News Column

Theme park plan for historic valley

August 2, 2014


A MULTI-MILLION dinar theme park could be built in a historic valley between east and west Riffa.

The project in Hunninyah Valley is estimated to cost around BD20 million and could feature a snowboard arena, high-tech virtual reality rides, a go-karting track and a bowling alley.

His Majesty King Hamad issued directives to start planning for the park after meeting a delegation from Riffa and the Southern Municipal Council.

However, the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry has to first list the government-owned property as municipal land before the project is approved.

It has also submitted a request to the government seeking BD3m from the $10 billion GCC Development Programme to fund part of the project.

Councillors want the project to be tendered out to investors so they could select the best innovative concept for the park.

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, said council chairman Mohsin Al Bakri.

A theme park is what we are looking for on the same lines as Adhari or the new Muharraq Grand Garden, but we dont want the same rides or facilities repeated except for popular ones like a bowling alley and a karting track, he told the GDN.

For example, a snowboarding arena could be an idea, besides new high-tech virtual reality rides or games and other innovative ideas.

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.

Mr Al Bakri said the project would cost around BD20m, which would be covered by the government and an investor.

If the ministry gets the money it is seeking from the government, it can spend it on outdoor facilities, but if it doesnt, then the investors contribution would cover it, he said.

A public park already exists at the valley for residents, but we dont want a regular local attraction we are looking to attract families from around the Gulf and the world.

If the ministry approves the initial plans, then the project would also include commercial facilities, Mr Al Bakri added.

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Source: Gulf Daily News (Bahrain)

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