x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

The sublime to the extreme: Yas Waterworld rides rated

There is precious little time to admire the wonders of hydromagnetic technology when you are sitting on a six-person raft perched on the edge of the world's biggest and baddest tornado ride.

ABU DHABI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Jan 16 : Staff members of the Yas Waterworld giving demo at the Ô Bandit Bomber roller coaster ´ for media at the Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi. ( Pawan Singh / The National ) For News. Story by Emily Cleland
ABU DHABI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Jan 16 : Staff members of the Yas Waterworld giving demo at the Ô Bandit Bomber roller coaster ´ for media at the Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi. ( Pawan Singh / The National ) For News. Story by Emily Cleland

There is precious little time to admire the wonders of hydromagnetic technology when you are sitting on a six-person raft perched on the edge of the world's biggest and baddest tornado ride.

Nor is there much opportunity to enjoy the stunning view that extends across the Yas Waterworld, beyond the F1 track and across the Arabian Gulf to downtown Abu Dhabi.

Seconds later the floor drops away to a maelstrom of twists and turns that has the teenage passengers on the raft screaming within seconds.

The ride known as Dawwama - Arabic for whirlpool - looks set to be one of the must-try rides at the city's newest attraction. After catapulting rafters through a series of hairpin turns, it arrives in the "tornado", a giant funnel that rockets the raft from side to side before spitting it out into the arrival pool.

On its website, the waterpark has helpfully labelled Dawwama under the "adrenalin rush" category, or "thrill level extreme", along with the Liwa Loop and the Jebel Drop, five seconds of pure fear to rival Wild Wadi's Jumeirah Sceirah in the thrill stakes - although untested by this rider.

For those who find the Lazy River, well, a bit lazy, there is the Al Raha River ("thrill level medium") which pushes riders along a flooded wadi thanks to wave technology.

Somewhere between the two are the six "serpent" rides, all of which emerge through the mouth of a giant fanged snake. Serpent's Spin drops you through a series of sharp turns before arriving in a cavern lit by LED lights, where the rider is serenaded by New Age music.

But not for long. Suddenly the rider is spun round and dropped backwards down the remainder of the slide, into a pleasantly heated pool.

Waterworld caters for all levels of thrillseekers, down to a children's' play area and the largest wave pool in the Middle East.

For those who hope to keep their feet out of the water, the Bandit Bomber rollercoaster ("thrill level high") runs above the park, twisting, rising and falling with the illusion that the riders are at any moment about to be dashed on the rocks.

Even here, there is every possibility of a good soaking, with spectators able to shoot water cannons at the riders - who can extract revenge with on-board guns of their own.

Admission to the park is Dh225. Junior tickets, for children under 1.1 metres, is Dh185. Premium tickets, which take guests to the head of the queue, cost Dh495 and Dh395 respectively. The park also offers a range of annual passes from Dh650 to Dh1,250.

For details visit www.yaswaterworld.com