Dubai's Aquaventure and Wild Wadi have both been ranked among the world's top water parks.
Both made it into a list of the top 20 worldwide, compiled by AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association.
Aquaventure, which is part of the Atlantis resort on the Palm Jumeirah, came in at ninth position, with just over 1 million visitors last year, beating out many large waterparks in the US.
Wild Wadi, which is part of Jumeirah Group, was in 17th place with 690,000 visitors.
Water parks are "a natural leisure solution for a region with baking hot weather", said David Camp, the director of AECOM's economics practice in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
"Dubai benefits from being a year-round business operation. The two Dubai parks are both [connected to] hotels, so a large proportion of their visitors are actually hotel guests."
But it has nonetheless been a challenging period. "As you know, 2009 was a difficult year for the whole world and it was for us as well," said Scott Deisley, the vice president of Aquaventure at Atlantis, The Palm.
This year, business is looking better for Aquaventure, with Dubai enjoying an increase in tourism from markets such as China and India, he said, and with visitor numbers at the park up by about 17 per cent this year so far compared with the same period last year.
In Abu Dhabi, a water park with 40 rides and attractions is scheduled to open on Yas Island in the first quarter of 2013.
The findings were part of an annual report on attendance at theme parks globally.
The industry, which suffered during the downturn, is recovering in terms of visitor numbers in the US and Europe, the report reveals.
Asia, in particular China, is continuing to show the most growth and potential for the industry, it stated.
Several theme parks that were planned as part of the sprawling Dubailand development, including Universal Studios and Six Flags, have been put on hold or scrapped.
There were also plans for what was scheduled to become the world's largest water park, Aqua Dunya, to be built in Dubailand, and which was to have included the world's largest cruise ship.
"The Middle East has lost its industry boom status but there are some bright spots," the report stated, adding that the Ferrari World theme park was one example.
"But aside from that, theme park development in the Middle East is largely dormant," Mr Camp said.
Ferrari World has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors since it opened last November, according to its management.
The attraction, estimated to be worth Dh4 billion (US$1.08bn), is the world's largest indoor theme park and boasts the fastest roller coaster in the world.
"Ferrari World bears watching as a new kind of corporate branding venture," according to the report.
"This ambitious undertaking was one of the few Mideast themed entertainment projects to actually reach opening day."