August opening for Durrat aqua park


A BD6 million aqua park in Bahrain, due to open last summer, is expected to open in August.

The opening of the park, part of the BD300 million Durrat Al Bahrain mega resort being developed on the south-east coast of the kingdom, was originally delayed because of construction problems.

Further delays resulted when the company decided to come up with a theme for the park, said Durrat Khaleej Al Bahrain Company general manager Mahmood Abdul Rahman.

"We have come up with a good theme and story for the park, which took some time," he said.

"There were also some delays getting materials here because of the war in Iraq.

"Barring any more delays as a result of the war, we expect it to be open in August," said Abdul Rahman.

He was speaking at a reception at the company's office in Seef Mall yesterday.

It was held to introduce the Economic Development Board (EDB) to the project so that it can market it abroad to potential investors.

The mega-resort is a joint project of Bahrain, represented by the Finance and National Economy Ministry, and Saudi-based Dallah Al Baraka Group.

Dredging and reclamation work on a lagoon and the project's main island, which will include, among other things, a hotel, a marina and a club, has already been completed.

A second smaller island, which will have residential plots, is also complete and work on a third island is underway.

Residential projects will also be built in the lagoon area, around the marina and the 18-hole golf course.

The mega-resort will also include a 120,000-sq-m theme park, a shopping mall, an international exhibition centre, an amphitheatre, an ice skating ring, a second hotel and an art production village, which can be used for film and audio productions.

The company, said Abdul Rahman, is looking for investors for the various attractions but may also consider investing in them itself.

The entire mega-resort takes up an area of 20-sq-km. It will be opened in phases and the entire project is expected to be completed in 2007.

Marketing and sales manager Abdulla Shafeea said the mega-resort is a free-hold project.

"Some other developments which limit ownership of the property to a certain number of years like 30 or 50 years after which it returns to the company. Our project, however is not like that. Once you buy the property, it's yours," he said.

Shafeea said that upcoming legislation, allowing for permanent residency for expatriates, is also in favour of foreign buyers.