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Thu 18 Sep 2014 10:30 AM

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Smurfs village project in Bahrain is scrapped

Theme park could now be built in another Gulf state after investor pulled out

Smurfs village project in Bahrain is scrapped
The theme park would have had people dressed up in Smurf costumes greeting visitors to the park. (Getty Images)

The main investor in a $5.3 million “Smurf’s village” theme park in Bahrain has pulled out of the project following two years of delays.

Mushroom Villaggio, named after the mushroom-style houses in the popular children's cartoon The Smurfs, could now be built in another Gulf state, according to Gulf Daily News.

Bahrain’s Central Municipal Council, which approved the project in September 2012, has yet to be given an explanation for the "unexpected" move, despite sending requests to the Central Municipality and the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry.

“We are sad that the investor has decided to pull out despite it being an ambitious project that we were eager, keen and enthusiastic to have,” council chairman Abdulrazzak Al Hattab told the Gulf Daily News.

“Since approving it in September 2012, I have been receiving calls asking when it was going to happen, people were anticipating it and it was shocking to hear that he has pulled out.

“That project would have been the first of its kind in the region and it had a unique theme and for that I backed it from the first stage, but there was a blackout for some time and feedback stopped, before the bad news.

“No reasons have been stated and that's shocking considering that we have eased all procedures for it to be done,” said the councillor.

The theme park, which was supposed to be built at the Prince Khalifa bin Salman Grand Garden in West Riffa, would have featured 30 Smurf houses, each measuring 50m² and able to accommodate up to 20 children at a time. It would have also included a house belonging to Papa Smurf and a castle belonging to the Smurfs' archenemy Gargamel.

Al Hattab said the council plans to approach several GCC businessmen to come up with new concepts for the park.

“There is huge space that could be utilised by other investors,” he added. “We want strong concepts that we can support and if we are presented with any we will give them the go-ahead.”

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