Abu Dhabi’s National Aquarium confirms opening in 2020

Published: 10 July 2019 - 10:15 a.m.
By: Hotelier Middle East Staff

The National Aquarium at Al Qana in Abu Dhabi is being developed by Al Barakah International Investment and is set to fully open by the final quarter of 2020.

The ten-zone aquarium measuring over 7000 sq. metre is home to more than 33,000 marine creatures, responsibly and ethically sourced from around the world highlighting the conservation required to protect the planet and will be led by a team of 80 qualified marine experts and specialists.

Commenting on the progress of the project, the aquarium’s general manager, Paul Hamilton said: “This is the 12th public aquarium that I’ve worked on and probably the most exciting, in terms of the scale, uniqueness and attention to detail.”

He added: “Through accredited educational programs and accessible information, people of all ages will be able to understand more about the marine world at The National Aquarium, fostering a deeper appreciation of the creatures, corals and plants that make the underwater realm so fascinating and worth protecting.”

Al Barakah International Investment’s CEO of developers, Fouad Mashal commented on the overall vision of Al Qana. He said: “When we conceptualized the project, our objective was to make a social impact and improve the standard and quality of living in Abu Dhabi. We want to bring happiness to our community and encourage social interactions between residents and visitors, and support Abu Dhabi’s vision of becoming one of the most liveable cities in the world by 2021.”

Given its size and variety of marine life on show, the aquarium’s average journey lasts around two hours. In reference to the designing done by the Okyanus team, Al Qana’s general manager, Stuart Gissing said: “Al Qana will bring world and regional firsts in aquarium design and management. For visitors, the experience will be unmatched, from viewing aspects to interactivity, entertainment and the unique journey through the underwater world.”

The National Aquarium also features a department dedicated to education welcoming 50,000 school children a year to visit and learn at the site.

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