Middle East's largest aquarium opens

The largest aquarium in the Middle East just opened

(SOUNDBITE) (English) GENERAL MANAGER OF THE NATIONAL AQUARIUM ABU DHABI, PAUL HAMILTON, SAYING:

"It is the largest screen in the Middle East, and it has the largest underwater tunnel of any aquarium in the Middle East. We have over 45,000 animals here across 60 exhibits, 10 zones and the journey takes around 2 hours to complete."

LOCATION: Abu Dhabi, UAE

The aquarium mirrors various marine habitats across the globe

including a protected and private nature reserve inaccessible to visitors

(SOUNDBITE) (English) GENERAL MANAGER OF THE NATIONAL AQUARIUM ABU DHABI, PAUL HAMILTON, SAYING:

"So this particular exhibit it's called ‘Bu Tinah’. Bu Tinah is a real location here in Abu Dhabi. It was voted for natural wonders of the world and we've tried to re-create that environment in this exhibit. No one's allowed out there because it's a heavily protected area. So the only place where you can get some idea of what Bu Tinah might look like is here. We’ve created the seagrass beds, we have the hammerhead sharks and an array of different types of fish that you would see in that location. I am extremely proud of this exhibit. The Bu Tinah exhibit is the key exhibit or the hero exhibit of the National Aquarium in Abu Dhabi."

Some of the aquarium's most iconic species include:

a seven-meter-long ‘Super Snake’

hammerhead sharks

and an Asian water monitor lizard dubbed ‘Professor’

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