A UK-based leisure and entertainment company has secured a prestigious contact with Oman’s new landmark Palm Mall aquarium - set to be the largest in the Middle East with more than 30,000 marine animals.
Tolliday Group International Ltd (TGI) has been selected to supervise and deliver specialised management and operational services for the attraction, which is set to open in the first quarter of 2018.
Mall’s developers Al Jarwani Group said the aquarium will be the first of its kind in Oman.
The much anticipated 8,000 square metre aquarium will have 55 exhibit tanks. Marine life from small shrimps to large sharks will find a home there.
The aquarium is being developed as a Jewel of Oman, with a theme based on journeys of the great sea farer – Ahmed Ibn Majid. It will consistently revolve around Oman, with a majority of the exhibits showcasing the local marine life. It will also have a number of fresh water exhibits from Asia and Africa.
TGI CEO and marine biologist Adrian Tolliday said: “Oman has some of the most amazing marine life in the world. Our education programme will be second to none. We want to inspire an awareness and a passion to look after this extraordinary and rich environment for generations to come.
“The ocean tank will have 1.7million litres of sea water and will be stocked with fish and sharks from the coasts of Oman. There will be a demi-tunnel running through a part of the main tank, and a large acrylic viewing panel in the main gallery. The acrylic will be 70cm thick. We expect to have 20,000 marine animals in this tank alone.
“Most of the stock will be collected locally, in keeping with the theme of ‘Oman’. We will have a large team of experts offering five-star quality care for our animals. Good animal husbandry practices are essential. In fact, the food that we will give our animals will be sourced from the same suppliers that supply to top hotels and restaurants.
“Our goal is to educate and raise awareness, but to do it in a fun way. We want our guests to really enjoy their visit and leave with an even greater love of the environment and a feeling of empowerment that they can take some positive action for conservation.”
Al Jarwani Group Chairman, Mahmoud Al Jarwani said they have worked closely with TGI to develop the aquarium concept design and story-line. The UK firm is now on-site to supervise the development of the project and put in place the team needed to run it.
“We are creating a mall that has international appeal and offers our visitors a number of exciting experiences in shopping, family entertainment and leisure,” he said. “ The aquarium is a key attraction and will deliver a world-class education and conservation programme. We chose TGI to ensure that we can achieve this.
“Our aim is to ensure that everyone who passes through our aquarium leaves knowing more about the underwater world than when they came in. It will enhance visitors’ awareness and ignite their passion to look after the environment for generations to come.”
The Palm Mall development occupies 180,000 square metres, 14km north west of Seeb International Airport.