SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is 90 per cent complete and will open in 2023, property developer Miral announced on Wednesday.
It will be the first SeaWorld location outside of North America and is the latest addition to Yas Island’s attractions, which include Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi and Clymb Abu Dhabi.
The marine-life theme park complex will also include the UAE’s first dedicated marine research, rescue, rehabilitation and return centre, supporting regional conservation projects and with a focus on indigenous ecosystems in the Arabian Gulf.
What's inside SeaWorld Abu Dhabi?
The attraction is being built over five floors spanning about 183,000 square metres and including habitats, rides, interactive exhibits and immersive guests experiences, full details of which are yet to be revealed.
It's set to be home to the region's largest multi-species aquarium, with more than 58 million litres of water and 150 species, including sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.
The park will also home hundreds of bird species — from penguins to puffins. The animals will be looked after by expert zoologists, veterinarians, nutritionists and other animal specialists.
The central zone is called One Ocean and links six marine environments throughout the park, each telling a story designed to emphasise the interconnectivity of life on Earth and under the seas. There will also be a 360-degree media experience in this zone.
The building will use rooftop solar photovoltaic systems with a total capacity of 8.2 megawatts, Abu Dhabi clean energy company Masdar revealed in July.
'We are excited'
“Abu Dhabi and the UAE has delivered longstanding marine conservation, and SeaWorld Abu Dhabi signifies the start of a new chapter in regional and global marine life knowledge, conservation, and sustainability,” said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Miral. “Our partnership with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment to bring this next-generation marine-life theme park to the capital will further help position Abu Dhabi as a global tourism hub and contribute to its economic growth and diversification vision.”
Scott Ross, chairman of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, said the company is “honoured” to be a part of “Abu Dhabi's innovative vision for economic diversification and growth, as well as the emirate's commitment to marine-life conservation”.
Commenting on the research and rescue centre, Marc Swanson, chief executive of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, said: "SeaWorld’s nearly six decades of caring for such a vast array of marine animals is what makes this possible and what enables us to introduce another first for the UAE region.
“We are excited to witness the impact these endeavours will have on inspiring the next generation of marine-animal conservationists across the UAE, and advancing the causes of research, rescue and conservation worldwide.”