Bahrain theme park faces big hurdles
Manama, January 4, 2014
A BD20 million ($53 million) theme park that includes Bahrain's first full-size ice arena and indoor ski slope has suffered another setback.
Councillors fear the radical overhaul of the Muharraq Grand Garden could damage key sewage and water networks located at the site, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication..
The project only got the green light after Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi and Bahraini investor Fouad Shuwaitar signed an agreement in October after two years of delays.
The Muharraq Municipal Council had earlier voted to axe the proposal, but made a U-turn three days before the deal was signed when a new consortium came in to fund the development.
Councillors were initially hesitant to give Shuwaitar the go-ahead after a group of GCC partners withdrew from the project.
However, he later joined forces with the India-based company Golden Globe Trading and Consultancy Services.
Council technical committee chairman and area councillor Khalid Bu Onk confirmed he had refused to approve the final blueprints until an assessment is made of its potential impact on key infrastructure networks.
"Muharraq's main water and sewage networks pass through the garden and we need to know how the investor is planning to carryout work without harming it and or damaging it, while connecting his project to it," he said.
"I don't want angry residents being short of water or their neighbourhood flooded during any time work on the theme park is being carried out.
"Without my signature work can't go ahead on the project, despite the place already being fenced for development and the mosque removed from the park for relocation."
The project, near Bahrain International Airport, will include a three-storey shopping centre, business centre and multipurpose convention and exhibition centre.
It will also feature an indoor sports arena, outdoor sports grounds, an aquatic museum, karting track, mosque and an elderly home and is expected to be ready in around two-and-a-half years.
Additionally, the park, covering an area of 93,618 sq m, will have restaurants, a fitness club and gym, family rest areas and amusement rides.
Shuwaitar could not be reached for comment.
Plans to turn the park into a miniature Disneyland were announced in 2007 but the project was later scrapped.-TradeArabia News Service