Dubai underwater park renderingDubai plans to open the Pearl of Dubai, an underwater theme park designed by the art team behind the 2009 sci-fi "Avatar" movie and the five "Pirates of the Caribbean" films.

The five-acre site, located in the shallow waters off the World Islands development, will look like a lost ancient city and will be accessible to scuba divers and snorkelers, according to Los Angeles-based Reef Worlds, an underwater tourism design company that is handling the project.

Dubai tourism officials hope to capture a segment of the $3 billion dive and snorkel market.

"When one considers Dubai and the region, scuba diving and underwater exploration are not on the top 10 list, and yet they are almost everywhere else in the world," said Dave Taylor, director of development for Reef Worlds.

"We will work with carefully selected resort partners on unique underwater habitat projects that directly support our clients' sustainability and revenue goals," he said.

The company also has plan to launch underwater theme parks in other countries, including the Philippines.

No timeline has been announced for the Pearl of Dubai.

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