Work is well in progress on the region’s first SeaWorld theme park which will boast the world’s largest and most expansive marine aquarium.
Touted as the next generation of marine life theme parks, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will also feature the new Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue Centre, when it reaches completion next year.
Some 64 per cent of the construction has been completed on the theme park which is taking shape on Yas Island in the UAE, according to Miral, Abu Dhabi’s leading curator of magnetic experiences, which is developing the project in partnership with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Recent major construction milestones include the completion of the primary steel erection and near finalisation of the envelope enclosure of the marine-life park. Additionally, work on the structure’s façade is currently in progress and over 70 per cent of the acrylic panels have been installed across the park.
Spanning a floor area of 183,000 sq m, across five indoor levels, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi’s design leverages SeaWorld’s more than 55 years of experience in marine research, conservation, and animal welfare.
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will feature the world’s largest marine aquarium.
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi’s expansive marine-life aquarium will contain 25 million litres of water and house more than 68,000 marine animals, including sharks, schools of fish, manta rays and sea turtles. A main focal view of the aquarium will present visitors with the “Endless Vista”, an impressive 20-m-tall vertical window across multiple levels revealing stunning aquatic scenes.
Visitors to SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will have the opportunity to interact with one of the most diverse population of animals featured in any marine-life park globally.
The “Endless Ocean”-themed aquarium encapsulates the expanse and scale of the marine display for guests and is one element featured within a unified “One Ocean” experience, interlinking six distinct realms throughout the marine-life park. The “One Ocean” narrative will augment the park’s ability to simulate the natural habitats of different species, living harmoniously as they would in the wild. Guests will be encouraged to explore these natural underwater environments via immersive storytelling techniques and the latest cutting-edge technologies, further deepening an appreciation and understanding of ocean life.
Miral’s CEO Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi comments: “We are delighted to be partnering with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in developing this next generation marine-life park, that is set to feature the world’s largest marine aquarium and the UAE’s first dedicated research centre to study and care for animals. This is another major addition to Yas Island’s existing immersive experiences and attractions, and a testament to achieving our vision of positioning the island as a top global tourism destination for residents and visitors alike.”
Building off SeaWorld’s extensive research and rescue expertise, the Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue Centre will act as an advanced knowledge hub focusing on indigenous Gulf and marine life ecosystems. The facility will be located adjacent to the aquarium and theme park, and will be the first dedicated marine research, rescue, rehabilitation and return centre in the UAE.
It will integrate with SeaWorld’s ongoing efforts related to research, rescue, conservation, and education. Accessible to visitors by reservation, the research and rescue centre will also demonstrate the work from resident scientists and researchers, enriching guests’ knowledge of aquatic animals, and offering tailored educational learning programmes for both local and international schools and touring groups.
Marc Swanson, CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, says: “We are honoured to partner with Miral to bring SeaWorld’s unforgettable guest experiences and our important mission to Yas Island and the region. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi joins our North American parks in our mission and commitment to conservation efforts worldwide. We have hundreds of professionals focused on animal care, rescue and rehabilitation, conservation education, habitat protection, and species research and we are excited to see the Yas SeaWorld Research and Rescue Centre further expand SeaWorld’s positive global impact with the vitally important marine life conservation efforts in the region.”
Over its more than 60-year history, SeaWorld has built a diversified portfolio of 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the US, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection. The company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi further supports Miral’s vision to position Yas Island as one of the top global tourist destinations. Its unique portfolio of attractions and experiences on the island includes many world firsts and record-breaking attractions: Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi and CLYMB Abu Dhabi.
Miral and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment are both committed to exploring long-term sustainability goals for the mega-development with further details to be announced in due course.
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will have a Pearl 2 rating as recognised under Estidama – a UAE-owned building design methodology and framework for measuring sustainability performance. The Pearl building rating system was established in 2010 and is mandatory in Abu Dhabi, with all buildings requiring a status certification of Pearl 1 Rating and all government-funded buildings must achieve a minimum of Pearl 2 rating. The programme is a key aspect of the “Abu Dhabi Vision 2030” drive to build the Abu Dhabi emirate according to innovative green standards.
Meanwhile, the UAE’s National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed) has been appointed to provide district cooling services to ensure the park will benefit from a reliable and energy-efficient source of cooling. A cooling capacity of 7,500 refrigeration tons (TR) will be delivered with a total concession capacity of 15,000 RT.
As part of the agreement, Tabreed will build a newly dedicated plant by 2022 at the SeaWorld Abu Dhabi site, with the development benefiting from a reliable, technologically advanced and sustainable source of cooling interconnected to the Yas Island centralised cooling scheme operated by Tabreed.