Bahrain’s much-delayed BD20mn ($52.7mn) theme park including an indoor ski slope has again been put off, according to the local council.
Work on Muharraq Grand Garden is now not expected to begin until at least February, a year after its initial start date, Muharraq Municipality director-general Saleh Al Fadhala told Gulf Daily News.
The enormous project was cancelled in January when authorities became concerned it would disrupt key sewage and water infrastructure underneath the site.
The decision was reversed just days later and work began in April but was again stalled.
Al Fadhala said the developer, Fouad Shuwaitar, could face fines for the delay.
“We are considering penalising the investor for breach of contract, but are more concerned about the delay at the moment,” he told GDN.
However, Shuwaitar said the delays were not his fault.
“We started construction in April, but my workers soon uncovered major sewage, electricity and water networks,” he was quoted as saying.
“The Electricity and Water Authority intervened quickly and diverted the electricity and water, but the Works Ministry is yet to show up.
“It is not my fault that I was given an unsuitable plot to work and I shouldn’t be penalised for the delay – I am the one who could be asking for compensation really, due to the condition of the place.”
The theme park will be located near Bahrain International Airport, and will include a three-storey shopping centre, business centre, indoor sports arena, outdoor pitches, aquatic museum, karting track, mosque and an elderly home.
Plans to turn the park into a “miniature Disneyland” were scrapped in 2007.
Dubai is already home to the region’s first indoor ski resort – Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates – and a similar version is currently being built at the under-construction Mall of Egypt in Cairo.