Coral World International Brings
Brings the Wonders of the Ocean to the World
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MA'ALAEA, Maui, Hawai'i -
Born of a passion for the sea and the wonders of tropical fish and coral reefs, the Coral World marine parks are the labor of love of a small number of enthusiasts. Touched with a steadfast belief that they could capture the excitement of the world below the tropical waters, and bring it to the awareness of the public at large, these enthusiasts have created a new phenomenon in marine observation.
For more than two decades, Coral World has been the world leader in underwater viewing systems. The company has developed the only undersea observatories in the Western hemisphere and in the Red Sea. Coral World's tropical displays are recognized as the most beautiful in the world. The company specializes in creating ecologically friendly tropical life systems in symbiotic environments. These systems are planned with an eye to accuracy and detail, and are carefully designed to ensure the perfect combination of fascination, aesthetics, conservation and education.
Coral World marine parks are truly in a class all of their own. More than 30 years of experience have left Coral World's veteran staff with the advantage of an immense body of accumulated knowledge. The professionals of Coral World are at home in seas around the world, from the Indian and Pacific Oceans to the Red and Caribbean Seas, a network of diversified expertise unmatched by anyone else in this field.
A Brief History
Coral World International and the Coral World Marine Parks were conceived in the mid-1970s as the brainchild of entrepreneur Morris Kahn and world renowned reef biologist David Fridman. Their vision was based on the concept of a revolutionary kind of aquarium, an underwater observatory where visitors can enjoy close-up encounters with coral reefs and other aquatic forms of life in the Red Sea, without getting wet.
In partnership with Ampal - American Israel Corporation, headed by the late Jacob Levinson, their dream became a reality. The company developed the Red Sea Underwater Observatory, also known as Coral World Eilat, an innovative marine park which opened to the public in 1975. As the first land-based, undersea tourist attraction, Coral World enjoyed immediate success.
Bolstered by the popularity of this new concept in marine life observation, Coral World International expanded its operation with four additional marine parks: Coral World St. Thomas opened in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1978. Coral Island Bahamas, located on the private island of Silver Cay, off Nassau, opened to the public in 1987 and incorporated a marine park and a luxury villa hotel. AQWA in Perth, Western Australia and Oceanworld in Manly, Australia joined the expanding Coral World International family in 1991 and 1992 respectively, Maui Ocean Center opened in 1998, and Palma Aquarium in Spain opened in 2007. Coral World marine parks have been visited by more than eighteen million people over the years.
There are two types of Coral World Marine Parks. The first can be built only at coral reef sites where the water is pure and clear. The second can be built at practically any seafront location. Each type presents its own distinctive and extraordinary undersea experience. Eilat, St. Thomas and Nassau are home to the first type of Coral World. At these sites, visitors cross a bridge over the reef to enter the underwater observatory. At their leisure, they can observe fish and other reef dwellers from this location in the depths of the sea. This undersea experience, previously available only to divers and scientists, has a profound and lasting impact on all visitors. The underwater observatory is complemented by a marine park on land which maintains a unique, open water circulation system, enabling live corals to be displayed together with many exotic fish and invertebrates. The second type of Coral World is found in the marine parks at Perth and Manly in Australia as well as Maui Ocean Center and Palma Aquarium in Spain. The heart of this attraction is an acrylic tunnel, in which visitors stand on a conveyor belt and are taken on a journey under the sea. Here they view, as divers would, the excitement of underwater sea life. Unlike the other Coral Worlds, which can only be built at coral reef sites, the new acrylic tunnel Coral World can be built at practically any seafront location.
The Corporate Structure
Maui Ocean Center is a corporation registered in the State of Hawaii, July 29, 1988. Maui Ocean Center is 100-percent owned by Red Sea Underwater Observatory, Ltd.