Alicia says her most memorable moment of our trip was skydiving (which I was not there for because I have extreme fear of falling from heights…How could that be her favourite moment if I wasn’t present?). I guess in contrast, one of my most memorable moments was one she skipped out on too – meeting penguins at Ski Dubai!! Ski Dubai is a mini ski resort / winter playground / penguin habitat inside, can you believe it, a mall! Obviously, compared to what we are used to in Canada, the snow and the hill looks extremely sad and fake. However, penguins!!
There are multiple packages available, where of course, the more you pay, the more interaction you get. I didn’t get to be immersed in a huddle of little penguins as I had wished for because that required a minimum of 4 people to book online. However, being able to see one so up close and touching their feathers was already very exciting as it is! I like to believe it is an unique experience few people get to have.
They have two types of penguins at Ski Dubai, King and Gentoo penguins (a bit under 20 in total). Both are pretty small in size even compared to me. So for the photo taking we had to sit or kneel down so they wouldn’t be as afraid.
For this basic package I have to admit I was a bit disappointed that the interaction and educational portion of it is quite limited.
The session included:
- brief prep talk about the penguins and the centre by the trainer
- viewing of aquarium where the penguins swim and reside
- meeting one King and one Gentoo penguin individually and watching them play fetch (I didn’t get a chance to throw though)
- taking turns within the group of about 10 people for photographs with each penguin
It doesn’t sound like much but nonetheless, I was definitely smiling the whole way through.
If you go with family/friends you have to take the photo as a group. As I went alone (lol) I got solo glam shots which I bought way too much of #noregrets
I don’t think I am ever this smiley to people.
With the King Penguin as he was more trained and friendly we were able to give it a little hug and a kiss, and touch the feathers on his back, chest and flippers.
My new pengfriend!
The feathers are surprisingly extremely soft, except for the flippers part which was more rough.
This was not a very good shot….but I guess I had to for the memory. The photographer told me to do that pose.
The Gentoo Penguin (Pumpkin, I believe) unfortunately was not trained enough for us to fully interact with. He was only trained to walk up to stand beside us for a photo. Pumpkin kept trying to walk into our area when it wasn’t his turn yet, haha.
The penguin encounter itself isn’t too expensive given how rare the experience is. However, where they rake your money is in the professional photographs they take of you. You aren’t even allowed just the digital copy unless you purchase the hard copy. Cameras and cell phones are strictly forbidden….there was no way you could sneak in a shot. Thus no penguin selfie possibility!
Where do I apply to be a real spokesperson? I think I am already looking the part.