Abu Dhabi developer Al Barakah International Investments is planning to build the UAE’s largest aquarium as part of a Dhs 850m ($230m) housing and tourism project with Abu Dhabi Municipality. Al Barakah announced Wednesday that it had signed a deal to build and manage the 150,000-square metre Al Qana housing and marina complex for 30 years. It will be built on 2.4km of waterside land in the Maqta area of the city under a musataha agreement and is scheduled to be open in the second quarter of 2018. The project’s key features include the 5,000 metre aquarium, a 98 berth marina suitable for mini yachts, cafes, restaurants, and three or four stories of furnished apartments available for rent.
The aquarium would “absolutely” be bigger than the one at the Dubai Mall, the developer said, according to The National. The development will be funded with 30 per cent equity and 70 per cent debt funding with a local bank, the publication said. More details of the project are expected to be revealed at the Cityscape Abu Dhabi event beginning April 12 “The tourist market is expanding in Abu Dhabi with what Etihad Airways is doing. This is one of the main projects that will put Abu Dhabi on the tourism map,” said Al Barakah International Investments managing director Moataz Mashal. ‘’This is one of the main projects which will start putting Abu Dhabi on that map.”