Iraq plans 'Baghdad Eye' to draw in tourists

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Iraqi officials are planning on having a Ferris wheel built as a tourist attraction to the nation's capital, Baghdad. The wheel would be called 'Baghdad Eye' and is planned to sit over 650 ft above the Tigris River. Adel al Ardawi, a Baghdad municipality spokesman said that "[t]his wheel will be taller than the iconic 443-foot London Eye." He failed to comment on construction cost or a time line of how long it would take to build the wheel.

The London Eye in 2005.
Image: Lee Kindness.

The London Eye in London, England sits 443 ft over the River Thames. It has attracted more than 27 million visitors since its formal opening on December 31, 1999.

Each compartment is set to be air-conditioned and hold up to 30 people. Three possible locations for the wheel to sit have been selected. This is not the first attempt by the Iraqi Tourism Board to bring tourists into the capital. The board are seeking investors for a resort island. The island would include a six star hotel and a 18 hole golf course.

The United Kingdom's Foreign Office advises against all travel to Baghdad. A spokesperson said "The security situation in Iraq remains highly dangerous with a continuing high threat of terrorism throughout the country."