SeaWorld In Abu Dhabi: First Theme Park without Orcas To Be Launched in 2022

By Arah TJ , Updated Dec 14, 2016 07:01 PM EST

A renown U.S. theme park, SeaWorld will launch its franchise in Abu Dhabi. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will be open in 2022, however, there will be no orcas or killer whales in its lineup of animals.

After seven months since the company came up with decision ending its orca-breeding amid the campaigns of animal rights activists, SeaWorld officials, along Abu Dhabi-government-backed Miral Asset Management announced on Tuesday, Dec. 13 that SeaWorld in Abu Dhabi will be open in 2022 without orcas.

The said theme park will be located Yas Island, a man-made island. This island is now a tourism and entertainment hub near the southeast tip of the Arabian peninsula, Daily Mail reports. The SeaWorld Abu Dhabi park will have an animal rescue and rehabilitation center, and research, which plans to open ahead of the park. The theme park will focus on educating visitors about the ocean conservation.

SeaWorld and Miral Asset Management have been in talks since 2011 about opening a park in Abu Dhabi. Before announcing the SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, the company has been involved in a controversy.

Gabriela Cowperthwaite, director of a documentary "Blackfish" has opened the eyes of many people about the killer whale that killed a whale trainer in the theme park. She also brought her twins to the SeaWorld before the death of a killer whale trainer, according to Fortune.

According to the documentary director, she never expected that her docu will help persuade the theme park operator to stop breeding killer whales. "I thought of myself as a story teller that would pull back the curtain on some things, but I didn't think the documentary would effect change," Cowperthwaite said.

"Blackfish" follows the story of Tilikum, a bull orca captured in 1983 at Hafnarfjörður, near Reykjavík, Iceland. He was transferred to Sealand of the Pacific in South Oak Bay, British Columbia. In 1992, he was transferred to SeaWorld Orlando, Florida.

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