Green Planet is Dubai’s first indoor tropical forest, located at City Walk. The Eid Holidays had us looking for some new places to explore and it turns out, Dubai never fails to surprise us. For a true city dweller like me, Green Planet is the best platform to explore forest life. What more do we want; walk among the biggest man-made forest, with the bugs and the bees locked away safely.
Green Planet is situated in a bio-dome building at the other side of the main City Walk. The place is open for the entire family between 10 am to 12 pm. Adult Admissions cost 95 AED and Child Admissions (3+) cost 70 AED. You can book your tickets online or visit the small kiosk outside the main building.
The best time to visit the facility would be early morning or late evening- before the sunset. The time offers great photographic value. But, I arrived late at night, after satisfying our toddler’s fun quota with Mattel Play Town. However, I still managed to enjoy the place.
Green Planet appeared a little daunting from afar, with its looming branches and hanging nests. But the rainforest offers the best edutainment experience I have experiences so far in Dubai.
Here is an interesting infographic of Green Planet:
Green Planet Smile Points
The bio-dome offered a fresh perspective of rainforests. The absence of any big animal inside the facility puts the small wildlife in the limelight. There were around 3000 plants and animals inside the forest. Most of these are kept inside glass cases or under microscopes. Slides, panels and interactive media provide us information regarding each life form. The diverse forms of information disbursement tools employed made the educational experience non-boring.
The best thing about the place is its aesthetic beauty. The entire experience was highly accentuated by the careful planning given to the tour. I began my tour from the top floor. A pleasant staff member escorted me to the lift. Me and a group of other visitors started the tour from the top floor. Starting from the top floor gave us a strategic advantage. It quelled my fears to a great extent and also gave me the feeling of walking down the jungle. With the Jungle Book so fresh in our minds, the rainforest appeared more brilliant.
While we were not bogged down by guides, their presence at strategic locations throughout the facility made the experience very satisfying. The guides were pleasant and well-informed. They approached you only when you came towards specific displays. The guides were courteous; one even invited me to hold the butterfly on 0her hand. Keeping my queasy feeling in check, I decided to go for it and it was actually quite nice.
The small tree house in the mid of the forest was a little crowded by other visitors wanting to take pictures. I could not stay there but I did enjoy an alone moment at the ecology balcony. The balcony offered a nice view of the facility with information on birds
I would suggest everyone to look at the forest from below, at the end of the visit. The shooting branches of the trees, the nest hanging down the trees and the occasional sighting of the birds, is quite a humbling experience.
To explore the rainforest fully, you need at least one to two hours of time. Between taking pictures and browsing through the displays, take a minute out, close your eyes and just listen to the sounds. You will hear the birds and the waterfall (artificial actually).
The waterfall was a bit let down for me, aesthetically. While it did create a damp environment necessarily for the survival of the life, I expected it to contribute to the facility’s aesthetic value. The roll of water from the top could easily have been hidden within the tree’s branches for a more natural view.
The only damper to my visit was the absence of my husband. He had to wait outside with our toddler since he absolutely refused to set foot inside the place. For anyone with a toddler, I would suggest planning the visit around your toddler. Even if he is excited, he would probably not be interested in a forest of small creature and not any ‘real’ animals.
I would definitely recommend this place to family and friends. I even called my sister to Dubai to show her this place. If you are a nature lover or doing any rainforest research, this could be a good place to start. You will not be dissatisfied if you are looking for a different experience in our concrete jungle.
P.S. Sorry for the absence of pictures. My cell phone battery just gave off.