x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Enduring a range of thrills and frights at Wild Wadi water park

The refurbished water park Wild Wadi offers a new ride that will scare and thrill, as well as offer a magnificent view of the city.

If you haven't yet been to Wild Wadi this season, with its brand new slides and rides, then go, and go before the weather cools down. Granted, they have hiked up their prices to an extortionate Dh220 per person, but there is one ride there that is worth every single fil - provided you have a go on it a dozen times, like my friends and I did this past weekend: Tantrum Alley.

According to the description on the official website: "Tantrum Alley incorporates two large sections of downhill waterslides and three exciting tornadoes. Guests seated on a four-person tube will travel downhill to enter the first tornado where they slide back and forth several times, then circle around and around in the eye of the storm before exiting and hitting the second and third tornadoes, after which they splash out into the pool."

What they don't tell you is that you will be tossed practically upside down and side to side so many times that you will be screaming non-stop like a girl (especially if you are a girl). Also, that the first tornado has a cutaway part probably built in to give you a view of the city - because that's what everyone wants when they're hurtling down in a rubber tube at a deadly angle and an even deadlier speed, screaming their guts out and holding on for dear life, right? However, all your mind registers - as you come in at about 100 kilometres per hour - is the lack of a wall or any other containment method at the end of a very steep slide down and, just when you think that there is nothing that can stop you from ending up on Jumeirah Beach Road in several pieces, the tube takes a sharp turn and what you get is a magnificent view of the city as your whole life flashes before your eyes. That, and whiplash.

I am nursing my neck the day after this charming little escapade, feeling as though it's been ravaged by a toothless mountain lion.

Tantrum Alley had us bamboozled even before the ride began. Getting into the four-person tube was a feat in itself. You don't quite realise until you are there that four sets of adult legs (in our case, just three, thankfully!) all converging in the same tiny little space makes for a lot of confusion. Which legs go where? And why are there so many of them all of a sudden? Being the tiniest, I insisted that my legs be at the bottom, pinned down by the sturdier legs of the boys (I couldn't shake off the irrationally foreboding thought of flying off the tube at some point).

Let's not even talk about the all-new Jumeirah Sceirah. To make extra sure that you are forever scarred by your experience, they play it up with immense theatrics involving containment chambers with hydraulic hinges and trapdoors.

The scariest bit of Wild Wadi, though, was neither Tantrum Alley nor Jumeirah Sceirah. It was the frightful number of people who assume that underwear is perfectly acceptable to be worn as swimwear. And it alarmed me to notice that an unhealthily high proportion of these poorly deluded souls were desi. If one can fork out more than Dh200 for a ticket, why can one not shell out another Dh20 to buy a pair of swimming trunks?

So please, fellow desis, be cool. Go to Wild Wadi and have a good time. But please wear the right clothes. Men, buy swimming trunks, and women, buy Burqinis. It preserves your modesty and everyone's sanity.


The writer is an honest-to-goodness desi girl living in Dubai