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Penguins complete the atmosphere at SkiDubai

February 5, 2012
Newly arrived penguins have adapted to their sub-zero Celsius home at SkiDubai replete with an ice-cold swimming pool and private living quarters designed to replicate Antarctic conditions.
Born and bred in captivity, ten King penguins as well as ten Gentoo penguins were flown from SeaWorld in San Antonio, Texas to Dubai's Mall of the Emirates as part of the new Snow Penguins exhibit, which opened at the indoor ski facility.
Fahad Al Lawati, Manager Commercial and Communications for Mall of the Emirates owners Majid Al Futtaim, said the new attraction will offer "a unique experience" to paid visitors in the coming years.
Majid Al Futtaim Marketing and Sales Director Omar Al Banna added that the arrival of the penguins will "add value to the community and take SkiDubai to the next level."
Noting that the birds were "hatched and raised in the care of humans," Al Banna added SkiDubai will "do what we can to protect the penguins and create awareness about the environment".
By offering residents through the Peng-Friend program a chance to get up close and personal with the birds, the attraction will indirectly help conservation efforts aimed at preserving the natural environment.
Newly established pairs are already courting in their new Dubai digs and it may only be a matter of time before SkiDubai could witness the hatching of native-born penguins in the emirate.
As many as 20 public penguin encounters will be scheduled each day in which visitors over the age of three will be granted face time and underwater viewing of the birds swimming. Visitors at all times will be accompanied by staff. Personal cameras will not be allowed into the enclosure.
SkiDubai Operations Manager Tom Scheffer added "we're the first in the Middle East to have King penguins in our colony."

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