I am in UAE for quite a time now but it was only this year I checked the (Annual) Dubai Shopping Festival. With tired feet and hungry monster tummies, there was no better way to culminate last Friday night than visiting the Rainforest Cafe. We have passed by here when we checked the Dubai Aquarium last time but I never thought that this cafe offers more than the usual.
I think that this cafe is well-conceptualized in the sense that this is currently one of a kind in the UAE. For the naturally greenery scarce Gulf, an artificial rainforest environment will be appreciated by many. There is a reptile at the entrance, and as you take more steps to the dining hall, you will be greeted by a serpent. Then the rest of the tigers, gorillas and butterflies are strategically situated. Although these creatures are available in their artificial form, it is hugely entertaining because approximately at every 10 minutes , they would air some sounds of animals and synched with their movements. The banging of the thunderstorm signals that these creatures will become alive.
Looking at the ceiling is the most fascinating part for me. There’s this lighting effect that does not only make the stars twinkle, but like they also travel slowly from one portion to the other.
In that way, it was like dining under a star-starry night. Although the simulated rainforest feel is the highlight of the visit, the food is also good. We had grilled salmon, pesto and mixed seafood grill. The food’s name from menu is catchy like Rainforest Rascal with Safari Fries and Gorilla Grilled Cheese Delight.
Since the Rainforest Cafe is just behind the Dubai Aquarium (one of the biggest aquariums in the world), there’s one stretch of dining tables directly facing it. How refreshing is that.
There are stoned sculptures of ancient type and waterfalls that give an added feel of the jungle. The tables and chairs are made up of bamboo and the table (top) has drawings of fish and other animals.
I have not taken a photo of the path to the restroom, but the gender reference says like “Queen of the Jungle” and “King of the Jungle”. There’s also a souvenir shop which sells kooky forms of animals, shirts, mugs and other items. We would probably check and get one the next time. Yes, this cafe is worth visiting again.
See how the animals become “alive” in this video:
Rainforest Cafe is in Dubai Mall, near the Dubai Aquarium. Landline: +971 4 330 8515
Edit: Video uploaded on 7 March 2010.