Once upon a time in Bahrain, a family day out meant a visit to the island's favourite fun spot ... the Adhari Park.
After a decade of decline the park is scheduled to roll out the good times again with a 'family day' launch on March 21.
The BD15 million Adhari Park Project operated by the Adhari Park Development Company (APDC) was initiated by His Majesty King Hamad and will be overseen by the Northern Municipality.
The project is being constructed by the Al Khaleej Development Company (Tameer) and the Kuwaiti Markets and Commercial Company. They will be running the park for the next 30 years.
Adhari Park is one of the first build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects to be awarded by the Ministry of Municipalities and Agriculture Affairs on behalf of the government.
The park will reopen with a range of new attractions for all ages including the Middle East's first monorail system. It will be divided into three zones - the Sports Town Zone, Groovy Zone and the Discovery Village.
There will be a mini-golf course and a playground exclusively for children along with a host of toddler rides. Adults will have their share of fun too on the roller-coasters, bumper cars and various other thrilling attractions.
"There are 37 rides, most of which are from Italy, Spain and the US," said Ahmed M Al Khalaqi, sales and marketing manager of APDC.
They include a Log Flume, Spring Ride, Dry Slide, Flying Carousel, Mega Disco, Rocking Tug, Road Train, Barn Stormer and Carousel.
A grand pavilion in the middle of the park will offer visitors a chance to relax with live music and refreshments. There will also be an artificial lake allowing visitors a chance to pedal on the water in fibre glass boats. There is also an entertainment centre featuring indoor attractions such as video games and billiards.
A bazaar area will contain 25 stalls selling products such as clothes, Arabian artifacts, souvenirs and flowers.
A food court will feature many of the big-name fast food outlets and the project also hopes to offer diners with a choice of three fine-dining restaurants.
The total built-in area of the park is 165,000sqm with a parking slot for 1,200 vehicles and the contractors expect more than 800,000 visitors to flock to the site each year.
"We are still studying the entry fees and our target at the moment is to strategise the best possibilities for ticketing," said APDC project vice-chairman, Mohammed Abdul Khaliq.
It is understood tickets for some of the attractions could start as low as 250 fils.
With The Lost Paradise of Dilmun water park also set to reopen around the same period, the investors have no fears about the competition.
The park was set to be open during Eid in December last year but was postponed until the peak season. "We have just got the electricity connected for the entire park and have assigned a company to test and assemble the rides."
The re-opening of the park has led to 120 new jobs of which 90 per cent have been snapped up by Bahrainis.