x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Waterslide funeral

How does a city mourn a superlative? At Wild Wadi Water Park, that question has consumed – and perplexed – its creators in recent days.

When a city loses a superlative how does it mourn? At Wild Wadi Water Park, that question has consumed - and perplexed - its creators in recent days.

The Jumeirah Sceirah, once the highest water slide outside of North America, is no more. The passing of a ride capable of hurtling riders at 80kmh came and went with little fanfare. And that's the problem. As The National reports in its pages today, the hushed tone of the ride's demise has spurred conspiracy theories, and a minor public relations fiasco.

Chris Perry, the park's general manager, says his staff was generally saddened to see the ride go, and honoured it with a Facebook funeral of sorts. Dressed in all black and holding roses, they surrounded the ride, hung their heads low - and snapped pictures that were later uploaded.

But the "funeral" backfired, spinning online speculation that the ride was destroyed because someone had actually died on it.

The truth, says Mr Perry, is far less dramatic. Simply put, Jumeirah Sceirah has been passed by. "This slide has done us very well over the years, but the way technology has developed, there are just so many other new things out there."

He says something bigger and better is in the works. For a city of superlatives, we can only guess at how hair-raising the next incarnation will be.