Plans for an underwater theme park in Dubai based on the Lost City of Atlantis have been announced.

WORDS MAX JAMES

Los Angeles-based underwater developer Reef Worlds made the official announcement last week. The company designed sets for blockbuster movies like Avatar and Pirates of the Caribbean. The park called Pearl of Dubai will cover five acres near the unfinished World Islands development which has already caused major environmental damage to the reefs which have survived the vast building project in the area over the past 20 years.

'The UAE has a unique tourism problem that we address. When one considers Dubai and the region, scuba diving and underwater exploration is not on the Top Ten list, and yet it is almost everywhere else in the world,' said David Taylor, director of development for Reef Worlds.

'The Reef Worlds brand is all about sustainability and the creation of new habitat while at the same time adding instant tourism revenue and excitement to waterfront resorts,' he said.

The company is also working on a similar project in the Philippines.