What a dive! Bahrain to open world’s largest underwater theme park, complete with a sunken Boeing 747 visitors can explore
- Attraction to cover staggering 100,000-square-metre-plus footprint of seabed
- Park to feature pearl merchant’s house replica, artificial coral reefs, sculptures
- The project is to incorporate 12-metre (39ft) wind towers planted on the seabed
It means ‘two seas’ in Arabic and the Gulf island state of Bahrain is certainly set to capitalize on this description, as it develops the world’s largest underwater theme park for this summer – complete with a sunken Boeing 747.
The park is intended to span at least 100,000 square meters (over one million square feet).
It will also feature a replica of a traditional pearl merchant’s house, artificial coral reefs and other sculptures, in addition to the decommissioned plane.
A sunken jumbo jet is set to become the focal point of a massive underwater theme park (rendering of the project above) in Bahrain, which will open this summer
Work on the dive site will get under way within weeks, as a collaboration between the Bahrain government, the private sector, dive companies and clubs.
It is set to open to the public by this summer, the Bahrain Tourism & Exhibition Authority has announced.
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The archipelago’s tourism agency emphasizes that the project is eco-friendly.
It has stressed that the park’s features will all be made from eco-friendly materials providing a safe haven for coral reef growth and a habitat for marine life.
Kingdom come: Bahrain, epitomized by the futuristic skyline of its capital Manama (pictured), nods to its past by locating largest underwater theme park near pearling World Heritage Site
The project is to incorporate 12-metre (39ft) wind towers planted on the seabed, which it is hoped will promote development of coral nurseries. Bahrain’s traditional corals have suffered from extensive damage and bleaching in recent decades.
The incorporation of a replica pearl merchant’s house is a nod to the kingdom’s plentiful oyster population and, flowing from that, its pearl diving history.
This legacy is also reflected in the theme park’s site – is to be developed next to one of the Unesco World Heritage Sites in Bahrain – The Pearl Trail.
Meanwhile, the 70-metre-long (230ft) decommissioned plane is to be specially prepared prior to its descent to the bottom of the ocean, to guard against corrosion.
The airliner is expected to be the largest ever to be submerged, the Abu Dhabi-based The National newspaper reported.
The aircraft is believed to have been taken to Bahrain from Fujairah, Abu Dhabi’s neighbour, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in readiness for the project.
The race to the bottom is well under way in the Middle East.
The Pearl of Dubai, measuring a more modest 20,000 square meters (215,000 square feet), is a dive and snorkel tourism destination being built off the coast of Dubai.
The theme of the project, set to open next year, is reported to be that of a lost city.
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