Penguins! Penguins Everywhere!



There’s only ONE place in the world where you can actually meet, play with, feed, hug and even smooch a penguin.  Guess where??  Well Dubai, of course!  And in particular, at Ski Dubai, an incredible indoor ski slope built in a shopping mall in the middle of the desert.


Have I mentioned recently that Dubai is the epitome of “biggest, best, fastest, tallest, most and only”??  Well, it is, and quite often the words “Guinness Book of World Records Holder” are used.  Frankly, I think that the judges for this entity likely have an apartment in Dubai, since they *must* do so much work here!  <grin>

Anyhow, on to the Penguins – Ski Dubai has a program where you can actually get up close and personal with penguins.  You can see all the details here at where all the prices and perks are laid out.  I had read about them on a website and TBG told me to pick a date.  Since you had to have a group of 4 or pay for all 4 anyhow, we invited friends from here to join us.  So Tom and Coral met us there.

First, you get all suited up in fat clothes to keep you warm.  (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)  Insulated boots, pants, coat, and gloves.


Can you tell how excited I was??   Then, you go into a very very very cold area to go play with the penguins and to be cautioned about stuff like…. You can’t take photos, you gotta buy the SkiDubai photos.  No feeding them anything but what the trainers give you.  Stuff like that… They gave us a lot of technical information that you can pretty much google for – but frankly, I was more interested in stuff like “How does eating fish equate to the giant penguin poop splashes ( on the floor??”  Stuff you can’t google, you know?  But we did learn about their vetting procedure, the fact that there’s a penguin hospital on site, what their vitamin and feeding schedule looks like and such.  It was interesting, but not the main reason I was there.


But once inside the special fences to keep the riff-raff out that didn’t pay to play, we were treated to penguins.  Real, live, cute-beyond-freekin-belief penguins.  Waddling, head-tilting flipper-flapping penguins, and I was instantly in love.  They were all my very own personal penguin friends at that point, I just knew it.

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We sat on really cold bench things to allow them to walk up to us at first, then we were all able to get down on our knees to get more on their level.  Then, we could touch them and pet them.  OH.MY.GOODNESS was I excited.

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You know how you get something in your mind about how something’s gonna feel, or taste or be like?  In your mind, it’s one way, but you may never know what it’s like in real life.  Well, touching those penguins was EXACTLY like I thought it was gonna be – silky smooth, but slightly stiff, really soft but firm too.  Exactly like I thought.  Well, except for those cute little yellow spots over their ears – those were like… um…. Have you ever touched the middle of a dandelion flower??


To me, that’s exactly what that yellow velvety part over their ears felt like.  Amazing something so soft could be on a creature designed to survive sub-zero temps and freezing water, you know.  And apparently, it doesn’t affect their hearing one tiny little bit…. well, just a little bit while they’re underwater.  But it keeps their ears protected.


We played with them with toys, followed them, let them follow us, we fed them, we chased them, let them chase us, caught them, sat with and hugged on them, I was just in love with these little critters!  Oh, and they come to Dubai from San Antonio Texas USA, Sea World, where I have a dear friend that’s an animal trainer – small world, huh??  :::waving at Catherine Brown:::

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The tour guide still had a surprise for us, though, we were gonna get to take home Penguin Art!  I had no idea what it was, but I knew I wanted it.  Have you ever felt that way?  Excited and didn’t know why?  That was exactly how I felt.  But the guide spread non-toxic paint on a sheet of paper, then a clean sheet, and asked Pebbles, one of my new peng-friends if she’d walk in the paint, then on the paper…. and she did!!  Pebbles made Penguin Art for us!!

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At the end of the day, I was exhausted, happy, and grinning from ear-to-ear I think, and TBG had a blast as well.  Was it spendy?  Definitely.  But was it a once-in-a-lifetime experience?  Likely.  I know I’ll never ever forget all my little penguin friends!!

About DebbieT

I followed my husband to Dubai for a job. Then, I followed him to Bahrain for another job. Now we live in a bigassbus and travel all over the US, seeing all the things we missed before. I adore adventure and hate that wench on the WiiFit. Collecting experiences is my new hobby. I type and write just like I speak - fast with a lot of errors, and they don't trouble me at all. I have a very short attention span, am able to Google for something and not come up for air for hours, I am an encourager, a cheerleader, organizer and able to juggle multiple projects at once.

10 responses »

  1. Debbie this is amazing even though I miss you like crazy I am so happy that you guys are enjoying living over there. Wow what an adventure for you both. This penguin thing looks like too much fun, I would have loved it, Who would have thought there would be penguins in the middle of a desert. I love all your stories. Just know I love mean it Cher

    • Awww… Miss Cher, miss you like crazy too – and I’m absolutely grabbing every experience I can over here – and penguins in the desert? Yup, who’d a thunk it? Right now I’m finishing up a post about a FIVE-STAR resort we visited – holy cow was it cool!! Thanks for following along on our adventure, writing about it sorta makes me feel a bit closer to home, you know?? Loveyoumeanit!

  2. Oh em gee! I am so jealous. I don’t live far from the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, so we make sure to go there a couple times a year, but that doesn’t even begin to compare to your fabulous experience. I so want to hug one of them. 🙂

  3. Oh my! They look so big! (Not you)! Ya’ll look like you are having a blast and falling in love! LOL!! Can’t wait for the next blog!!!

    • Rhonda, I truly fell in love with them – their quirky little heads, their funny little waddle, and the arm-flapping were all so very endearing. We’re all best penguin friends now – for life!! And they were much larger than I’d thought too!!

  4. It looked like you were all in Penguin love! Awesome pics! Thank You so much for doing this blog and letting us live vicariously through you!


    • Honey, if I could have brought every single person I’ve ever known with me to that experience, I would have. It was truly amazing, and I feel so very fortunate!! TBG even sorta liked it I think!! Thanks for hanging out with us – hope you enjoy some of our other experiences.

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