SeaWorld writes a new chapter with the first killer whale-free park

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment announced on Tuesday that it will open its first park without its iconic orca show, as well as the first franchise outside the United States, in Abu Dhabi in 2022.

The new park will open on Yas Island, a manmade island in the United Arab Emirates that is quickly becoming the tourism hub of the Arabian peninsula. The project has been in the works since 2011 and will be funded by UAE government-backed Miral Asset Management, but for SeaWorld this is more than a chance to expand its business abroad. It will be an important step away from its controversial captive breeding orca program.

“This gives us a chance to position the new SeaWorld in a very strong way, repositioning it from a company that’s only about certain species to a company that is focused on ocean health,” Joel Manby, the chief executive for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, told the Associated Press. READ MORE.