As the hot weather is upon us and the time spent outside decreased a lot, make us look for indoor alternatives. And not that there are not plenty in Dubai. We took the chance to visit the newly open Orbi, in Mirdif City Center, where the kids had a blast for some good hours.
What do you do at Orbi? Everything is high tech and more like virtual reality. The kids learn about animals, insects, weather conditions, nature, in one word about Earth, in a way they are very comfortable with. Ibrahim was our tour guide and he explained everything to the kids, making jokes and playing with them.
The entrance is very mysterious, welcoming you to Earth. In a semi dark area, kids saw on big 3D screens how a ladybug is formed, from the egg to the mature one. On the opposite wall, on a huge screen, different species of fish were projected as black shapes. The kids have to stand on designated spots and a little hand is projected on the screen. They have to guide that hand over the fish and an image of the fish with information about that spices show up. This way, they can lear about a large variety of fish that live in the oceans.
Their favorite attraction were the two big 3d shaped screens featuring a caterpillar and a chameleon (at the time we visited) that move and wiggle when they rub them. Another big screen in a non-traditional shape was showing landscapes from different climates. The kids were able to see tropical forests, savanas, lizards and other reptiles, temperate climate forests etc.
We continued our journey on Earth by entering a dark room where we chose colors. For the yellow color, on a room round screen, where projected animals and plants that are yellow: fish, frogs, lions, mountain flowers etc. For the blue color, we saw many species of fish, the sky and butterflies and for the black color, the most popular pictures were the ones with gorillas and chimpanzees.
After we named many animals and plants and talked about their colors, we moved into the cinema where we watch a documentary about The Yellowstone National Park on a huge rectangular screen. The best part is that if is fog we actually got the fog, we got the chills during the winter, time we got a bit of rain in the rainy season, we experienced all the climate changes and we saw the nature and its transformation during a whole year, including the animals behavior. We also saw behind the scene pictures of the BBC team that made the documentary. There are two documentaries to be watched there, each of them with a duration of 20 minutes, one about The Yellowstone Natural Park and the other one about the Makatees.
In a very underwater inspired cinema, in the Blue Layer section, we watch a 5-minutes documentary about the marine life at different levels of the ocean, going deep deep till the deepest point that could be reached by now. After the ocean, we went on a visual trip on seven location around the Earth. During the Earth causing, we were able to see aerial photographies taken also by the BBC team of different parts of the world, from the oceans and seaside, to the peek of the mountains and desert. And talking about peek of the mountains, we experience the freezing on the Mt. Kenya. The kids managed to stay just two minutes at around zero degrees as they are not used with the cold weather and refused to go in the next room to feel how is like at -15 degrees.
Afterwards, we moved to learn more about some of the world transporters, namely the African Elephants. Did you know that actually they walk on their tiptoes? Their feet are very sensitive to vibrations and they can detect sounds through the ground that are inaudible to humans. They also use the stampede to communicate with other elephants up to 30 km away. Therefore, we virtually joined a herd of African Elephants in their journey across the continent, experiencing the vibrations of their stampede, the hot of the desert, cried for the little elephant who almost died of thirst, get a bit wet by the blessed rain that saved the herd of exhaustion and the little baby from death.
My kids enjoyed a lot the movie about the mountain gorillas, a 3D movie combined with the 4D experience. We followed a family of gorillas in their natural habitat, watching the members spending the day: eating, playing, sleeping. And the alpha male recalling his territory and…oh, my…he spit on us!!!!!! Time to leave!!! On our last experience, we tried to imitate a grizzly bear shaking water. We did the fast as we could and still we were like 1000 time slower than it. And we were all dizzy afterwards.
Orbi Dubai has also a workshop section where kids can do art&crafts and we couldn’t miss the souvenir shop where we bought two pencils, one with a spider and one with an owl at the tops.
Prices start from Aed 110 and kids below 3 years old can enter for free. Family ticket means 2 adults + 2 kids. More details on their page here.