Bahrain has announced plans to develop the “world’s largest” underwater theme park, covering an area of over 100,000 square metres, the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.
The ‘eco-friendly’ project was announced by Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa – the personal representative of King Hamad and president of the Supreme Council for Environment.
The dive site will have a 70-metre long decommissioned Boeing 747 as its centerpiece, the largest aircraft ever to be submerged, the report stated.
It will also include several other structures, including a replica of a traditional Bahraini pearl merchant’s house, artificial coral reefs and other sculptures fabricated from eco-friendly material, all submerged to provide a “safe haven for coral reef growth and a habitat for marine life”.
The site will also provide researchers with information and data on marine ecology and biology and will be a major boost to the kingdom’s eco-tourism sector, said Shaikh Abdullah.
He also stressed that the kingdom will protect its marine habitat by incorporating the “highest international environmental standards in the project”.
The underwater dive site will be developed by the Supreme Council for Environment in partnership with the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority.
It will be launched in the “coming weeks” in partnership with the private sector, local dive companies and clubs and will open to diving enthusiasts and visitors before the summer of 2019, the BNA report said.
The project is hoped to become an international tourist attraction, given its location and the experience it offers for diving enthusiasts, the report added.