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 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.
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
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,
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.