The Middle East is a hotspot for large and up the top amusement parks, and now they are taking their theme parks one step further. Bahrain has announced that they will open a theme park underwater by the summer of 2019. The Persian Gulf country is submerging a Boeing 747 just off the coast, as a way to attract divers and increase tourism.
The seventy-meter long plane, which has been decommissioned, will be carefully lowered on the shallow ocean floor, and has been artificially prepared to act as a coral reef of sorts, as a way to replenish coral reefs and help ocean conservation.
The underwater theme park is a partnership between the private sector Supreme Council for Environment, and Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA). The diving site is expected to span one hundred square meters, both inside and around the sunken plane.
There has been some concern among marine biologists about the effects of putting an artificial structure on the ocean floor. A spokesperson for the project explained, “All aircraft surfaces will be subjected to a high-pressure wash with bio-friendly detergents to ensure all post-production coatings, oil and grime are removed. Furthermore, a vast amount of time has been spent removing contaminants from the aircraft. This has included removing all wiring, all hydraulic, pneumatic and fuel systems, and all adhesives, insulation, plastics, rubbers, chemicals or other potential toxic substances.”
There are at least three other submerged airplanes on the planet, two of which are in the United States, one in Canada and one in Turkey. However, the theme park in Bahrain is the first sunken plane that is being marketed as a theme park to increase diving tourism. Wreck diving has always drawn major attention and increased tourism, so the future of underwater tourism, in Bahrain at least, is creating these attractions for people to enjoy.