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Park revamp

BAHRAIN'S Water Garden in Gufool will be torn down and rebuilt, with work expected to begin by mid next year, it has been revealed.

The revamped park will offer new water rides and other facilities that are estimated to cost BD2 million.

The project, for which the Manama Municipality is finalising designs, is scheduled to be open to the public by the end of next year.

A survey was done to get a general idea of what facilities and attractions people wanted, municipality parks and property director Zuhair Al Dallal said.

"We are now going to consult an engineering company to come up with designs based on our suggestions," he said, adding that tenders would be floated by early next year.

"The park's water theme will stay, but the place will see major changes."

"The lakes, that have turned into swamps, will be drained, reclaimed and new ones built.

"The survey found that visitors are keen on us expanding our bird and animal collections, and this has been taken into consideration."

Mr Al Dallal said that the investor, who has been leasing the garden from the municipality for many years, has given many ideas on how to develop the park.

"He represents many child ride companies and he is willing to co-operate with us to bring in new games to replace old ones," he said.

"We have always considered the investor as our partner and will continue doing so, but the termination of his contract is a possibility, if new companies present bids for the project.

"Even if we open bids for rides, the current investor will always be our top choice."

Mr Al Dallal said that the municipality would provide 350 parking spaces.

"We have already bought land at the back of the park and will turn it into a car park, in addition to one in the front.

"There is a parking problem at the moment, but this will hopefully be solved by the consultancy company when it prepares the designs."

Mr Al Dallal said that the park will be a smaller version of the new Lost Paradise of Dilmun at Al Areen, but with different water themes.

"The Lost Paradise of Dilmun is amazing because it is a big-budget project, but to do the same with a government-owned place is very difficult," he said. "However, it is not impossible and with the BD2m allocated for the project, hopefully my ideas for a proper water park will become a reality." alaali@gdn.com.bh



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