Row over dolphins mars Atlantis Dubai opening

Hotel News - 20/11/2008

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According to the operators of the hotel, its dolphin facility, called Dolphin Bay, will be Dubai’s first centre for the rescue and rehabilitation of injured and stranded bottlenose dolphins.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), however, has asserted that the 24 dolphins, which will live in the hotel’s pools, were bought from a dealer located in the Solomon Islands.

According to the WDCS complaint, the dolphins, taken from the waters surrounding the Solomon Islands, will be used for guest entertainment. The hotel is offering a guest a 90-minute £75 ‘shallow water experience’ that allows them to swim with the animals.

The complaint over the dolphins follows another issue raised last month by animal rights activists that resulted in the government ordering the hotel owner to release a 13-foot whale shark that had been placed in a tank in the lobby.

In the earlier incident, environmentalists said that the hotel owner had illegally captured the shark in the shallow coastal waters of the Gulf and relocated it to the lobby tank as a display for guests.

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