Qawra, Malta

Malta National Aquarium

The public aquarium will have more than 25 display tanks with, amongst others, Mediterranean fish, commonly found in Maltese waters together with replicas of historical artefacts that one can find in the seas around us.

Location:
Qawra, Malta
Year Opened:
2012
Square meters:
2,500

Services:

The first attempt to build a public aquarium commenced in 1993, when the old national pool in the South of the island (Marsascala) became redundant. The idea was to convert the old national pool into an aquarium. However it became evident that the location of Marsascala was too remote for tour operators and that another location should be identified. The Ministry of Tourism had then identified the site at Qawra Point as a possible location for this project, noting that the area constituted a tourism zone in decline which required investment in general. Despite the process for this project started in 1993, culminating in an International Call for Offers in 1996, the process was discontinued following the realisation that the project was not feasible if it were to be funded solely from private sources.

Government considered the option of constructing and operating the aquarium through a public entity. This option was likewise considered as not sustainable. Eventually it was decided to opt for a Public Private Partnership. The Malta Tourism Authority was entrusted to carry forward this project on behalf of the Government of Malta. The MTA developed the project concept, applied and obtained the ERDF funding for the project, managed, in conjunction with the Department of Contracts, the tendering process which led to the selection of the private partner.

 

Project Description

The project will be spread over approximately 20,000 square meters and will comprise a public aquarium, a public garden at promenade level, a multi storey car park, facilities for local dive schools, catering facilities including a reef club, a merchandise outlet and a tourist information kiosk.

The public aquarium will have more than 25 display tanks with, amongst others, Mediterranean fish, commonly found in Maltese waters together with replicas of historical artefacts that one can find in the seas around us.

The main tank of the aquarium will house species from the Indian Ocean, including two shark species. The main tank will be approximately 12 meters in diameter. Visitors will be able to go through a water tunnel thereby experiencing the fish at a much closer range.

All tanks will be expertly themed to replicate the underwater environment. Additional features of the public aquarium include a class room facility, interpretation, touch pools, a temporary exhibition space, veterinary and quarantine facilities, etc.

The garden will provide additional recreation facilities for pedestrians who use the popular Qawra promenade. The car park will have a capacity of over 140 cars.

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