Bahrain Submerging A 747 Underwater For Scuba Divers

Filed Under: Travel

I’ve been snorkelling many times, and always enjoyed it.

In Turks and Caicos last month, I managed to see five sting rays and a turtle at once, which was amazing.

I’ve thought constantly about taking the next step to scuba diving — the only thing stopping me is that I don’t like being in situations I can’t easy get out of.

When snorkelling, you can simply raise your head above the water line if you are having difficulties breathing, while with scuba diving I know there is no quick exit if you panic!

But Bahrain has announced they are building an underwater theme park, and it might just tempt me to take the plunge to scuba diving.

It will feature various attractions as part of its man made reef. However, the centrepiece will be a fully submerged, special Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet.

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Bahrain Launches the world’s largest eco-friendly underwater theme park . . The Personal Representative of His Majesty King Hamad, President of the Supreme Council for Environment, HH Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa today announced the launch of the world’s largest underwater theme park. Covering an area of over 100,000 sqm, the exceptional dive experience includes several structures in addition to a submerged Jumbo Jet as its centerpiece, such as a replica of a traditional Bahraini pearl merchant’s house, artificial coral reefs and other sculptures fabricated from eco-friendly materials, all submerged to provide a safe haven for coral reef growth and a habitat for marine life. The underwater dive site will be launched in the coming weeks in partnership with the private sector, local dive companies and clubs and will open to diving enthusiasts and visitors before the summer of 2019. More details to be available soon on @divebahrain @tourismbh #DiveBahrain #Dive #Bahrain #Scubadiving #SCE #BahrainOursYours #ecotourism #underwater #underwaterworld

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The theme park is a partnership between the Supreme Council for Environment, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), and private investors.

Bahrain Tourism has told CNN the submerging of the aircraft will be environmentally friendly as part of the world’s largest ‘eco friendly theme park’ (so it won’t be destroying any natural reef to build this man made reef), saying:

All aircraft surfaces will be subjected to a high-pressure wash with bio-friendly detergents to ensure all post-production coatings, oil and grime are removed. Furthermore, a vast amount of time has been spent removing contaminants from the aircraft. This has included removing all wiring, all hydraulic, pneumatic and fuel systems, and all adhesives, insulation, plastics, rubbers, chemicals or other potential toxic substances.

Westin Bahrain Hotel

Bottom line

I really want to visit Bahrain, even though on Ben’s trip a few years back he asked a hotel concierge what the best sightseeing was in town to which he was told:

‘Well it’s only a short flight to Dubai’

Still, this is exactly the sort of unique tourism activity destinations like Bahrain should be doing, to attract tourists to places the average tourist wouldn’t think to visit.

The underwater theme park is set to open this summer.

Although the promotional photo shows all the aircraft doors closed, it would be awesome if they are able to remove all the doors to allow the divers to swim right through the plane.

The claustrophobic in me shudders at the sound of that, though!

Would you scuba dive through a Boeing 747?

  1. Unlikely the doors will come off; diving through passageways (particularly ones where you can get your tank and equipment caught) is risky for new divers, but I certainly hope they do too!

  2. I was lucky enough to live and work overseas for nearly 30 years for the USG at a dozen different posts including a two-year tour to Bahrain that was a highlight.

    Prior to joining the USG I was a SCUBA Instructor with both PADI & SSI. I have dived literally all over the world. Despite warm clear water there’s very little to recommend Bahrain dive sites in terms of colorful reef and fish life.

    An eco-friendly underwater theme park with large structures like a B747 will provide protection for corals, vegetation and fish life if properly managed.

    Apart from the annual Formula One race, Bahrain doesn’t have a lot to interest tourists except for the Souq and desert camping but this theme park has sparked my interest.

    Btw Bahrain is generally safe and the locals are known for their hospitality. Plus, some of the Lebanese, Iranian and Turkish Grill restaurants are among the best in the Middle East.

  3. “I’ve thought constantly about taking the next step to scuba diving — the only thing stopping me is that I don’t like being in situations I can’t easy get out of.”
    Well, I guess you have the wrong job. Don’t you have that in planes? Once boarded and In Flight you can’t also not easy get out of it…

  4. Nelson – though you have way more space on a plane. For the same reason I’m sure he’d feel much safer on a submarine than while diving.

    While it’s a horrific dictatorship, I am actually impressed they spent so much effort cleaning the plane. I’m sure many places would just dump it straight in, not actually caring about the environment at all.

  5. That’s really interesting. What would the metal do to the coral? I wonder if coral can grow on metal?
    @Nelson It’s true that there is no control in an airplane. But you don’t have to worry about the breathing and rising too fast part. I know I could never do it.


  6. “‘Well it’s only a short flight to Dubai’”

    That is a horrible concierge. He could have at least tried to point out a couple of souks or museums, or suggested a private half-day tour…

    Yeah, it ain’t Dubai, but if you’re only there for a day or two, you can find enough to keep you occupied.

    Granted, Bahrain does cater mostly to Saudis and foreigners living on the east coast of Saudi (especially in cities like Khobar and Dammam) to drive there for the weekend to get their drinking and partying on, so good to the Bahrainis trying to diversify things a bit.

  7. I don’t see this working well for many reasons.

    First, the visibility under water is aweful in the gulf and the marine life is relatively poor.
    Second, it takes decades for corals to start growing on wrecks.
    Third, you can easily cross to the other side of the peninsula and dive the Red Sea, specifically the SS Thistlegorm if wreck diving is what you’re looking for, it’s hands down one of the world’s best wrecks.
    Neither Bahrain nor any other gulf destination would rank anywhere on my list of diving destinations.

    If you’re making the trip over there, then head to the Red Sea instead. There are so many options with a deeply-rooted SCUBA culture and excellent infrastructure and world-class dives sites.

    If I ever happen to be in Bahrain for other reasons and decid to kill some time, then maybe that would be an option.

  8. It’s the best activity I’ve ever learnt to do, there’s so much to see all over the world. But if you’re prone to panicking, scuba diving is not for you.

  9. Technically, that picture you posted of the “Westin Bahrain Hotel” is actually the view from that hotel (specifically, the suite Lucky stayed in), not a picture of that hotel.

  10. You should have reported the concierge to the management. I have lived in Bahrein for over four years and this island is a gem in terms of people, safety and yes, it’s small so of course compared to other destinations it might appear comparatively limited, but still there are things to do. Qal’at al-Bahrain is a Portuguese fort. Bahrain National Museum, Al Areen Wildlife Park, Muharraq souq, Arad Fort, Royal Camel Farm and more. I think it might not entertain tourists for a month but definitely it will for a few days.

  11. James,

    I follow your posts and is not secret you are a smart man.

    The secret to Scuba Diving is to remain call. You also have the alternator to breath if your regulator fails. Not only that , is a must you dive with a buddy, so not only if your 2 sources or air fails, you have the backup source or air from your buddy to breath. The PADI course is pretty serious and they will teach emergency ascent and many other. There is nothing to be imagine and be scared of. It is beautiful

  12. Let me preface this with, I love Bahrain. I love the people and I loved living there for four years. However, the nonsense that they want to protect the marine ecosystem is really a complete joke. They have decimated the hamour fishing grounds and the MASSIVE dredging and land reclamation projects have also been devistating to the marine life. I hope it’s not too late.
    Best of luck to them.

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