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Iraq plans 'Baghdad Eye' to draw in tourists

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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 650ft above the Tigris River. This is done in an effort to develope tourism to Baghdad and Iraq to change country's image. After all the countryis sitting on a huge multimillion dollar cash surplus.

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 London, England sits 443ft over the River Thames. It has attracted more than 27 million visitors since it's 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."

Reported by WIKINEWS
* "'Baghdad Eye' To Draw Tourists". Sky News, August 28, 2008
* "Iraq plans giant Ferris wheel, hopes to lure tourists to Baghdad". Daily News (New York), August 27, 2008

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