Relaxing on one of Abu Dhabi’s beaches is one thing – a day of aquatic action in the Emirati capital's soon-to-open theme park, Yas Waterworld, is another. Set right beside Ferrari World and the Yas Marina racing circuit, its mission is clear: be the most spectacular waterpark in the region.
Set to open on January 24th, Yas Waterworld is themed on a local legend about a girl in search of a giant pearl which would grant her village prosperity. Thus, the park will be an enchanted old Arabic village with surprises and adventures lurking behind every mock-rock corner. It's Abu Dhabi’s way of incorporating some of its traditions within the latest entertainment extravaganza, pointing out pearling as the country's primary source of income before the oil age, and reminiscing about the good old days.
43 rides, slides and attractions are there for thrill-seekers as well as the casual floater. The world's largest surf-able sheet wave awaits the bold boarder at a height of three metres. There's the Middle East's first looping slide and a mega slide with a length of 300 metres taking six-person rafts. Solitary sliders may slither down some snake-shaped rides ending in serpent heads, while the brave try out a suspended rollercoaster with some on-board watery surprises and laser effects.
Young visitors will find their own play areas and might enjoy spraying water onto rollercoasters passing by, or want to go and try some pearl diving of their own. An Arabian souq with traditional crafts, souvenirs and restaurants offers, among other treats, Arabic coffee, Turkish ice cream and camel milk chocolate to add to the themed experience.
Those wanting to combine the rush with some relaxation can book one of 32 private cabanas, seven of which are reserved for birthday celebrations. Each one is equipped with loungers, sunshades, cooling fans and towels, and is provided food and beverage service.