limits at the National Aquarium?

No, there are no age limits at the National Aquarium, which caters to visitors of all age groups. However, entry to children under the age of 12 years will only be provided if they are accompanied by an adult aged 16 years or above, along with constant supervision by the adult at all times.

Also Read: Things to Do in Dubai with Kids

Why Choose Thrillophilia