Majid’s books, charts, and maps guided sailors for years, and his improvements on nautical tools and nautical inventions transformed how sailors navigated the seven seas forever. The exhibits at the aquarium will be linked to Majid’s travels as he journeyed and traded through Africa and Asia, Adrian Tolliday, CEO, Tolliday Group International (TGI) told Blooloop, a leading online resource for professionals working in the visitor attractions sector. This pulls together all the exhibits in a new and different way.
“We have consciously avoided the conventional storyline, and created something new and exciting. It incorporates Omani heritage and culture and makes it a lot more relevant for educational purposes. It also gives us scope to include new and interesting themes within the educational programmes, whilst promoting conservation in a fun and fascinating way for all those visiting, whatever their age,” he said.
The aquarium will have 55 tanks in total, with the main ocean tank having a capacity of 1.8mn lt. Due to its 5,600sq m of visitor space and 3,000sq m of plant room, the aquarium in Palm Mall will be the largest in the Middle East, said TGI, that has been appointed to provide consultancy, supervision and specialised management and operational services by the mall’s developers Al Jarwani Group. The aquarium will showcase predominantly local sea life. “Omani diversity and biodiversity is insanely good,” said Tolliday.
“There are over 150 different coral species. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has documented 1,200 fish species in their Atlas. This means that a lot of exhibits can be based around Oman. Our fresh water exhibits have been sourced from Asia, although there are a few freshwater exhibits here in Oman too.”
“In addition, we are also including three African exhibits featuring Malawi cichlids, southern penguins and crocodiles, amongst other species. These are all linked to Ahmed Ibn Majid’s travels as he journeyed and traded through Africa and Asia.” The aquarium, when open in 2018, will be one of Palm Mall’s key attractions. “Based on our research, we anticipate the aquarium alone will attract between 300,000-400,000 visitors a year, at a conservative estimate,” said Tolliday.