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World-class aquarium to open in Rangoon

The soon to be completed Yangon Aquarium. (IMAGE: Surbana.com)

Touted as “the most anticipated tourist attraction in Myanmar”, a state-of-the-art aquarium is scheduled to open in Rangoon next year, after months of delays on the ambitious project.

Singaporean urban engineering company Surbana International Consultants Pte Ltd won tender bidding to manage the 18,200 square metre development, however Myanmar Aquarium Company will retain ownership. The Yangon City Development Committee will manage the external landscape.

Trade magazine Leisure Management reported that the two-storey structure, which will be set on Kandawgyi Lake in the centre of Rangoon, is expected to feature a number of innovations, such as a ‘green’ roof that reduces energy consumption and high quality glass enclosures. Once completed, the new eco-friendly aquarium will house some 500 different species of local and foreign salt and freshwater fish, including the first sharks in Burma. The magazine reported the project is expected to cost nearly US$15 million (19 billion kyat).

The site was previously home to the Freshwater Fish Garden, also a Myanmar Aquarium Company endeavor, which has been demolished to make way for the high-tech Surbana design.

Sai Moe Kyaw, a manager at the Freshwater Fish Garden, told the Myanmar Times in May that his staff would undertake an extensive yearlong retraining program to prepare employees on new feeding and care techniques. Surbana will pay US$93,000 (120 million kyat) in annual rent for the first ten years, with the option to extend the contract after the first decade.

The new aquarium will be the third Surbana project in Burma. The Singaporean firm is managing the construction of luxury accommodation sky rise Polo Club Residences, also in Rangoon, and the ILand Industrial Park in Pegu [Bago] Division.

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