Should ancient bones be up for sale? Shoppers in Dubai say yes!

Dinosaur bones for sale Dubai Mall

A dinosaur on display in a Dubai mall.

Decorative taxidermy reaches new heights in the United Arab Emirates!  Dubai developer Emaar has shelled out big bucks for the remains of a 150-million-year-old dinosaur which will be permanently displayed in the world’s largest shopping venue, Dubai Mall.

The adult Diplodocus specimen (90% original bones!) represents the first time ever that dinosaur fossils were found in a sleeping position. And Dubai buys another world record!

The remains were discovered at the Dana Quarry in Wyoming (USA), an area containing ancient fossils dating back to the late Jurassic Period. According to Dinosauria International, it’s the most productive dig site in Wyoming, and the “origin of over a dozen, mostly excellent articulated individual skeletons, ranging from the huge and lumbering Apatosaurus to the terrifying Allosaurus and the tiny Coelurosauria.”

Over 75 million shoppers came to Dubai Mall last year to shop and peer through the world’s largest acrylic panel (to view creatures in its amazing aquarium) and nosh at “Candylicious” (the world’s largest sweet shop).  The dino exhibit is expected to exponentially boost footfall.

But the story inside this story is that anyone with a full wallet can buy a full dinosaur (or downgrade to specific bones, teeth, or fossil imprints).

Google “dinosaurs for sale” and up pops PaleoDirect, the DinosaurStore, and even eBay as used bone sellers.

Truly spectacular specimens can be picked up through bespoke auction houses; last year a pair of “dueling dinosaurs” was on the block for $7 million – the duo, a tyrannosaurid and ceratopsian, was discovered dramatically intertwined in a prehistoric death match.  One of the most important discoveries in North American paleontology – destined for a food court in an UAE mall or Emir’s garden.

The upside is that that high roller Emiratis have clearly embraced “recycling” – recently cars, and now bones.

Fossils For Sale

In addition to museums, it’s now relatively easy for people today to find fossils such as teeth and bones with authentic fossil and mineral retailers like Fossil Era. Fossil collectors can find the rarest items from different parts of the world through their online fossil platforms or marketplaces. These dinosaur fossils are sourced and gathered by locals and paleontologists. Moreover, fossil collectors are highly involved in the preservation and sale of fossils. 

While many Emiratis are interested in decorative taxidermy, nothing can beat owning the rarest dinosaur fossils. They tell a richer story of the rich biodiversity and history of the world, proving the existence of monstrous animals from millions of years ago. For instance, experts believe that non-bird dinosaurs lived about 245 to 66 million years ago during the Mesozoic Era. They already existed millions of years before the Homo sapiens, or the first humans, existed. 


Ancient bones capture the interest of shoppers in Dubai. Fossils serve as house or building ornaments, reflecting the status of their owners in society. It’s no wonder why high roller Emiratis collect dinosaur bones and other animal fossils. This ongoing trend benefits the fossil market and elevates the demand to greater heights.

Image of Dubai dino from 7 Days in Dubai 

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2 thoughts on “Should ancient bones be up for sale? Shoppers in Dubai say yes!”

  1. Laurie Balbo says:

    Absolutely agree, Richard – and wish Amman’s malls would include some displays with educational angles.

    Airports are increasingly serving as public art galleries; makes perfect sense for malls to step up as museums. And where better to start than in Dubai?

  2. richard says:

    I took my 5 year old son to see this last week; it was amazing to see one of the world’s best dinosaur fossils here in Dubai where there is a shortage of museums. I personally think it’s great to have these precious objects available for the maximum amount of people to see. The display is well done and very educational. I don’t see a moral issue with the trade of fossils (unless it results in them not being available for the public to see) but I’ll stand corrected if someone has an argument I haven’t considered! I’m also pleased that we managed to enjoy the exhibit and leave without spending any money in the mall 🙂

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