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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Qatar considers building underwater ‘Atlantis-style’ theme park

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Reef Worlds

Resort developers in Qatar are currently in talks with an American company to open an underwater Atlantis-style theme park here, an artificial reef developer has announced.

Los Angeles-based Reef Worlds was quoted in local media today as saying they have entered discussions with two developers in Qatar. The names of the waterfront developers were not revealed, nor was the proposed location of the park.

The company said establishing artificial reefs was one way of expanding the US$3 billion global snorkel and dive market. The Doha project would be part of a wider push by Reef Worlds to establish similar parks in the Gulf, including in Dubai.

Though no potential sites for the park were discussed, it could possibly be part of a new waterfront project outside of Doha, called the Seef Lusail development, which has been described by master planners DP Architects as an “all-seasons playground.”

That project – which has not set a completion date – is expected to include entertainment, recreational and cultural attractions in addition to shops and hotels.

Few details

Explaining the company’s interest in Qatar, Dave Taylor, Reef Worlds Director of Development, was quoted in the Peninsula as saying:

“Qatar has a unique tourism problem we address. When one considers the 350 miles of coastline surrounding Qatar, scuba diving and underwater exploration is not on the Top Ten list, and yet it is almost everywhere else in the world. We want Qatar to be on the global tourism stage.”

According to the company, the reef sites are created by a team of Hollywood designers to look like ancient Lost Cities and help to rebuild regional reef habitat.

But many details still need to be hashed out. Speaking to the Gulf Times, a company spokesman said, “We are at the Memorandum of Understanding stage and have not signed contracts – yet.”

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles-based company announced plans to build Pearl of Dubai, which it billed as the world’s largest sustainable underwater tourism site.

Set off The World development, the underwater park was apparently modeled after the mythical lost city of Atlantis and Pirates of the Caribbean.

No date was given for when this park would be open.

Qatar theme parks

Qatar’s first theme park, the Aqua Park on Salwa Road, opened in 2010 and has 15 water attractions.

The facility is popular with families, but is often compared to other, more elaborate water parks in Dubai and elsewhere in the region.

There are a number of new theme parks slated to open in Qatar in the coming years, part of Qatar’s attempt to enhance its offering to international tourists.

Angry Birds park in Finland.
Angry Birds park in Finland.

Last month, the developers for under-construction Mall of Qatar in Al Rayaan announced a host of family entertainment offerings, including an Angry Birds theme park for young children.

The $824 million complex, slated for completion by the end of next year, is also set to have Digital Formula One racing and a Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatic theater. A space-themed experience is also planned for older children.

Meanwhile, the upcoming Doha Festival City on Al Shamal Road is building an indoor snow park and outdoor water park inside the $6 billion facility’s entertainment complex. The entire development is due for completion in early 2016.

Earlier this year, Qatar Tourism Authority launched its National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030, in which it announced plans to position Qatar as a regional hub of tourism with a family-focus.

Its target is to increase the number of international visitors to Qatar from 1.2 million in 2012 to 7 million by 2030.

Thoughts?

17 COMMENTS

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fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

the country who hosted the useless summit on environment 2 years ago and ended up polluting more Doha air now has the most anti-ecological idea because they have to develop tourim considering they have nothing. Stick to Angry Bird!

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

artificial reefs are anti-ecological ?

Rob
Rob
6 years ago

Yes, the one they describe is, and the development around it.

Ps, I left it.

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

What makes it anti-ecological? artificial reefs creates a safe habitat for the fish, it also adds to the country’s food security.

Rob
Rob
6 years ago

Yes, but that’s not what they are going to do. They shall make a small water park and surround it with malls and hotels that are extraordinarily energy and material intensive, negating any benefit of the reef. It’s about balance and I see little.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

LIke Old Club Reef and New Club Reef..absolute rubbish diving, absolute rubbish habitat..absolute joke.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago

The way I understand the article, it sounds like these will be under water amusement parks that they will probably populate with very colorful, pretty fish like you would see in an aquarium. It does create a nice habitat for the fish, but I doubt it will add to the country’s food security.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Good, stop thinking and start building. Qatar needs more of these projects to keep everyone entertained. More shopping malls and restaurants are not entertainment.

Rob
Rob
6 years ago

” is expected to include entertainment, recreational and cultural attractions in addition to shops and hotels”. How nauseating. Perhaps rather than a park make it a real reef open to the sea, with a regulated number of visitors with a certain level of scuba proficiency. There could be snorkel use areas, too. Perhaps it might encourage swimming proficiency, too. It would need to be netted off to deter jetw@nks and other plebs. That might help the sea ecology and the populace to embrace each other. Qatar needs to ditch the obsession with 5 star rubbish and develop it’s natural potential. Ok, slight, but it’s there.

Or you could make it an anodyne, controlled, insipid experience, like a mall.

Vinod Thadhani
Vinod Thadhani
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

I agree with you Rob. I had an idea something similar that would bring more benefit to the country and its people and the 5 star obsession connected to the outskirts of the project. The idea was to build a complete ecological system that would firstly address conservation park encouraging spawning ground with ample nutrients (cultured best strain of phytoplankton, and so on), which would be beneficial for people’s health when consumed and then bio marine research lab & education center and then address the entertainment and tourism.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Hmmm ok

Aussie expat
Aussie expat
6 years ago

Oooh!!!! A shiney new ‘wet’ thing!
Seriously, this nation suffers endemic ADHD.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Aussie expat

Aussie expat, in case you didn’t read the article correctly… No one is building it.. This is a bunch of LA theme park operators making the rounds in the gulf looking to sale the idea if an underwater theme park… The fact investors in Qatar are interested is simply two different Qatari based businessmen agreed to meet with them and hear their pitch… They’re isn’t even an MoU signed … The LA based lark operator published the story to create a media buzz prior to their meetings.. Which is very typical…

The country doesn’t suffer from ADHD, but just like you and other expats there are businesses who want to come over and in anyway cash in on Qatar riches…

Aussie expat
Aussie expat
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Of course they don’t. Just how many empty shiney buildings are there before the Qatari move on to the next shiney new thing?

ADHD – a national affliction.

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