By Staff writer
Miral and SeaWorld Entertainment Inc ink deal for marine life theme park; first to open without controversial orcas
Miral and SeaWorld Entertainment Inc on Tuesday announced their partnership to develop SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, a marine life themed park on Yas Island, which is due to open in 2022.
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will also include the UAE's first dedicated marine life research, rescue, rehabilitation and return centre with world-class facilities and resources for the care and conservation of local marine life, a statement said.
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will be the first new SeaWorld without orcas, and will integrate up-close animal experiences, mega attractions and a world class aquarium, bringing the latest technology in visitor engagement.
"Abu Dhabi is becoming a first choice destination for regional and global travellers by combining culture, heritage and unique leisure experiences into one compelling proposition. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi further strengthens Yas Island's position as the global tourism destination," said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Miral.
"This announcement reflects the emirate's ambition to create a sustainable, diversified economy, with tourism as one of its core pillars. Abu Dhabi continues to build sustainable partnerships that deliver on its strategic 2030 Vision, to transform and pioneer new destinations that are recognised for world class quality, authenticity and innovation on every level."
Joel Manby, president and CEO of SeaWorld added: "We are excited to announce our first international expansion and our partnership with Miral as we design a next generation SeaWorld that engages, educates and inspires, a blueprint brought to life in Abu Dhabi.
"This new park, combined with a dedicated research, rescue, rehabilitation and return facility focused on marine life care and conservation, continues SeaWorld's legacy of marine life rescue that spans more than 50 years."
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi's research, rescue, rehabilitation and return centre is planned to open ahead of the marine life themed park and will serve as a hub for collaboration with local and international environmental organisations and projects, he added.
The addition of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi expands Miral's destination portfolio on Yas Island, which is set to double visitor numbers to 48 million by 2022. The growth plans are part of Abu Dhabi's vision to establish the emirate as a global tourism hub with unique attractions and world-class tourism infrastructure.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
No Orcas, still plenty of Dolphins through. I'm marking this Sea Minus!
I was hopeful that Abu Dhabi would shy away from bringing SeaWorld to the region. Keeping wild marine life in captivity is unnecessary, old news and saddening. We will certainly not be visiting.
When the rest of the world is trying to boycott SeaWorld for it's consistent ill treatment of sealife - a simple google search will show you just what happens to the animals and fish in their care, why on earth is the Middle East even considering opening one. Be a world leader and show that SeaWorld won't and shouldn't be tolerated. If you want to see these beautiful creatures, get on a boat or go snorkeling and see them in the wild, in their natural habitat where they should be. There is no need for this type of 'theme park' or 'entertainment' parading as educational or preservation in this day and age. It is barbaric.
How can a country explore an idea like hyper loop, something so visionary and forward thinking and at the same time entertain entertain an idea so outdated and tasteless as a sea world... these are now financial disasters the world over as people have realised how cruel a concept it is. Are they hoping people in the middle east will ignore that? a terrible business concept and an even worse in relation to animal cruelty. Just bring in caged dancing bears and be done with it.