Image via Ahmed Alkhuhaili on Flickr
If you’re looking for a place perfect for a day watching the wonders of the sea swim by, somewhere you can learn about life in the deep waters, or just a place that’s great to spend the day with friends or family, Fakieh Aquarium is the venue for you. Described as the only aquarium open to the public in Saudi Arabia, it is home to over 200 species of marine life, such as sharks, groupies, string rays, napoleon wrasse, sea horses, green turtles, and more, and it is planning to expand and house even more fantastical underwater residents such as the sea dragon.
The aquarium is Located just off Al Kurnaysh Road on Jeddah’s north corniche, close to Red Sea. Walk into the space and venture towards its tunnels and vast tanks, to get up close and personal with marine life, 85 percent of which are native to Jeddah’s untouched and magnificent coral reefs. The space is magical and meditative in its own right and the ambiance is made even more relaxing with background music and the enclosed architecture of the venue’s interior.
Viewing is not the only activity Fakieh Aquarium offers. You can catch the amazing Dolphin and Seal Lion show every day, and the venue is planning on offering guests the chance to swim with the Dolphins later on in the year. The space also has a penguin exhibition featuring four Humboldt penguins from Peru.
When you’re not catching the shows, you can take a tour in both English and Arabic, discovering fun facts about the Red Sea and its underwater residents. From Napoleon wrasse to the sohal surgeonfish, upside-down jellyfish to garden eels, you’ll discover a lot more than you imagined.
The space also offers prayer rooms on the second floor, free WiFi, a café so you don’t have to leave your new marine friends sooner than necessary, and a gift shop packed with memorabilia you’ll definitely want to take home.
Fakieh Aquarium is open on weekdays, starting at 10 am, on Fridays from 1:30 pm on Fridays, and on Saturdays from 1 pm. It closes every day at 11 pm.