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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

RWS to open world's largest oceanarium in December

The 8ha Marine Life Park, the size of 13 football fields, will open with more than 100,000 animals from 800 marine species.
The Straits Times - September 25, 2012
By: Ng Kai Ling
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RWS to open world's largest oceanarium in December Members of the media viewing the aquarium at the Marine Life Park at Resorts World Sentosa during a media preview yesterday. The 8ha Marine Life Park, the size of 13 football fields, will open with more than 100,000 animals from 800 marine species.-- ST

THE world's largest oceanarium will open in Sentosa on Dec 7, completing Resorts World Sentosa's (RWS) five-year development. But the dolphins won't be at the opening party.

The 25 wild-caught dolphins, which animal activists have been lobbying to release back to their natural habitat, will be on display only next year to give them enough time to settle into their new enclosure. RWS declined to say when the dolphins will arrive or when visitors will be able to see them next year.

But the 8ha Marine Life Park, the size of 13 football fields, will open with more than 100,000 animals from 800 marine species.

And when it does, it is expected to give other attractions a run for their money, said analysts.

RWS said that with the resort fully operational, it expects more than 16 million visitors a year.

Some 30 million visitors visited it in its first two years of operation.

Since the opening of RWS and Marina Bay Sands in 2010, visitor arrivals to Singapore increased 36 per cent, from 9.7 million in 2009 to 13.2 million last year.

RWS' grand opening celebrations will include a performance by soprano Sarah Brightman and a 12-minute fireworks display.

The marine park will be home to a South-east Asia Aquarium and an Adventure Cove Waterpark.

Visitors get to see what an underwater world is like - with just giant glass panels separating them from the "ocean".

They can also snorkel at the park's Rainbow Reef and ride on South-east Asia's first hydromagnetic roller coaster, the Riptide Rocket.

Ticketing details are not available yet.

The dolphins will face competition from the pandas - Wildlife Reserves Singapore's River Safari will open its panda enclosure in December.

But tourism analysts expect Marine Life Park to take away visitors from Sentosa's other aquarium, Underwater World, as they target the same group of visitors.

They added that tourists, with limited time here, are more likely to gravitate towards RWS as it offers a full package, including hotels, restaurants, Universal Studios Singapore and the casino.

Asked what it intends to do to fend off the competition, an Underwater World spokesman would say only that "competition has certainly intensified, but the increase in Singapore's visitor arrivals should also benefit all stakeholders in the industry".

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