Qetaifan Projects, a leading leisure company owned by Katara Hospitality, has awarded the design and build contract for a ground-breaking immersive educational water ride on Qetaifan Island North (Qatar) to the British company Sarner International, an award-winning design and production practice behind some of the world’s best-loved museum and cultural attractions, theme parks and branded destinations.
The new Edutainment ride tells the story of the remarkable transformation of Doha over the last 100 years, but to truly understand Qatar’s recent history visitors must travel far further across time and space, from the Jurassic Era millions of years ago to the future, from deep under the oceans to high up in the air.
The discovery of oil in Qatar in the 1930s kicks off the visitor’s journey, along which they learn about how oil is formed, located, drilled, extracted, transported, and used in today’s world. The story is enhanced through special effects that include
3D mapping, animatronics, projection, theatrical lighting, heat, vibration, drilling machines and fog screens, giving visitors an exciting and thrilling immersive journey from start to finish. The ride is being designed in cooperation with experts and curators from the world’s leading museums to ensure the authenticity of both the science and the history.
The ride starts and ends inside a fully themed building that houses a series of immersive theatrical environments. The ride vehicles at points take visitors outside the building and also into a cutting-edge tall ride tower. The ride buildings are being designed in coordination with the well-established design, engineering and project management consultancy Atkins.
Sheikh Nasser bin Abdulaziz, head of the business development department at Qetaifan Projects, said: “This cooperation comes as a continuation of the realisation of the company’s vision to make Qetaifan Island North the first entertainment destination of its kind in Qatar. This matter is of great importance and we consider it a national duty due to the contribution it will add in the sectors of tourism, hospitality and entertainment, not only that, but in terms of competitive international standards that express the concerted efforts exerted in promoting Qatari tourism.”
He continued: “There is no doubt that adding an edutainment ride introducing visitors to the history of Qatar would work to attract the largest number of tourists of different age groups, especially those interested in exploring different cultures. Of course, there will be regular school trips and more local partnerships with bodies and institutions interested in art and culture.
“This cooperation comes within a series of local and global partnerships that will prepare to host the 2022 World Cup and serve Qatar Vision 2030, especially since we at Qetaifan Projects are working to position Qetaifan Island North as a modern entertainment destination that provides a unique experience and actively contributes to providing sustainable solutions that serve tourism and hospitality.” He concluded, “Safety and security standards are our top priority in designing and constructing the waterpark, and accordingly we have chosen the best companies in this field to work on implementing and managing the waterpark.”
The waterpark and its Icon tower, which reaches a height of 80 meters, will be managed and operated by Rixos International Hotels Group, along with the hotel and the Beach Club. Rixos Group is famous for its Land of Legends Waterpark in Turkey.
Ross Magri, managing director of Sarner International, added: “Sarner has over 50 years of experience in both the theme park and museum markets so we are perfectly suited for this innovative project that combines the two, creating an immersive water ride that is not only fun but also educational. We are delighted to have been awarded this contract, working with some of the best teams in the world to deliver what will be a cutting-edge attraction that will stand the test of time.”
The waterpark spans 137,000 square meters and is surrounded by 6 beaches and a hotel, in addition to the beach club and retail area. The waterpark features 36 waterslides and rides and is part of Qetaifan Island North, which is part of Lusail City. The whole island spans approximately 1.3 million square meters, and the project’s area on the island extends to approximately 830 thousand square meters.