Megaprojects: Think tank in Masdar City proposes splitting the sea for tourists

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - A think tank in Masdar City has created a model for parting the waters of the Arabian Gulf opening the sea bed to tourists.

The Pharaoh’s Pass concept was brought to life in a short CGI film that showed how offshore engineering can create a giant aquarium at The Palm in or near Lulu Island in Abu Dhabi.

Those at the National Advisor Bureau behind the concept said it could one day become reality – another wonder of the world.

“The project simulates the historical story of the sea split in the era of the pharaohs, which occurred thousands of years ago,” said Abdullah Al Shehhi, an electrical engineer who is the bureau’s executive director.

“The Pharaoh’s Pass will be one of the world's wonders, as the sea will be split by a transparent glass wall.

“It will be considered the largest in the world, with high safety and security features and enough thickness so that it prevents leakage.”

Designers said the project could become a marine park, with retail shops, cafes and seafood restaurants – all surrounded by floating villas.

Visitors would be transported within the Pharaoh's Pass in horse-drawn carts, in keeping with the traditions of ancient Egypt.

There, they will be able to see marine life from behind giant glass walls, while the floor of the project will consist of natural sea sand, seashells and marine coral.

The project could be years away, but Mr Al Shehhi said investors have expressed an interest in feasibility studies.

“This is an early concept, but we are presenting it to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia as a potential tourism project,” he said.

“We would use similar engineering as that used in constructing a dry dock to repair vessels, where water is pumped out from an area of land.

“Once a barrier is in place, a glass wall can be inserted to create a giant natural aquarium.

“Hopefully, we can generate some solid interest by next year, so the project can begin.

“It is an unusual project and unlike anything else. It would be considered as a new wonder of the world.”

UAE megaprojects of 2020 - in pictures

Inside the Mangrove Atrium at Reem Mall, set to open on Abu Dhabi's Reem Island in late 2020. Courtesy Reem Mall

The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences will be located on the crescent of The Palm, next to the Atlantis, The Palm resort. Supplied

The atrium of the ME by Melia hotel in Business Bay, designed by the late Zaha Hadid. Courtesy Melia

Ain Dubai at Bluewaters Island Dubai will be the world's tallest observation wheel when it opens in 2020. Leslie Pableo / The National

An aerial view of Abu Dhabi's Midfield Terminal under construction. The airports and the aviation sector play an integral role in fighting the Covid-19 outbreak. Photo by H.G. Esch

Dubai’s Museum of the Future is nearing completion. Antonie Robertson / The National

The Palm Tower will be home to an 18-floor St Regis hotel, with an infinity pool on the 50th floor. Courtesy Nakheel

Dubai is set to get its own Madame Tussauds waxwork museum. AFP

The Al Wasl Plaza will be the hub for 2020. Courtesy Dubai Expo 2020.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Library is designed to resemble an open book and is opening near Festival City

The Address Sky View was designed by the same architects that created Dubai's Burj Khalifa 

An artist illustration of the Meydan Mall's interior. Courtesy Meydan

A zombie-themed entertainment zone will open at The Night Market in Deira Islands. Courtesy Nakheel

Al Qana will be home to The National Aquarium - the biggest in the Middle East. Courtesy Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities and Al Barakah International Investment

The Mangrove boardwalk is on Jubail Island. Wam

A new zip-line course has opened at Ras Al Khaimah's Jebel Jais, while a bungee jump will open in 2020. Courtesy Action PR Group

Updated: September 20, 2020 11:29 AM

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