Enrichment Arts & Culture

Biggest aquarium in the world will debut with staggering 68,000 marine animals

Story at a glance

  • Abu Dhabi SeaWorld will span over 1 million square feet, across five floors.
  • There will be six distinct marine life sections, simulating the natural habitats of different marine species
  • The massive aquatic center will be on Yas Island, the United Arab Emirates entertainment hub.

Abu Dhabi is creating the world’s largest aquarium, housing over 68,000 marine animals, in collaboration with SeaWorld and it’s almost ready for the public to visit.

Expected to open in 2022, the massive aquarium will hold 25 million liters of water able to house thousands of marine animals like sharks, fish, manta rays and sea turtles. The facility will also serve as a dedicated marine research, rehabilitation and return center for the United Arab Emirates. 

Miral, the development firm behind the aquarium project, said in August that construction is 64 percent complete. The one-of-a-kind mega aquarium will be located on Yas Island, a large entertainment hub that includes Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros. Abu Dhabi and more.

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will span 1,969,795 square feet across five floors. There will be six distinct marine life sections, simulating the natural habitats of different marine species.


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Marc Swanson, CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment said in a statement, “We are honored to partner with Miral to bring SeaWorld’s unforgettable guest experiences and our important mission to Yas Island and the region. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi joins our North American parks in our mission and commitment to conservation efforts worldwide.”

However, SeaWorld came under harsh criticism after the 2013 documentary “BlackFish” highlighted the controversial practices it employed to keep killer whales captive. The Orlando Weekly noted that no large sea mammals were included in concept art for the Abu Dhabi aquarium. 


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