(Dubai Dolphinarium, 6 November 2009)
First, thank you for sharing your guess about the previous post/photo showing different raw human reactions. That was taken in Hong Kong Ocean Park while watching the Dolphins and Sea Lions Show in December of last year.
On the other hand, UAE launched its own dolphinarium this year and we had a chance to check it the other weekend. Unlike in Hong Kong Ocean Park wherein the show happens in an open area, you will find inside the Dubai Creek Park a marine-themed building wherein dolphins and sea lions are showcased daily. The voice over and sounds system are generally of surround quality, with laser and spotlights to enhance the viewing pleasure. There are at least 1,200 cinema quality seats. I advise you to take the fourth row backwards as the water splashes frequently reaching up to third row. The pool is 19 meters long and 11 meters wide.
The one-hour show featured three Black Sea Bottlenose dolphins: Senya, Ksyusha and Marfa and four Northern Fur Seals: Ghosha, Max, Fila and Siennia. They danced to Russian and other foreign tunes, made synchronized wacky sounds (as if singing), impressed me with hulahoop, ball catching and other playful activities including the dolphins’ lifting of the trainors/swimmers. I think the dolphins and sea lions in this dolphinarium were more trained. But I consider the show in Hong Kong as more playful as there is more unexpected interaction with the viewers (e.g. sea lions randomly kissing some guests, etc.). Maybe, UAE culture is one of the main considerations for the program’s limitations.
However, I was starstruck when three dolphins were asked to paint. 😉 And they really painted! They were able to produce a seemingly abstract illustration. It was offered to the audience for bidding. The highest bidder got it at AED 300 (almost PhP4000).
There are also separate sessions dedicated to those who would like to swim (group swimming or private, which is more expensive) with the dolphins.
Note: I’ll try to update this post once I’ve already uploaded the (several) videos that I took.
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