Winter is almost here, which means cooler temperatures and more outdoor activities. I am pretty sure UAE has the most water parks per capita and this choice might be confusing and overwhelming. I decided to put some info together so that you could decide which water park works best for you.
Wild Wadi Water Park
It took me two attempts to finally get into this water park. That might be a fun killer, despite the park’s convenient location right on Jumeirah Beach Road. First time I went there, there was no electricity in the changing rooms, so unless you had your swimsuit already on, there was no chance to get in, so I got my money back and went home. My next attempt happened half a year later, just because I had a guest to entertain. Also the fact that Wild Wadi is the Entertainer and it’s not far from my place, made it our first choice.
Most of the slides in Wild Wadi are child-friendly and if you are looking for something more thrilling, you might be slightly disappointed. I personally am safety-conscious and all the rides were just right for me- enough thrill but not over the top.
Pros: the park offers stunning views of Burj al Arab and the Arabian Gulf. A perfect place for a laid-back chill on a hot day with its lazy river and comfortable sun-loungers. It’s also in the Entertainer, which means it’s a buy-one-get-one-free place. In case you ran out of all the Entertainer vouchers, they offer 30% off for the residents. They also used to have women’s only nights but I couldn’t find it on their website anymore. Hopefully they will reintroduce that.
Cons: because of the relatively lower price and its location, this Dubai waterpark is quite busy even during weekdays, so it’s always better to come right at 10 a.m. when they open, to beat the crowds. As I said before, it’s catered mostly for children, and it’s relatively small, so do not expect dangerously fascinating rides. You won’t find any, even if you walk around three times.
Best for: families with children. People who just want to chill while enjoying the view.
Rates: 275 per person, 190 per person (UAE resident rate, extendable to four guests per resident).
The place is situated in Yas Island on the way to Abu Dhabi, and does not offer any spectacular views of the coast or iconic towers. But, once you are there, you don’t really need any views, as you will be busy running from one slide to the next. Unless you are a lazy lazy person!. The slides are divided into four different thrill categories. Each category offers a variety of rides and entertainment. The park has a unique ride- the Middle East longest suspended roller-coaster. The ride is interactive, which means when the lights go on, you can splash people walking below or get splashed yourself!
Pros: this water park is quite large and offers a good variety of fun for all ages and thrill levels. The location also can come as a pro. The park’s remoteness from Dubai or Abu Dhabi makes it less crowded. Just the like the previous Dubai water park, Yas Waterworld is also in the Entertainer, which means you can have lots of fun for half the price.
Cons: the remote location can come as a con, since you need to plan your visit in advance. It’s better to combine it with some other attractions that Yas Island has to offer, such as Ferrari World or the beach.
Best for: young couples and groups of friends. Even though this water park does offer lots of activities for children, it would be better to stay in Yas if you are planning to have a trip to the Waterworld with them. One day trip might be too much for the little ones.
Rates: Yas Waterworld has different packages. The prices start from 250 dhs for the Bronze package and go to 485 dhs for the Gold one, with which you can get a fast track pass to all the rides as well as a souvenir towel.
Situated in the iconic Atlantis the Palm resort, this is the place where everybody wants to be. It is built on the artificial piece of land and offers spectacular views of the Palm and the Gulf. This water park has a good variety of rides and an access to the Palm beach. However, the rides are always crowded and the beach waters are still with some goo at the bottom. The access to this Dubai water park is free for the Atlantis guests. That was the main reason why I ended up going there.
One of the unique rides Aquaventure offers is a Shark Attack tube. There you float through the aquarium full of little sharks and other fish. Another interesting feature of the park is that most of the rides end up in the very long lazy river. You just continue your lazy float exploring new turns of the river. There are also private cabanas in the waterpark, but they are not really private, just separated from the rest with a rope.
Pros: an iconic place. Just for a little upgrade fee you can combine your water park access ticket with The Lost Chambers aquarium visit. Has access to the beach and the beach is serene and quiet, so you can relax there if you are tired from all the noise of the rides. The location is rather convenient, since it’s right in the city of Dubai. One the best pros of this water park is that they offer free entry of your birthday, which is quite unusual for Dubai, where nothing is really free. All you have to do is register your birthday at http://www.aquaventurebirthday.com/ and then come on your birthday with the printed voucher.
Cons: the lazy river can be seen as a con, since it might get really jammed in there. Also it prevents you from being as active as you would like to, so no running up and down the stairs all the time. Not many places with sun lounges and the lounges are not very comfortable. People staring from the monorail building. Yes, the building overlooks the waterpark and many people just hang there and take photos. This Dubai waterpark is not in the Entertainer so prepare to part with a large sum of money.
Best for: groups of people celebrating.
Rates: 260dhs for visitors, free for in-house guests, 195- UAE resident rate.
I hope this review has been helpful and remember that water parks in UAE work from 10 a.m. till sunset (5-7 p.m., depending on the season), which makes your trip in winter slightly shorter (more bearable though). Happy splashing!