x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

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The latest addition to the waterpark at Atlantis, The Palm boasts the longest zipline in the Middle East and four new slides.

Visitors enjoy Aquaventure waterpark’s Aquaponda at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai. It includes 4 new rides for thrill seekers and a zipline experience. Razan Alzayani / The National
Visitors enjoy Aquaventure waterpark’s Aquaponda at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai. It includes 4 new rides for thrill seekers and a zipline experience. Razan Alzayani / The National

DUBAI // Water park bosses expect to be flooded with visitors this weekend thanks to a series of new slides and attractions.

Atlantis Aquaventure opened the Tower of Poseidon extension this week and executives are predicting visitor numbers to increase by almost 10 per cent during its first weekend of operation.

The extension, which had its soft opening to the public on Sunday, features four new slides and the longest zipline in the Middle East.

It was due to open early last month in time for Eid Al Fitr, but the launch was held back to ensure the rides were properly tested, said Scott Deisley, vice president of Aquaventure.

“We really wanted to make sure everything was perfect and we felt it was not as we would like it to be,” he said.

“We pushed it back a little just to make sure it was perfect, from a safety and an aesthetic standpoint.”

Mr Deisley said he expected an increase in the number of visitors this weekend. But because the extension has almost doubled the park’s capacity, visitors should face shorter queues for the slides.

“Part of the reason why we put the rides in is so we can shorten queues,” Mr Deisley said. “There will be 10 per cent more people but queues will be shorter because people will be spread out across the park.”

To check the rides for any problems, the park management had Atlantis resort staff test them.

Over 17 days, the new attractions were used by the equivalent of 15,000 riders before they were deemed ready for the public.

Mr Deisley, who was among those who tried the slides, said the hardest part was repeatedly walking up the stairs of the park’s 40-metre pyramid.

“I don’t think anyone was sick of it but I think by the end everyone had really strong legs,” he said.

“We only opened to the public after we felt that we had exhausted all possible testing scenarios.”

He said the only challenging experience was trying the zipline, named the Atlantean Flyers.

“If you jump off a platform, even if you’re strapped in, it’s a little nerve-wracking,” he said. “One of my operations managers chickened out and walked down.”

Mr Deisley said he would continue to try the rides from a guest’s perspective at least once a month, describing it as a perk of the job.

“I keep some swimmies in the office all the time so I can just sneak out there whenever I like,” he said.

mcroucher@thenational.ae