The art scene in Dubai may be in its infancy, but it is certainly flourishing. And it seems the whole vibe is infectious, catching on even in the animal world!

That’s right, for this month only visitors to the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo will be able OTTERS get up on their little feet, grab a brush, and paint a picture.

Cato, Tiny, Bitoy and Diego, all six-year-old males, have become masters of the brush, we’re told. To celebrate, a new campaign, ‘Great Otter Art Exhibition’, has been launched at one of the largest and most diverse aquariums in the world. It runs until December 30 and will include interactive and informative presentations by aquatic and marine educators offering visitors the opportunity to participate in selecting colours for the paintings.

With the addition of a children’s art corner, young visitors will be encouraged to create their own works of art. An onsite gallery will showcase all the otter’s paintings, and visitors will have the opportunity to purchase the art pieces to take home as a lovely souvenir.

“Otters are among the favourite species of Underwater Zoo’s visitors,” a spokeswoman said. “With their adorable features and playful personality, it’s easy to understand their popularity. As they are active, clever and eager to learn, our qualified trainers have taught them new behaviours that they’ve welcomed with enthusiasm. We hope our visitors will enjoy getting to know them better and that they will be impressed by their artistic skills.”

The otters – Asian small-clawed – weigh less than 5kg and are the smallest sub-species in the world. They are originally from India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and surrounding areas, and live in mangrove swamps and wetlands. They eat fish, shellfish,  amphibians and small mammals.

Others on show at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo Humboldt penguins and Caiman crocodiles, piranhas, giant spider crabs, water rats, sea jellies and clown fish.

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, Dubai Mall, Downtown. Tel: (04) 448 5200. Weekdays 10-10, Weekends 10-midnight. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. Taxi: Dubai Mall.