The Green Planet in Dubai is a rainforest in the Arabian Desert complete with an ecosystem to match.
It is an unusually rainy day as I make my way into the 150 feet tall glass building that houses The Green Planet in Dubai. As I duck the rain and rush into my destination The Green Planet, I am greeted by a pair of blue macaws. The bird lover in me is instantly piqued and I am curious to see more.
The Tree of Life
The four stories structure is setup to mimic a real rain forest and has the largest artificial tree that stands 82 feet tall in the middle that extends across all levels. We are advised to start at the top and once the lift opens the unmistakable sound of chirping birds catches my attention. Set up as a real ecosystem the place has a whopping 3000 species of plants, birds, reptile, insects and animals. Being in Dubai the rainforest is thriving here as the humidity has been carefully controlled to be 70% higher than normal levels and indoor the temperatures ranges from 77°F and 82°F. Naturally all the species you can see here are the ones that live in the rainforests including South American toucans, three-toed sloths, tree boas, butterflies, iguanas and lizards. There is also an indoor waterfall connected to the tree. There are several informative boards that explain the rainforest and its eco systems throughout the facility and this is a great place to visit with the entire family. For instance did you know that during the dry season, rainforests along the Amazon River grow on dry land and twice each year the river floods and spreads into the forests submerging them beneath six meters of water? Well to be honest I did not. The floods actually renew the forests and spread nutrient rich silt that fertilizes the trees. By mixing river and forest, the floods also allow fish, river otters and other aquatic animals to venture into new areas as they search for food.
Flora and Fauna
The inmates of this rainforest are diverse and the pair of Hyacinth Macaw, the longest parrot species in the world is a sight to behold courtesy their stunning blue plumage. The bat cave here has free flying bats and there are several aquariums that have ants, reptiles, snakes and more. Seeing the squirrel monkeys jump and climb is a fascinating sight. The resident sloth here was unusually active too and kept moving around much to the delight of the audience here. There is also an iguana here apart from weaver ants, tarantula, crocodile lizards, bright green snakes and slow Loris here. However what had me completely mesmerized here were the bright hued birds from the Solomon Island Eclectus, Montezuma Oroprndola, Scarlet Rumped Cacique, Yellow Rumped Cacique, Forest Fody, Solitary Black Cacique, Crested Oroprndola, Chestnut Headed Oroprndola, Black Necked Weaver and Golden Winged Cacique among many others. The Green Planet has an animal program throughout the day including a bird talk with a biologist, a bat feeding at the bat cave, Archer fish feed, Slow Loris Talk with a biologist, Tamarin feed, Piranha feed and sloth talk with a biologist that happens are different times in a day. The staff here are attentive and helpful and when I was here one held a baby python in her hand which visitors could actually touch. As you walk down the ramp built around the tree it is amazing to see the varied flora and fauna here. A visit to this place is surely a great way to come up and close with nature while learning all about the rain forest and how it sustains life. Make sure you visit the place on your next visit to Dubai it is really the best combination of information and entertainment.
- The Green Planet, City Walk, Jumeirah, Dubai.
- 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, weekdays, 10:00 am to midnight on weekends.
This story first appeared in Sakal Times dated 28 April 2019 here: