x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Extreme-sports park proposed for Reem

A new green extreme facility could be developed in time for summer.

ABU DHABI // A park with facilities for more than 100 land and water extreme sports could become a reality on Reem Island in just two months.

And it can be taken down as quickly as it pops up.

The park, a green development covering 35 hectares (equivalent to 32 full-size football pitches) would be completely off the power grid and mostly portable.

Because the project would not need to be hooked up to infrastructure, it could be erected within two months.

"It's fast, it doesn't require huge infrastructure," said Paul Bierman-Lytle, the chief executive and managing director of Pangaeon, a programme of International Management and Contracting Company Green. "We're not building theme-park rides, which requires tonnes of potable water and tonnes of energy to move that water. We don't do that. We basically move sand and dirt.

"These are bicycles and skateboards; these are things which you use in the ocean, surfboards."

Mr Bierman-Lytle announced the project at the World ecoConstruct Summit, a green building conference held this week in conjunction with Cityscape Abu Dhabi.

Skateboarding, surfing, stilt walking and sailing are just a few of the 75 land and 45 water sports that would be available.

"This does a couple things for the region," Mr Bierman-Lytle said.

"It gets teenagers in a place where they can exercise and do sporting activities. Parents can go there or leave their children there.

"Our sports camps for kids can get them away from computers, and they're out in fresh air."

Those involved in negotiations said they hoped for a June opening of the park, which is expected to generate returns within four months of opening.

It would be located in an area Reem Islandset aside for development but not yet ready for building.

Pangaeon is in negotiations with Reem Investments, one of the island's developers.

"Reem have always been keen to explore new and exciting ideas that would enhance the lifestyle within our communities," said Bambang Sugeng bin Kajairi, the chief executive of Reem Investments. "We are in preliminary discussions with several parties on various concepts, including the adventure ideas proposed by Pangaeon."

The eco-extreme sports park would be the first of its kind in the world, and more of them could appear on Saadiyat and Yas islands.

jthomas@thenational.ae