126,000 square metre development set for opening in Q1 2014 to include first-of-its kind aquatic water park
The project's details were unveiled during a press conference organised by Authority (Shurooq) at the site of the Al Montazah project in the presence of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, Duarte Marques, founder of Amusement WhiteWater - a partner in and construction contractor of Al Montazah, as well as a number of prominent figures and media representatives. In her speech during the conference, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi said Shurooq works in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to develop and improve the Emirate's economic, social, and tourist assets, as well as to contribute to pushing the drivers of development to the highest possible levels. "Shurooq has been keen to ensure that the design and re-development of Al Montazah adhere the highest standards so as to meet the emirate's needs in leisure and tourist attractions. Upon completion, Al Montazah Park will become a new regional competitive tourist destination in terms of quality, design, state-of-the-art amenities, and high quality services that will richly add to Sharjah's and the UAE's cap of tourist landmarks and enhance the country's presence on the local and regional tourist map," Sheikha Bodour said. She pointed out that Shurooq is currently embarking on a range of new projects to further develop tourist attractions in the Emirate. Sheikha Bodour added: "We seek, through the development of new destinations, to provide a modern lifestyle that embodies the growth witnessed by Sharjah and the evolution of life in the Emirate. Shurooq's aim, through destinations previously developed as well as those currently underway, is to meet the demands of the Emirate's citizens and residents by providing a range of facilities, as well as exceptional tourist and leisure services, throughout the year." Duarte Marques, founder of Amusement WhiteWater, thanked Sheikha Bodour and Shurooq for putting their trust in AWW as well as for their continued support, saying "The purpose of this joint venture is to create an Amusement and Water Park providing world class facilities that caters for the people of Sharjah. The brief from Shurooq was that we should maintain green areas consider the history of the old Jazzera Park as well as respect the culture and heritage of Sharjah while providing a place where families from Sharjah can enjoy themselves in a safe and friendly environment." "Although we faced numerous challenges during construction due to the fact that we had to take an existing park on an island and turn it into a world-class family destination, we managed to overcome all obstacles with the help of Shurooq. This is just a start and we understand that we will have to make various changes to improve our guests experience in Al Montazah once the park is open." Durate added. Unveiling the project's details, Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, said, "Al Montazah, which covers an area of 126,000 square meters and is situated on an island within Khalid Lagoon, will help stimulate the tourism sector in Sharjah, and is expected to draw more than one million visitors during the first year after inauguration." He stressed the project's full readiness to receive this number of visitors and meet their needs, provide parking slots and transportation necessary to ensure smooth and easy access to Al Montazah. "Al Montazah has the capacity to receive around 3 million visitors a year and we expect the number of visitors will increase considerably over the next few years," Al Sarkal emphasised. Al Montazah boasts three main sections, the first of which is the Water Park covering an area of 26,000 square metres, offering a wide range of aquatic amusement games that suit all ages. The Water Park is characterised by its modern design and includes wide green spaces for holiday makers to enjoy and relax. It will also boast restaurants and other facilities where safety services will be provided with safety and rescue staff permanently on hand. The second section involves the construction of a Green Park for picnics and events, spreading over an area of 50,000 square metres. It will include wide green spaces and venues dedicated to hosting entertainment and social events, as well as a number of world-class restaurants, cafes, a lake for boating, and a mosque. The third section is a leisure park that also covers an area of 50,000 square metres, offering a variety of electronic games for all ages. The leisure park will also include kart racing (Karting) for children and young people, two mini football playgrounds, special areas for sports and a venue for celebrations. Al Sarkal noted that all service-related facilities will be available for visitors, including ATM's, parking lots, a medical clinic and highly qualified rescue teams and skilled paramedics. He urged investors, who will benefit from the expected tourism growth in Sharjah, to participate in the project by leasing spaces and areas dedicated to restaurants, cafes, and kiosks. During the conference, the attendees watched a video about the project's phases of development, which began one and a half years ago. The project is the fruit of intensive studies conducted by Shurooq, with the participation of a team of engineers and experts in the tourism and leisure industry, alongside Shurooq's partners, to ensure excellence in execution and design which delivers facilities and services that live up to the aspirations and needs of Sharjah's residents and visitors. Shurooq also unveiled Al Montazah's mascots - cartoon characters inspired by the world of animals in order to attract children and entertain and bring fun to all visitors. The project's mascots include Shahad (bee), Meymun (Monkey), Mahir (frog), and Liblib (Parrot). These cartoon characters will be used in marketing campaigns and products bearing the logo of Al Montazah, and will be present along with other seasonal characters throughout the year. Al Montazah will be open to the public from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm, from Saturday to Wednesday, and from 10:00 am to 1:00 am after midnight on Thursday and Friday. The Water Park will be open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Entry to Al Montazah and its facilities, including the Water Park, is available to all, individuals and families. Entry tickets to Al Montazah Park will be AED 10, and free for children who are less 80 cm tall, while ticket prices for some games range between AED 10-25. The entry ticket to the Water Park is AED 120 for adults and AED 75 AED for children between 80-120 cm tall, and entry is free for children under 80 cm. Tickets for the Water Park includes the entry fee to Al Montazah Park. At the end of the press conference, journalists and media representatives were taken on a tour of Al Montazah Park where they listened to a presentation from Shurooq CEO on the project and its amenities and services. Al Montazah, which will be opened in the first quarter of this year, will be a major tourist attraction and one of the distinguished tourist destinations in Sharjah. Shurooq had begun work on the development of Al Montazah Park in July 2012 as part of its plan aimed at developing tourist and leisure facilities in the Emirate in order to further help boost tourist assets in the UAE. Shurooq was established in 2009 with the aim of achieving social, cultural, environmental and economic development on the basis of Sharjah's distinct Arab and Islamic identity, and to encourage investment by adopting the best international standards in providing quality services that help attract investors from the region and around the world. Shurooq's key mission is to provide facilities and incentives to help overcome obstacles facing investment activities in the Emirate, evaluate tourism and investment related infrastructure projects, and lay down the necessary plans to complete such projects.