Students from the Department of Marine Science and Fisheries, Sultan Qaboos University visited the construction site of Oman Aquarium, which is set to be the first of its kind in Oman, and the biggest aquarium in the Middle East. On Sunday 29th of April, students taking the Aquaculture Engineering and Management course with supervisor Dr. Gilha Yoon met Mr. Adrian Tolliday, CEO of Tolliday Group International, the management consultants for the project, at the construction site of the Oman Aquarium. This trip was organized in cooperation with SQU and Tamani Entertainment, an Al Jarwani Group company, owner of the aquarium project.
Students were allowed to access the construction site and familiarize themselves with the Oman Aquarium project. Mr. Tolliday and his staff guided the students and explained the project details, layout, facilities, and future visions of Oman Aquarium. He said that Oman aquarium is one of the Sultanate’s landmarks and they were very pleased to have the first visitors. He added that Oman aquarium that follows the story of Ahmed Ibn Majid, the great Omani seafarer, would also highlight so many of the aquatic wonders of the Sultanate of Oman. It would display fish and ecosystems from Dhofar to Musandam, as well as Omani heritage surrounding the oceans from past to future. “We will have a curriculum based education programs that would teach our children the importance of the Omani seas and highlight the relationship between the sea and the Omani people in terms of its heritage, culture and conservation.
Oman Aquarium, which is being developed by Al Jarwani Group, is a completely new leisure and entertainment concept to the Sultanate within the flagship development of Al Jarwani’s Mall of Muscat, that aims to create, bring and present a unique concept that has a deep and rich cultural association and relevance, one that Omanis will cherish as their own.
Maryam Al Sawafi, SQU student said that from this trip they could learn aquaculture engineering, facilities and concept of recirculating system, which helps to save water and maintain healthy fishes. “We only learned theories and saw the facilities from books and pictures; I am very impressed today that I can see real filters and connections”, she added. Another student Tamather Al Hassani said that she was delighted to see the aquarium that made her proud of her country for having this amazing aquarium in future. “I can imagine this aquarium with full of aquatic creatures from Oman and all over the world swimming here happily. I cannot wait until this aquarium opens by the end of the year.”
At the end of the visit, Mr. Tolliday and Dr. Yoon agreed that there should be more scientific research collaboration in marine life conservation, reproduction, and student training between Oman Aquarium and SQU. “Oman Aquarium is not only a wonderful aquarium to showcase Omani marine life; I am sure that this aquarium can provide many job opportunities to our students, varieties of research subjects to scientists, and overall supply huge amounts of knowledge and creative ideas to future generations in Oman,” Dr. Yoon observed.