posted on 17/05/2007: 448 views
AQUA DUNYA and its sponsor investor Al Sharq Investment have broken ground on the first phase of the US$1.8 billion water-themed family entertainment destination in Dubailand. Aqua Dunya's centrepiece, the iconic Desert Pearl, themed as the largest cruise ship in the world anchored at its desert oasis, will create a new landmark for Dubai's growing tourism market when it opens in January 2010. Aqua Dunya aims to become one of the largest theme park resorts in the Middle East, attracting over three million visitors annually at build-out.
"The arrival of the bulldozers on site marks another major milestone in the realisation of our vision for Aqua Dunya", said Al Sharq Investment Chairman Ali Al Shehri. Aqua Dunya Resort and Residences will be developed in three phases to address the growing demand as tourist arrivals increase to Dubai. The first phase comprises the Aqua Dunya Theme Park, Jumeirah Desert Pearl Hotel and Port District, 170 timeshare apartments, and 1,000 freehold residences.
In deference to the Middle East culture, Aqua Dunya CEO Steve Tight explained, "What's unique about Aqua Dunya is the combination of wet and dry rides in the same park. Unlike traditional water parks, our guests can enjoy Aqua Dunya while dressed in a swim suit or in street clothes to encourage the whole family to experience the excitement together."
The theme park is comprised of three islands, each themed around the tales of Rakaan and his adventures on the high seas, and a number of rides inside the ship itself.
The first phase theme park will have 35 rides and shows at opening expanding to 55 at build-out, and will appeal to all demographic segments from young children to adults.
Jumeirah, the operator of landmark luxury hotels in Dubai and throughout the world and the renowned 'Wild Wadi' water park in Dubai, will be operating the first phase of the resort, including the Aqua Dunya Theme Park, Jumeirah Desert Pearl Hotel, and the Port District.
The five-star Jumeirah Desert Pearl Hotel in the stern of the authentic turn of the century cruise ship will offer 400 luxurious staterooms and suites with views to the surrounding oasis, innovative themed restaurants, a top quality spa, and a variety of recreational facilities. The Port District offers unique merchandise from around the world in a traditional Arabian souk setting and exotic international dining overlooking the massive 330 meter long cruise ship which forms the backdrop for world-class nightly entertainment. (The Gulf Today)
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