x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Safety tests for new slides at Dubai's Atlantis Aquaventure waterpark

Testing began on Sunday on the Aquaconda – a six person raft slide. The new rides are expected to open in mid-September.

The Aquaventure waterpark at Atlantis, The Palm now has four new slides, which are expected to open in late September. Christopher Pike / The National
The Aquaventure waterpark at Atlantis, The Palm now has four new slides, which are expected to open in late September. Christopher Pike / The National

DUBAI // Safety testing has started at the extension to the Atlantis Aquaventure waterpark.

The extended waterpark at the hotel includes four new slides, which were installed last month, and the longest zipline in the Middle East. Testing began on Sunday on the Aquaconda – a six person raft slide. The new rides are expected to open in mid-September.

"We're in phase one of the conditioning and testing of the new rides," said Scott Deisley, vice president of Aquaventure Operations.

"We gathered our most experienced lifeguards to be on the opening team, learning how to operate and getting safety training on the new rides. "We're really excited to say Aquaconda has operated exactly the way we anticipated.

"By the time the new rides open to the public, over 15,000 riders will have tested the new experiences at Aquaventure."

Work on the park extension, which is based around a 40-metre tall imitation pyramid, began in February. The slides were made in sections in Bahrain, the Philippines, Canada and the United States, then shipped to Dubai for assembly.

Statistics from the global attractions attendance report, produced by the Themed Entertainment Association, show that Aquaventure at Atlantis, The Palm, is ranked as the seventh most popular waterpark in the world. There were 1.3 million visitors last year, up from 1.2 million in 2011.

Competition for visitors at the UAE's waterparks has increased in recent years with the opening of Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi in January.

Despite Aquaventure's opening date set to be in late summer, officials believe it will still attract a large number of visitors.

"Everyone thinks it's too hot outside but we're very busy in the summer," said Mr Deisley, last month. "It actually outpaces most months of the year."

mcroucher@thenational.ae