When it comes to amusement parks and other visitor attractions, the flush nations of the Middle East are creating a hotbed of activity. Not to be outdone, King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain has ordered the construction of a multi-million dollar theme park located in the kingdom’s second city of Riffa.
With a reported budget of BD20 million (US$53m, €40m, £31m), the park would be situated in the valley of Hunanaiya. The proposed site, administered by the Southern Municipal Council, is a historic area between Riffa’s east and west districts. Funding would come from the Bahrain government and project investors.
The council has said that it hopes the project will be something quite different, with a focus on technological innovations, and perhaps including a snowboarding arena. The council plans to put the project out to tender.
“We want a park that is attractive to families and visitors, but it has to have a new concept that the region has not adopted yet,” the Gulf Daily News
reported council chairman Mohsin Al Bakri as saying. “A theme park is what we are looking for on the same lines as Adhari, or the new Muharraq Grand Garden
, but we don’t want the same rides or facilities repeated, except for popular ones like a bowling alley and a karting track.”
“For example, a snowboarding arena could be an idea, besides new high-tech virtual reality rides or games and other innovative ideas,” he said. “The council is currently studying successful theme parks in the region, mainly Dubai, but none of the ideas within neighbouring countries would be implemented cut and paste. As I said, we want something new.”