In pictures: The Green Planet, Dubai
Get the latest information on the indoor ecosystem, including deals, contact details and opening hours
One of the more weird and wonderful new openings in town will officially start welcoming the public from Thursday September 1.\n\nThe Green Planet at City Walk is a real treat for nature lovers. It realistically mimics the rainforest environment by regulating temperature and humidity levels, and it’s home to an impressive assortment of 3,000 living species. Using leading scientists, zoologists and architects from around the world, the giant, 45-metre-tall cube-like structure has been developed as an educational and recreational space for all ages – a living, breathing ecosystem built around a man-made tree that stands 25 metres tall. Guests start inside the Flooded Forest, around which an aquarium of stingrays, arapaima, turtles and more swim. Gazing upwards through a cavernous hole, vines, branches and the canopy of the tree splay out like a network of natural pathways. OUR FAVOURITE THINGS\n\nThe Birds\n\nFrom toucans to colourful parrots of all shapes and sizes, the multitude of swooping birds create a beautiful soundtrack for the biodome. There are several Toco toucans, the largest of all toucan species. While eye-catching with their orange and black colouration, looks can be deceiving as the bill is actually very lightweight. Rather than fly, they choose instead to hop from branch to branch. The bees\n\nWhile the sheer size of the tree has the “wow factor”, there are plenty of palm-sized critters to catch your attention. And some are even bigger than that! Among them, the weaver ants. Native to Southeast Asia, they build their nests in the leaves of trees - and at The Green Planet have built out onto the perspex case in which they live. Using a silk produced by the larvae, leaves are glued together in layers. There is also a Goliath tarantula, which can grow to the size of dinner plate. The big'uns\n\nYes, internet meme fans rejoice, for there are two sloths – one male, one female – freely roaming around. The pair, while slow, are surprisingly active. Native to central and South America, their legs are unable to support their body weight on the ground, but they are actually good swimmers. Pre-hensile tailed porcupines are also native to South America. They spend the majority of their lives in trees and use their long, prehensile tail to help them balance and grasp branches. A lift takes you up and right into its heart, surrounded by chirping birds, insect exhibits and a range of other wildlife, all of which, while not able to be touched make the experience fully interactive. The basement\n\nA waterfall cascades through the ceiling into a covered “basement”, home to the marine life that also live in our rainforests, including turtles. The Green Planet is the coolest museum exhibition you’ve probably ever seen, and will certainly the best one you’ve ever been a part of. From Dhs70.