Dinosaur at Abu Dhabi airport draws thousands

August 7th, 2008 - 1:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Abu Dhabi, Aug 7 (IANS) Thousands of passengers at the Abu Dhabi International Airport (ADIA) are getting a glimpse of the skeleton of a 140-million-year-old dinosaur that has been put on display. Einstein, the 23-metre, 4.5-tonne skeleton of an apatosaurus, also known as brontosaurus, was put on display at the airport of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital a couple of weeks back. And since then, around 360,000 people have had a look at it.

According to an ADIA statement, not only passengers, even non-travelling visitors are also making a beeline for a view of Einstein, which has been put on display at Terminal 1 in the Arrivals Hall.

“We are 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,” Dan Cappell, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) vice-president for non-aeronautical revenue, said in a statement.

“Clearly, he (Einstein) provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many people, with families and children obviously enjoying the chance to see such an important part of history.”

According to the statement, an average of 25,500 passengers per day were passing through the airport, making up the majority of visitors viewing Einstein.

ADAC expects Einstein to be seen by over 2.3 million visitors during its stay at the airport.

The first significant prehistoric dinosaur skeleton to be assembled in the Middle East, Einstein will be hosted by ADAC till October this year.

“Unusually for an exhibit of this type, Einstein is 85 percent composed of his original bones,” the ADAC statement said.

“On average, most dinosaur skeletons recovered are only around 65 percent real bone, making Einstein the most complete apatosaurus ever discovered and one of the most authentic assembled dinosaurs ever displayed.”

In October, Einstein’s skeleton will be auctioned at a reserve price of $2 million, with 20 percent above the reserve of the auction price going to a charity for endangered species of Arabian wildlife.

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