By Shane McGinley
Officials hope the birdhouse will start construction by December 16
Bahrain is planning to push ahead with plans for a BD100,000 ($262,000) pigeon-themed tourism attraction to rival London’s Trafalgar Square, it was reported on Sunday.
The new attraction, described as a birdhouse, will be based at Isa Town and is being developed by the Central Municipal Council, the Gulf Daily News reported.
Designs have not yet been finalised as councillors have complained that ideas so far submitted have been too vague.
"We don't know if the council wants a giant pigeon house or just a pigeon monument, which is for practical use," director general Dr Mohammed Hassan was quoted as saying.
"Proper designs cost a lot and we couldn't waste money getting them from a consultant for the council to throw them away later, so we decided to do it ourselves as a general approach. But, we can assign a specialised company if the council selects a location out of the four suggested by us - rather than leave it open."
The project is currently on hold until a design has been finalised but Isa Town councillor Khalid Amer said it hoped the project will start construction in time for Bahrain National Day celebrations on December 16.
It is "an important monument that the whole country will talk about", Amer said but added he was disappointed at the slow progress made on the project so far.
"There should have been more efforts from the responsible engineer rather than a last-minute job that doesn't satisfy anyone. We have in mind something better than Trafalgar Square or downtown Paris - a simple birdhouse that is at the same time a future tourist attraction," he was quoted as saying.
It is part of Bahrain’s efforts to reinvigorate its tourism sector after months of political demonstrations.
Last month, Bahrain's King Hamad opened the new 1,001-seat Bahrain National Amphitheatre. Built at a cost US$50m with an Arabian Nights theme and a busy program of performances that include Russia's Bolshoi Theatre and Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, it is one of the largest theatres in the Middle East.
Bahrain is also planning to restart US$80m worth of seafront projects, build a US$5m theme park based on The Smurfs children’s cartoon characters and aims to complete a 334,000 sq ft China-themed shopping mall by September 2014.
Here we go again. 100,000 BHD to be spent on something frivolous when it could be better spent on reactivating the economy and contributing to other urgent requirements (like housing)!
Secondly, pigeons, like many animals, carry zoonotic diseases. Not to mention their droppings in the surrounding area. What will the place be like 1 year later? Trafalgar square has rain to wash away the droppings and clean the air of airborne diseases, will Bahrain's dust do the same?
Thirdly, when I visit Europe I DO NOT make pigeon congregation areas my main tourist must-see! What makes you think tourists to Bahrain would crave that??
Stop copying the West and initiate something more adapt to your own environment. Be original!
Pigeons are flying rats! I'll stay away from that "attraction".