Ski Dubai Celebrates Five Years Of Snow Penguins And Internationally Renowned Research

16 Feb 2017

This February, Majid Al Futtaim,  is celebrating five years of Snow Penguins at Ski Dubai. This month marks the anniversary of when the feathery family of King and Gentoo penguins arrived at their new, snow-tacular home in 2012.

Dubai, UAE – This February, Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, is celebrating five years of Snow Penguins at Ski Dubai. This month marks the anniversary of when the feathery family of King and Gentoo penguins arrived at their new, snow-tacular home in 2012. 

Since it was established half a decade ago, the Snow Penguin encounter has proved extremely popular with residents and tourists alike. Now with a colony of 29 penguins, the habitat highlights how Ski Dubai’s Snow Penguin Breeding Programme has gone from strength to strength, nearly tripling in size.  

The flagship program has cemented Ski Dubai’s position at the forefront of penguin research and conservation efforts, on an international scale. A collaboration with the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in the United States, has enabled Ski Dubai to drive advanced research that is critical to protecting and promoting the future prosperity of the penguin species. Fifteen out of eighteen penguin species are either endangered or threatened in the wild and every Snow Penguin guest at Ski Dubai directly contributes to facilitating research in this field.

Monitoring and documenting penguin behaviour, the Ski Dubai team has witnessed multiple pairings between the penguins and has since welcomed six happy and healthy chicks, with the Gentoo and King Penguin colony continuing to grow. Ever since their arrival, the penguins have continued to display their natural behaviour; a clear sign of the animals’ happiness and contentment with their surroundings. Ski Dubai’s specially developed penguin habitat provides the Snow Penguin colony with an environment which replicates their natural habitat. 

It turns out that penguins are an amorous bunch. This Valentine’s Day marks two years since Ski Dubai witnessed its very own Penguin Proposal, with Speedy the Gentoo proposing to Sneezy using a carefully selected pebble, a romantic trademark of how the species behaves in the wild. Human couples have also chosen the unique audience to celebrate their declarations of love, with 14 proposals taking place during Penguin Encounters, to date.

Commenting on the anniversary, Sherif Hashem, Senior Marketing Manager at Ski Dubai said: “We are delighted to be saying ‘Happy 5th Birthday’ to our much-loved Snow Penguins. The Penguin Encounter is an integral part of Ski Dubai’s offering and continues to provide many great moments for guests every day. Over the past five years, we’ve had over half a million guests visit our beloved penguins, so I’m sure they will want to celebrate this moment with us.

Fun aside; we also have to acknowledge that the success of the Snow Penguin Breeding Programme is really a testament to the hard work of our Snow Penguin team who does great work day in, day out. We have now built a solid foundation to continue our crucial commitment to this area and fuel education about the species. As we move forward, we’re excited to drive deeper, multi-generational research on a global scale to protect penguin colonies around the world.”

To celebrate the milestone, Ski Dubai has released a mini-documentary charting the journey of the Snow Penguins since their arrival in the UAE, which can be viewed here.


Throughout the month of February, Ski Dubai is pleased to offer all Snow Penguin guests 50% off every second ticket purchased. Penguin Encounters at Ski Dubai start at AED 225 per person and give guests an up-close and personal bonding session with at least two Snow Penguins. Guests can also experience the Exclusive and Ultimate Penguin Encounters which include additional feather-packed fun. For an even more exclusive visit, guests eighteen years old and up also have the option to swim with the penguins in their underwater habitat.