A 150 million-year-old dinosaur fossil has taken centre stage in The Dubai Mall in a new exhibition unveiled on Monday night.
Measuring 24.4m long by 7.6m high, the skeleton is of the Diplodocus longus, a dinosaur which roamed the earth during the Jurassic Period about 155m years ago.
Mall operator Emaar said the exhibit, located in the Grand Atrium, had been assembled by an expert team of paleontologists, with a team to be on-site to provide visitors with information about the display.
It was sourced through Khalid Seddiq, founder of Etihad Modern Art Gallery in Abu Dhabi, and previously only displayed at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
Emaar said the fossil was discovered in 2008 at the Dana Quarry, near the town of Ten Sleep in north central Wyoming, USA.
Natalie Bogdanova, senior director business development and operations at Emaar Malls Group, said the fossil was the only one of its kind in the world.
Almost 90 percent of the fossil’s bones are original. The most original Diplodocus longus skeleton finding, prior to this, had only 30 percent of the original bones from the overall found structure.
“The new exhibit is educational, awe-inspiring, and yet another definitive reason to visit our city and the mall,” Bogdanova said.
She added: “In addition to the dinosaur exhibit, visitors will have the opportunity to have a closer look at the fossil’s structure through a one-metre long original bone on display. The exhibition will significantly scale up the mall footfall, given the keen interest of dinosaur enthusiasts from around the world, and the unparalleled experience it provides to the visitors.”
A source told Arabian Business last month Emaar had paid “several million dollars” for the dinosaur remains.
The Dubai Mall, Emaar's flagship shopping and entertainment destination, welcomed over 75m visitors in 2013, driving a sales boost of 26 percent. Emaar said last month that footfall at the mall rose by 15 percent last year, with an average monthly visitors totaling 6.25m.
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