UAE team to practice in park for surf contests
Laguna Waterpark at La Mer: Beat the heat as new attraction opens in Dubai
Water slides, riding the waves and shooting down tubes to beat the heat are all part of a waterpark in Dubai that opened on Saturday.
The Laguna Waterpark, in the beachfront district of La Mer, also launched a surfing section called WaveOz 180.
The FloRider simulator can be used by several surfers at once and features boogie and surfboards.
The UAE National Flow Team, which disbanded four years ago, will reunite as ambassadors of the WaveOz 180, performing stunts and practising for world FloRider competitions.
South African national Tegan Storm Friedenthal was at the gates when the park opened this weekend.
“I’ve been living in the UAE for 13 years and I tried all the flow riders here, but this one is the best," said Storm, 17, who won the European Flow Boarding Championship in Spain last year.
"It’s nearly three times bigger than the rest. It has more of a curve and is much more advanced with seven pumps to keep you moving across and doing your tricks."
The Heriot Watt University student said she was determined to sharpen her skills at Laguna and one day hoped to own a FloRider.
After Ramadan, the waterpark will open after hours for professional surfers.
The WaveOz section is the biggest in the region, said Andrew Keeling, general manager of leisure and entertainment assets at Meraas.
Mr Keeling said it was also the safest because it was padded and had “an air cushion floating on a body of water. Ours is also the biggest with the most powerful engines."
Emirati Hamad Al Mudarab, was accompanied by his nephew Hadam and niece Layan.
“We have visited all other parks so we wanted to try the newest one," Mr Al Mudarab said. "When I told my brother’s kids about the Laguna Park, they woke up early, unlike most weekends, because they were excited to come here.”
Nine-year-old Mohammed said the fun pictures advertising the park drew his family.
Laguna Park opens with a launch offer of Dh99 for residents and Dh159 for non-residents, with unlimited re-entry to allow people to visit restaurants and shops in La Mer.
The waterpark is divided into four distinct zones where visitors can splash, slide, surf or relax.
Open from 10am until 8pm, additional attractions include a water slide tower, a family zone, lazy river, pool lounge and cabanas.