Muscat: Oman Aquarium, which was officially opened for public on Monday at the Mall of Muscat at Mabela, will focus on marine conservation and education and enriched entertainment experience for visitors.
Speaking to the Observer on the sidelines of a press conference, Mohammed al Jarwani, Chairman of Al Jarwani Group, said years of planning were required for the development of the project to this scale and make it operational.
“The Oman Aquarium has products different from what is available in the markets. In the beginning of next year, we plan to launch a few more surprise elements within the Mall of Muscat,” he said. The mall is designed to accommodate around 60 million visitors per year over a built-up area of nearly 200,000sqm.
Speaking during the exclusive tour of the Oman Aquarium, Lee Northmore, director or retail and mall operations, said, “Spread over 8,000 sqm of the total Mall of Muscat area, Oman Aquarium will be home to 30,000 species of marine animals.”
To begin with, there will be 12,000 species including 200 varieties from the seas near Oman. “In the seas of Oman, there are thousands of local species and we want to focus on them”, Northmore said.
The project, based on Omani sailor Ahmad bin Majid’s Voyage of Discovery, will have sharks, octopus, turtles, and penguins on display.” “There is a lot of passion that has gone into the project and it is based on a very local Omani story. This is a live ecosystem which will be developed over a period of time,” he said.
In total, there are 80 employees and majority of them are working behind the scenes, he added. Water was sourced from the sea and it took 65 tankers to fill up the aquarium. The entire amount of water will be phased out during the course of a year.
Ticket prices start from RO8.5 for an adult and RO6.5 for a child with some separate packages for families. Located at the third floor of Mall of Muscat at a total area of 5,500sqm, the Alpine-style snow park will be the first generation of real and indoor amusement parks with many family rides, attractions and facilities.