x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Going, going, gone! Thrill-seekers try out Wild Wadi's new Jumeirah Sceirah

The newly revamped water slide thrilled visitors at its grand opening this morning With video.

The new Jumeirah Sceirah water slides at the bottom. Mike Young / The National
The new Jumeirah Sceirah water slides at the bottom. Mike Young / The National

DUBAI // Facing a new wave of competition from rival water parks in Dubai, Al Ain and, soon, Abu Dhabi, Wild Wadi yesterday unveiled its latest adrenalin rush.

Thrill seekers queued from early morning to enter the park to try out the revamped 32-metre-high, 120-metre-long Jumeirah Sceirah water slide.The slide drops riders through a trapdoor down 10 metres at a 70-degree angle. By the time they reach the end, they will have reached speeds of up to 80kph.

The Dubai schoolgirls Natalie Fay and India Edwards, among the first to try the dual slide, said the ride was “absolutely amazing”.

“It’s the best experience of my life,” said India, 14. “I’ve done loads of things in the water parks in the US, including the upside-down ones, and this was really thrilling in comparison.”

“During the countdown, you are just looking at the board before it opens, and once you drop down, it’s amazing,” said Natalie, 14. “But it’s over very quickly.”

Before the ride was redesigned, it was only a single slide– now it’s a double – and riders had to push themselves to the first drop.

According to Wild Wadi’s general manager, Chris Perry, the revamped slide is the best in the country.

Yesterday morning, he made three drops to be certain.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s unlike anything you have done before in comparison to the other slides. I’ve ridden hundreds of water slides around the world and I believe ours is the best. When we test-rode it at another water park, it was the first time I was nervous.”

And rightly so.

Park staff said it is not unusual for people to back out right up to the last minute.

The revamped ride is the latest addition to one of the more established water parks in the UAE. The new slide will help Wild Wadi, which opened in 1999, compete with parks that have opened in recent years.

Foremost among the newcomers is Aquaventure, which opened in 2008 as part of the Dh5.5 billion Atlantis resort on the Palm Jumeirah.

Both parks have been ranked in the world’s 20 most visited water parks in a survey by Aecom, a support services company, and the Themed Entertainment Association. The survey said Wild Wadi attracted 690,000 visitors in 2010 and Aquaventure topped that with more than a million.

And about two hours inland by car, Wadi Adventure in Al Ain is attracting water sport enthusiasts with its three white-water rafting and kayaking runs. Surfers are ditching the inconsistent swells on the coast for the park’s surf pool and man-made beach with waves of up to 3.3 metres, among the highest machine-generated waves in the world.

Abu Dhabi is to get its own water park, Yas Waterworld, in December. The 43-ride theme park is nearly complete and is designed to handle 7,000 visitors a day. Its main attraction, the Liwa Loop, is to be the Middle East’s first looping water slide, dropping riders through a trapdoor and into a tunnel, then into a loop.

The country’s other major water parks are Dreamland in Umm Al Quwain and Ice Land Water Park in Ras Al Khaimah.

 


According to Wild Wadi’s general manager, Chris Perry, the revamped slide is the best in the country.

Yesterday morning, he made three drops to be certain.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s unlike anything you have done before in comparison to the other slides. I’ve ridden hundreds of water slides around the world and I believe ours is the best. When we test-rode it at another water park, it was the first time I was nervous.”

And rightly so.

Park staff said it is not unusual for people to back out right up to the last minute.

The revamped ride is the latest addition to one of the more established water parks in the UAE. The new slide will help Wild Wadi, which opened in 1999, compete with parks that have opened in recent years.

Foremost among the newcomers is Aquaventure, which opened in 2008 as part of the Dh5.5 billion Atlantis resort on the Palm Jumeirah.

Both parks have been ranked in the world’s 20 most visited water parks in a survey by Aecom, a support services company, and the Themed Entertainment Association. The survey said Wild Wadi attracted 690,000 visitors in 2010 and Aquaventure topped that with more than a million.

And about two hours inland by car, Wadi Adventure in Al Ain is attracting water sport enthusiasts with its three white-water rafting and kayaking runs. Surfers are ditching the inconsistent swells on the coast for the park’s surf pool and man-made beach with waves of up to 3.3 metres, among the highest machine-generated waves in the world.

Abu Dhabi is to get its own water park, Yas Waterworld, in December. The 43-ride theme park is nearly complete and is designed to handle 7,000 visitors a day. Its main attraction, the Liwa Loop, is to be the Middle East’s first looping water slide, dropping riders through a trapdoor and into a tunnel, then into a loop.

The country’s other major water parks are Dreamland in Umm Al Quwain and Ice Land Water Park in Ras Al Khaimah.