Abu Dhabi: SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is set to open its doors on May 23, its developer Miral has announced.The marine life theme park in Yas Island will tell a ‘One Ocean’ story that uncovers the interconnectivity between life on earth and our ocean.
“SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will deliver engaging, and immersive family-friendly experiences through eight of its uniquely themed realms, featuring up-close animal encounters, exciting rides, inspiring entertainment, as well as unmatched dining and shopping experiences,” Miral said.
Developed as a collaboration between Miral and the US-based SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, the park will span 183,000 square metres, and serve as a dynamic habitat for more than 100,000 marine animals, including 150 species of birds, fish, mammals and reptiles.
The park’s Endless Ocean realm will be home to an expansive multi-species aquarium containing more than 25 million litres of water.
“Animal habitats in each realm of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi have been custom designed using state-of-the-art technology and the highest standards for animal welfare,” Miral said.
Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Miral’s chairman, said: “We are delighted to announce the opening of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi this May, and proud of our partnership with SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment to bring the region’s next-generation Marine Life Theme Park to Abu Dhabi and to Yas Island. As part of our commitment to the Year of Sustainability, the marine life park will embed Sheikh Zayed’s legacy and profound respect for nature and all its beauty, as well as play a key role in promoting environmental awareness and protecting marine life in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the wider region.”
He added: “Through its innovative programs and its state-of-the-art facilities, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi aims to inspire the next generation of conservationists and marine life scientists while fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi’s opening will mark an exciting new chapter in Yas Island and Abu Dhabi’s ongoing efforts to promote tourism, showcase the emirate’s truly unique offerings and position it as a top global destination.”
Designed according to standards set by the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA) and American Humane, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi’s “next-generation” marine life habitats feature design and technology that will enable animals to live in “dynamic habitats” alongside other fish, birds, and animals as they would in nature. Other spaces have been designed to provide flexibility for animal welfare, allowing the SeaWorld Abu Dhabi animal care team to recreate social seasonal patterns for animals such as the walrus.
Unique systems such as the Advanced Animal Lighting System (AALS) recreate night/day and seasonal light cycles while also providing the health benefits of full spectrum light. The Animal Life Support System (ALSS) manages water quality to support the diverse array of fish and mammals living together in dynamic environments.
Scott Ross, chairman of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, said: “We cannot be prouder and more honoured to open our first SeaWorld outside of the United States with such dynamic and innovative partners as Miral and the UAE... The result is an enriching and immersive experience not only for our animals, but also for our guests. Across all eight realms, the enthralling One Ocean story comes alive through realm designs that simulate the natural and dynamic environments found within the ocean alongside fun and educational experiences that inspire guests of all ages to take an interest in our ocean’s future.”
Based on the interconnectivity between all life on earth and our ocean, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will take guests through its unifying One Ocean story, with stops in the tropics, the rocky coasts of the Pacific Northwest, the Arabian Gulf, the vast ocean and its smaller ecosystems along the way. Situated in the centre of the park, the One Ocean realm acts as a portal to the park’s other realms and features One Epic Ocean, an immersive multi-media story shown on a 360-degree screen. The realm also offers a glimpse into the Animal Care Center – the heart of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi. There, guests are welcome to observe veterinarians and animal care experts providing animals from the park with around-the-clock care, routine check-ups and treatment when needed.
The guest journey begins in the Abu Dhabi Ocean realm, where guests will be carried to the shallow shores of the Arabian Gulf to learn more about the UAE’s historic seafaring tradition of pearl diving and trading. Abu Dhabi Ocean will allow guests to experience up-close encounters with animals native to the emirate and wider region. This realm features several dining options, including Matbakh Ummi, a signature dining experience with Arabic cuisine, and is also home to retail outlets in a souk paying homage to Abu Dhabi’s heritage and its profound connection with the Arabian Gulf. Abu Dhabi Ocean will also be the first touchpoint for guests to enroll in SeaWorld Abu Dhabi’s parkwide interactive game – S·E·A Guardian.
The Polar Ocean realm houses two unique realms taking visitors from the icy expanse of Antarctica to the rich, bio-diverse tundra of the Arctic, illustrating how these distinct and extreme environments of Polar Ocean form an essential chapter of the One Ocean story. In these realms, guests can enjoy the colorful Juhani village and its harbor, depicting life in the North Pole, where walruses can be seen exploring their dynamic state-of-the-art habitats. The coldest of all realms will also simulate the temperatures that can be found in our planet’s polar regions – creating an environment well-suited for animals like penguins and walruses. At the Polar Ocean realm, guests can enjoy an immersive ride, indulge in dining options, explore retail outlets and visit a massive research vessel filled with fun interactive ways to learn more about these diverse regions and their inhabitants.
When visiting the MicroOcean realm, small is BIG and small is important. Guests will be swept by the ocean tides and feel shrunk to the size of plankton. In this realm, guests will have the chance to explore the ocean’s smaller wonders in a burst of colours and an immersive design highlighting the vital role of the ocean’s smallest marine-life. MicroOcean features family-friendly rides, play areas for the little ones, whimsical characters and performers, a playful retail outlet, and dynamic experiments taking young explorers on an unforgettable educational journey.
Beyond the little wonders of the ocean, lies the expanse of the Endless Ocean realm. It is home to the largest multi-species aquarium in the world, and features stunning observation decks and a beautiful glimpse from a 20-metre viewing window, aptly named the Endless Vista, in a sea cave. There will be over 68,000 animals within its awe-inspiring habitat, including sharks, rays, eels and manta rays. Endless Ocean offers delectable dining options, including one fine dining option with mesmerising views of the aquarium and one retail outlet.
Visitors will also enjoy Tropical Ocean, the largest realm in SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, with its medley of colours, dancing waterfalls and a crystal-clear lagoon. In Tropical Ocean, guests will be able to see dolphins, flamingos and tropical birds like toucans in their lush rainforest aviary. Tropical Ocean also offers a thrilling roller-coaster ride, as well as retail outlets and delicious dining options with both above- and underwater viewing areas.
The Rockpy Point realm is modelled on the USA’s rugged Pacific Northwest, and features a hidden cove with nesting sea lions. Not as cold as the Arctic and Antarctic, Rocky Point will also include dynamic habitats for the sea lions with a climate that emulates the Pacific Northwest. The realm also includes a boardwalk-inspired snack stand.
Adjacent to SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is the Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, adedicated marine research, rescue, rehabilitation and return centre. This facility serves as an advanced marine science knowledge hub, and a key contributor to marine life conservation in the UAE and wider region. Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue opened in February 2023.