Jeddah gets Seascope to boost eco-tourism


In a bid to boost eco-tourism, a futuristic new underwater observation boat has successfully finished its safety and sea trials off the Al Ahlam Marina, Abhur in north Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and is ready for public use, a report said.

The Seascope is one of only four of these French designed custom designed underwater observation boats in the world and is unique in Saudi Arabia. A welded aluminum tri-maran with a Plexiglas walled chamber dipping four meters under the water, the futuristic looking craft allows panoramic views of the seabed and reefs off Jeddah to 24 people at a time.

The boat goes into public service on November 30.

At more than half a million dollars, the Seascope is a commercial operation. Tourism is a developing sector and Seascope is aimed at capturing a niche market.

However, a major component of the project was the response to the increasing awareness and concern in environmental matters in the kingdom.