SeaWorld to open orca-free marine park in Abu Dhabi
SeaWorld has announced that it will be opening a next-generation marine park experience in Abu Dhabi. The company has partnered with Miral to develop SeaWorld Abu Dhabi on Yas Island, which is scheduled to launch by 2022.
A video uploaded to YouTube explains that, not only will this be the most “digitally advanced SeaWorld ever built”, it will also be orca-free. “Building on our commitment to end orca breeding, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will be a no orca family destination,” they said.
This means that it will be the first new SeaWorld without orcas, following the company’s pledge to end orca breeding after the backlash from the “Blackfish” documentary.
As well as a marine park, with up-close animal experiences, “mega attrations” and an aquarium, there will be the UAE’s first dedicated marine life research, rescue, rehabilitation and return center. It will be a hub for marine life research and conservation, helping people better understand the local habitat and collaborating with environmental organisations.
Joel Manby, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld said: “We are excited to announce our first international expansion and our partnership with Miral as we design a next generation SeaWorld that engages, educates and inspires, a blueprint brought to life in Abu Dhabi. This new park, combined with a dedicated research, rescue, rehabilitation and return facility focused on marine life care and conservation, continues SeaWorld’s legacy of marine life rescue that spans more than 50 years. This project presents an opportunity for collaboration and greater understanding of how species have adapted to the region’s unique marine environment, and to inspire the next generation of visitors, conservationists and animal care experts.”
The park is set to open by 2022, and is part of Miral’s vision to double Yas Island’s visitor numbers to 48 million.