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Mermaids of Arabia Review

What’s better than being pampered and transformed into a mermaid for the day? Getting to interact with a “real,” live mermaid too. Mermaids of Arabia, located just behind the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo in the famed Dubai Mall, makes this dream a reality for little girls.

When I was perusing the almost endless list of things to do with kids in Dubai, I knew that a day at Mermaids of Arabia would be a dream come true for my 4 year old daughter who, like most little girls her age, is a big mermaid fan. While the attraction does have offerings for little boys, including being transformed into a pirate, the whole space is decked in pink, purple, and bling and was obviously designed with girly girls in mind. Perfect for my little lady! We sent the boys to the aquarium next door and were whisked into the underwater beauty salon for Harper’s mermaid transformation.

Mermaids of Arabia has 3 package option with different inclusions, ranging from AED 299 (about $82, depending on the conversion rate) to AED 1199 (about $327). We chose the middle package, the Underwater Fantasy, which for AED 499 (about $136) includes admission of the child plus one adult, a mermaid or pirate make-over with costume dress-up, make-up, and hair styling, 1 printed photo in a keepsake frame, and a USB stick with 12 digital photos. There are, of course, quite a few additional costs that may arise during your experience. For example, there is an extra charge to include digital photos with the mermaid on your USB, and if your child wants to take their costume home, that comes at a price. All in all though, for this type of once in a lifetime experience that so many little girls dream of, I think the Underwater Fantasy pricing was well worth it. The smile on Harper’s face was priceless.

Once we got checked in at Mermaids of Arabia, Harper was able to choose which mermaid costume she wanted out of 3 available options. They had both bikini style tops and more modest t-shirt style tops. After she made her selection, she was whisked into the changing room and returned to a blinged out vanity table to get her hair and make-up done. The make-up was simple and appropriate for children - they applied blush, eye shadow, and lip gloss, then added glitter gel and a tiara to Harper’s hair. Once she was ready, her mermaid photoshoot was underway. 

After the photoshoot, Harper was given crayons and a few coloring sheets and allowed to color and enjoy the aquarium views while we waited for the mermaid show to begin. There are 7 mermaid shows on weekdays, with the first being at 11:45am and the last being at 9pm, and 2 additional shows on weekends, including a later 10pm slot. There were about 4 little girls in our group, and just before showtime they were gathered around to hear the story of Mermaid Maya and learn a few cute affirmations. Then, Mermaid Maya made her grand entrance into the aquarium, just on the other side of the glass.After the first part of the show, each child got her own individual time to interact with Mermaid Maya which was the highlight of the experience. She was close enough that, if it wasn’t for the aquarium glass, they could have touched. Mermaid Maya was beautiful and put on an amazing show that I know Harper won’t soon forget.

We had a great experience at Mermaids of Arabia, and, although we probably wouldn’t do it again just because of the price, I would recommend it as a one-time activity to anyone visiting Dubai with kids. It truly did feel like a once in a lifetime experience and mermaid-lover’s dream.

See our full experience on YouTube!

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