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Up next: SeaWorld to make a splash in Abu Dhabi

Wow experience promised, developer Miral unveils plans to open fourth theme park on Yas Island

  • SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will include rides and an aquarium.Image Credit: Courtesy: Seaworld
  • A girl meets a marine turtle.Image Credit: Supplied
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • SeaWorld will be located next to Ferrari World on Yas Island, the home of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.Image Credit: Supplied
  • Mohammad Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, Miral.Image Credit: Supplied
  • A Sea World trainer interacts with Bossa the dolphin, in Orlando, Florida.SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment iImage Credit: AP

Abu Dhabi: Another world-famous theme park is set to open on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island by 2022, the developer Miral announced on Tuesday.

“We are very excited to announce Yas Island’s fourth theme park, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi,” Mohammad Abdallah Al Zaabi, Miral CEO told Gulf News at an exclusive interview.

Al Zaabi explained the new theme park will include rides and an aquarium “with a wow experience”, as well as the first of its kind in the country marine-life research, rehabilitation, rescue and return centre, which is planned to open ahead of the theme park.

The park will be the first new SeaWorld to not have orcas and it aims to provide an environment for local and global researchers, scientists and marine conservationists to better understand and learn from the region’s marine life habitats and conditions.

Education, preservation

SeaWorld will be located near Yas Mall, adjacent to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and although the exact size of the park is not yet confirmed, plans show the park to have a significantly larger area than any of the other theme parks on the island, including Ferrari World. 

“We said we have three theme parks today, we have Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Water World, we have Warner Bros… what else can we bring to the island? And this time it has to be different, not about speed or characters but about something else,” Al Zaabi said.

“What encouraged us more is the new direction of SeaWorld, focusing on education and preservation was the main driver of building SeaWorld destination. We believe the new strategy of SeaWorld will helps us build something exciting and new,” Al Zaabi added.

Over the last year Miral has announced plans to open a number of mega attractions including, Climb, which will have the world’s widest indoor skydiving centre set to open in 2018, a Warner Bros theme park which is also aimed to open by 2018 as well as plans to increase the island’s current 2500 room capacity across seven hotels to 4000 rooms. 

“We want to make Yas Island one of the top destinations for leisure and entertainment worldwide and we are working very hard to achieve that goal,” said Al Zaabi.

So with a long list of projects in the pipeline will it be enough now? 

“It will never be enough…There is more to come. If you want to build a destination that is one of the top 10 most visited worldwide, you have to work very aggressively,” said Al Zaabi. 

“Today we are very proud that our customer can enjoy staying at one of our hotels, they can enjoy a theme park, mall or golf and all within seven minutes of the airport. We are building a unique destination worldwide on the island.”

“There is something for everyone…Where in the world can you have a similar experience?”

Speaking about the progress of the much anticipated Warner Bros theme park which started constructed earlier this year, Al Zaabi said, “We are on track, the team is working very hard to achieve the milestone, which is to open by 2018.”

“It will be very interesting to see what the island will look like by 2022 with four theme parks.” 

Miral has previously announced its goal to double number of visitors to Yas Island from 24 million to 48 million by 2022 as part of Abu Dhabi’s vision to establish the emirate as a global tourism hub with unique attractions and world-class tourism. 

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