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Bahrain Will Debut World's Largest Underwater Theme Park

This summer, Bahrain is preparing to unveil the world’s largest underwater theme park, which will include a 70m fully submerged Boeing 747 aircraft. The park will cover 100,000 square meters and feature a replica of a traditional Bahraini pearl merchant’s house, artificial coral reefs and eco-friendly sculptures.

Bahrain, an island country in the Persian Gulf, comprises a small archipelago centered around Bahrain Island, located between the Qatar peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia. It is the third-smallest nation in Asia after the Maldives and Singapore. Though Islam is the main religion of Bahrain, its citizens are known for their tolerance towards other religions. Rules regarding female attire are somewhat relaxed compared to other Middle Eastern nations. The traditional attire of women usually includes the hijab or the abaya, though Western clothing is common in the country.

The country received over eight million visitors in 2008. The nation combines modern Arab culture and five thousand years of history. The island is home to forts including Qalat Al Bahrain, which has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Bahrain hosts the annual Spring of Culture festival in March. The event features internationally renowned musicians and artists performing in concerts.

Approximately 20m deep, the park, which is scheduled to open in the summer of 2019, will be located in the waters north of the mainland, around 30 km from the Amwaj islands. The 747 plane, the largest aircraft to ever be submerged, will take center stage. The jet has been fully cleaned and its surfaces will receive a high-pressure wash with eco-friendly detergents.

The park hopes the surface area of the plane will promote the growth of invertebrates, specifically oysters. The plane is expected to attract tourists, marine biologists, environmentalists, university students and researchers. The park will be open to school and university students as a “live lab” that can be used to conduct experiments.

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The park is part of nationwide initiative to recover the pearl industry and establish Bahrain as a diving hub in the region. The project has been organized by public and private groups, including Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, the Supreme Council for Environment, the office of the First Deputy Prime Minister and several private companies.

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