Photo essay: The enchanting world of Dubai's Mermaids of Arabia

Young girls and boys can be made over as mermaids or pirates in this immersive experience

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At Dubai Mall, children are getting a chance to experience mermaid magic – even if only for a few hours.

Mermaids of Arabia offers a “mermaid transformation” during which young girls have their faces painted, hair braided and are given a mermaid costume to wear for the dress-up session in which they get turned into majestic mermaids.

They also have a session for boys in which they can be made over as pirates. In addition to the dressing up, there are meet-and-greets as well as photo opportunities.

“Primarily tailored for kids, we provide an immersive experience allowing them to step into the shoes – or rather, tails – of mermaids and pirates,” says Josephine Adams, the founder and chief executive of Mermaids of Arabia.

“But it's not just about dress-up, it's a holistic journey. From complete makeovers to being paraded around in their splendid outfits, to professional photo sessions and the finale – a breathtaking mermaid show in the aquarium. And while it's a children's haven, adults too find an escape, reconnecting with their own fantasies and childhood wonders.”

Mermaids of Arabia began in 2017 as a mermaid boutique in Kite Beach. These days, they can be found on the ground level of Dubai Aquarium, in Dubai Mall. There are different packages available – ranging from sea prince/princess at Dh299 to the premium fantasy prince/princess at Dh1,199 – which includes a mermaid show.

"Mermaids of Arabia pulsates to its very own musical heartbeat," Adams says. "We've composed original music exclusively for our world, further elevating the experience. Every note, every melody, is designed to transport our visitors deeper into our magical realm."

Adams left behind a decade of working in retail and event management to fully commit to Mermaids of Arabia because she believed so strongly in it.

“The sheer magic and potential of the concept drew me in. There's something universally enchanting about mermaids and the world they represent,” she says. “I saw Mermaids of Arabia as a portal to a realm of imagination, and I wanted to be a part of creating that magic, not just for kids but for anyone with a heart young enough to dream.”

Updated: October 20, 2023, 6:01 PM