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DUBAI: Mall shoppers shocked as massive shark tank cracks

February 25, 2010 |  8:17 am

When you're at the mall shopping for a pair of Seven jeans or ankle boots from Talbot's, you wouldn't expect to be met by a flood of saltwater and the imminent specter of sharks and other sea creatures. But shoppers at Dubai Mall faced just that scene Thursday as the center's massive aquarium cracked. The amateur video above shows the gush of water and panicked shoppers slogging about.

Media in the Persian Gulf city-state referred to it as a minor leak and said it was quickly brought under control by the aquarium maintenance team, without causing harm to the creatures inside. 

The 2.65-million-gallon Dubai Aquarium was designed to hold more than 33,000 animals and 85 species, including more than 400 sharks and stingrays, according to Dubai's Khaleej Times.

“A leakage was noticed at one of the panel joints of the Dubai Aquarium at the Dubai Mall and was immediately fixed by the aquarium’s maintenance team," said a statement issued by the mall.

Coincidentally, the incident took place during the Dubai Shopping Festival, an annual celebration of the city-state's status as a consumer haven.

Dubai-sharks

But someone might want to have a word with the developers of the mall, Emaar Properties. That's the same company that constructed the record-shattering Burj Khalifa skyscraper, which was shut down earlier this month after an elevator malfunctioned, trapping 15 passengers for nearly an hour before help came. 

Emaar, with strong ties to the Dubai's ruling family, was struck hard by the global financial meltdown.

-- Borzou Daragahi in Beirut

Photo: Sharks swims past divers preparing the aquarium in the new Dubai Mall hours before its official opening. Credit: Karim Sahib / AFP/Getty Images

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