Abu Dhabi: Visitors are flocking to Abu Dhabi International Airport to see its 140-million-year-old resident guest in the Arrivals Hall at Terminal 1, "Einstein" the apatosaurus.
Einstein is 23 metres long and weighs 4.5 tonnes. He arrived at the airport on July 17 and around 360,000 travellers, residents and visitors have stopped by to see the unique exhibit.
A spokesperson for Abu Dhabi Airports Company (Adac) said passengers made up the majority of visitors, but non-travelling visitors also went to the airport specifically to see the dinosaur.
Einstein will be displayed until October of this year. Adac expects he will be seen by more than 2.3 million visitors in that time. Adac has extended its invitation not just to passengers, but to Abu Dhabi and other UAE residents to enjoy this opportunity to view one of the first significant prehistoric dinosaur skeletons ever to be assembled in the Middle East.
Unusually for an exhibit of this type, Einstein is 85 per cent composed of his own bones. On average, most reconstructed dinosaur skeletons contain around 65 per cent real bone.
Dan Cappell, Adac vice-president for non-aeronautical revenue, said: "We knew Einstein would attract the crowds and we are thrilled that visitors to Abu Dhabi International Airport are taking the time to see him. We are also pleased to note that people are visiting the airport not just for travel this summer but some are simply coming to get a glimpse of Einstein."
In October, Einstein's skeleton will be auctioned at a reserve price of $2 million (Dh7.35 million), with proceeds of 20 per cent above the reserve price going to a charity for endangered Arabian wildlife.
Information on the dinosaur is available at the exhibition and visitors also have the opportunity to have their photos taken with the now famous visitor.
The exhibition is free of charge and visitors will be able to see Einstein without checking in or making a journey through the airport.
'Einstein' a youngster
- Einstein is an apatosaurus (previously known as a brontosaurus), a long-necked vegetarian dinosaur who lived during the Jurassic Period, approximately 150 million years ago.
- Einstein is a juvenile.
- Abu Dhabi has a Department of Cultural Landscapes within the Authority for Culture and Heritage who investigate remains found in the emirate.
- Einstein was discovered in Dakota, US, and carefully transported in ten cargo crates to Abu Dhabi courtesy of Abu Dhabi Airports Company and Etihad Airways.