Dubai now home to rain­for­est res­i­dents

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

Na­ture lovers in the UAE can ex­pe­ri­ence a lush, trop­i­cal rain­for­est right in the mid­dle of ur­ban Dubai as The Green Planet opens for busi­ness to­day.

The bio-dome, lo­cated at City Walk, fea­tures more than 3,000 plants and an­i­mals. Reg­u­lated tem­per­a­ture and hu­mid­ity lev­els make the state-of-the-art ed­u­ca­tional and recre­ational space feel just like home for the as­sorted crea­tures liv­ing on and around the huge, man-made ‘life sus­tain­ing tree,’ which hosts real-life flora thanks to an in­built ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem. From ants through to sloths, taran­tula and tou­can, there’s an in­cred­i­ble ar­ray of wildlife from the rain­for­est now mak­ing Dubai home. Thanks to a winding path around the pe­riph­ery of the tree, view­ers can spot dif­fer­ent flora and fauna vir­tu­ally ev­ery step of the way in an ed­u­ca­tional and fun ex­pe­ri­ence.

Eric Hup­perts, cu­ra­tor of liv­ing ex­hibits at The Green World, be­lieves the ex­pe­ri­ence will help the UAE be­come more thought­ful and con­sid­er­ate about the en­vi­ron­ment.

He said: “There is no bet­ter way to learn than an ap­plied ex­pe­ri­ence, where you make that per­sonal con­nec­tion.

“This is a liv­ing class­room and it is much more in­ter­est­ing than sit­ting in a room learn­ing from a book. It show­cases a slice of the trop­i­cal for­est re­ally well. The ex­pe­ri­ence can in­form how we view the nat­u­ral world and make de­ci­sions based on that.”

Aside from the man-made main tree, the plants and an­i­mals in the bio-dome have all trav­elled far and wide to get here, from breed­ers in the US, India and Thai­land. That means the well­be­ing of the an­i­mals and plants has been ac­counted for, well be­fore the trip and their new life in Dubai, in ac­cor­dance with the World As­so­ci­a­tion of

BIRD’S EYE VIEW: The Green Planet opens its doors to the pub­lic to­day. Zoos and Aquar­i­ums (WAZA). Hup­perts said: “What we bring to the ta­ble is high-class an­i­mal and plant care. We have spe­cific guide­lines we are achiev­ing, in keep­ing the an­i­mals phys­i­cally and psy­cho­log­i­cally healthy.” chris.fraser@

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