Which Is The Best Waterpark in Dubai?
Which Waterparks Are Reachable From Dubai?
Dubai has great weather most of the year round and so is perfect for waterparks and having lived there, I have been able to try out the 4 waterparks that are available and think that each has it's own place depending on what you are looking for. The 4 water parks are Wild Wadi at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Aquaventure at Atlantis on The Palm and two that are not in Dubai but in nearby Emirates - Dreamland Aquapark in the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain and Iceland Waterpark in the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah.
Update January 2013 - A New Waterpark is set to open at the end of the month in Abu Dhabi - Yas Waterworld. Yas Island is home to the Formula 1 circuit and Ferrari World and has many hotels there so is starting to be a good holiday destination.
As water theme parks go, these are 4 of the best and even if you don't want to go on the rides yourself but your friends or family d,o then there is usually something else to keep you occupied.
Wild Wadi View
Wild Wadi forms part of the Jumeirah beach hotel which is right next door to the Burj al Arab. Staying at any of the Jumeirah Group's hotels will get you free access to Wild Wadi or you can get a day pass for entry.
Wild Wadi is the original waterpark of Dubai and has gone through some upgrading over the years. It is a nice family-friendly waterpark with it's own set of characters that promote the park. The one big bonus for me about Wild Wadi is that it has some great surfboard rides that you don't get at any of the other parks. They are basically wave rides where you can try to ride surf boards. Anyone can try it without any previous surfing experience as there are lifeguards on hand to show you how.
There are also the usual traditional rides including a huge lazy river that you can stay on all day as it goes up and down through the waterpark in one long circuit. There is also a wave pool and a childrens area. The trademark ride is the 'Jumeirah Scarer' another long deep drop ride to scare the pants off you (literally!). In the last year a new ride has been created which looks even crazier and I can't comment on it as there is no way you would get me on it!
Me at Wild Wadi!
Aquaventure at Atlantis on the Palm
If you stay at Atlantis hotel on The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai then you can get into Aquaventure for free. Otherwise you can just go as a day visitor. You can get a taxi there or you can use the Palm Monorail to get from one end of the Palm to the other. If you have a car then you need to park in a car park that is just down the road but you can get a shuttle bus to the waterpark itself.
The waterpark is great and is definitely worth going to if you love waterparks. The highlights are the 'Leap of Faith' which is 27.5m tall and 61m long and you basically get catapulted through a shark tunnel at great speed! There are a few other rides that also go through the shark tanks plus a huge lazy river type ride, the rapids and there is also a beach where you can just go and relax. If you want to meet the dolphins then you can pay extra for a dolphin interaction.
Aquaventure at Atlantis is perfect if you want adrenaline rides and is also good for kids but probably more oriented to bigger kids in my opinion. It is also great if you just want to chill on the beach whilst the rest of your party goes off to try out the rides!
Shark Tank Ride at Aquaventure
Dreamland Aquapark is actually in the Emirate of Umm al Quwain which is about 40-60 minutes out of Dubai (on the Emirates Road past Sharjah) depending on where you are staying. However, it is a much cheaper option than Aquaventure or Wild Wadi and in my opinion is much better if you have really small kids (maybe all under about 7 or 8) or if your kids are not great swimmers. It also has a mini zoo with monkeys, donkeys and the like which is rather cute.
The rides are not as adrenalin pumped as the other parks but you still have some great tube slides and wavy slides for slightly more sedate rides, although some of them are still pretty high and fast! There is also a dead sea pool where you can float to your heats content and a big wave pool.
It is a little bit dated compared to Wild Wadi or Atlantis but all in all great value if you have transport to get there.
New Waterpark Opened in Ras al Khaimah
Update: A new waterpark called 'Iceland Water Park' has opened in another Emirate, Ras al Khaimah, which is about an hour to an hour and a half down the road from Dubai (depending on where you are staying). It is a massive park (supposedly the biggest in the Middle East) and does not have huge visitor numbers so there are pretty much no queues for the rides.
They have a good selection of rides, some being adrenaline inducing and rather rough, others are or different grades of difficulty. There are 3 long straight and fast slides as you would expect and also some stomach churning rides throwing you this way and that. The rides are a bit different to the ones at the other waterparks and there are plenty to keep you busy for the entire day. There is also a large area for the kids to play and a wave pool.
The highlight for me was something that you don't see in other parks - a seawater coral snorkeling area where they have real fish and real/fake coral and animals under the water where you just swim along and see what there is under there. Great for kids and adults alike to get an effect of snorkeling in the coral reefs.
Prices are good at 150 dirhams for adults and 100 dirhams for children.
January 2013: Yas Waterworld
So a new waterpark has opened in Abu Dhabi in January 2013, called Yas Waterworld. It is on Yas island close to the Formula 1 circuit and Ferrari World. Yas Waterworld is on the Dubai side of Abu Dhabi so can be reached from Dubai in about an hour and a half.
The massive waterpark has 43 rides, 4 of which are unique to itself and have never been seen before, including the Middle East's first looping waterslide.
Ticket prices are pretty reasonable at 230 dirhams for an adult (approx $63) with options for an upgraded ticket giving quick access to the rides. There is also an option to buy a pass that also gives access to Ferrari World for only an extra 100 dirhams. Best value of all is an annual pass for 650 dirhams (995 including Ferrari World).
Yas Waterworld Promotional Video
Which Is The Best Waterpark In Dubai?
If you have small kids and you are not too bothered about high octane rides yourself, and if you have transport and are on a budget then head to Dreamland.
If you can't get out of Dubai then it will have to be Aquaventure or Wild Wadi. If you want a beach go to Aquaventure, or if you want to do the dolphin interactions.
If you are purely going for the rides and you like the idea of the surf rides then go to Wild Wadi as these in my view are the best rides.
Iceland lacks a little of the glamour of Wild Wadi or Aquaventure but I think it has a greater variety of rides and if you have done the others and you have transport then it is definitely worth a trip to Ras al Khaimah.
The poll below was set up before Iceland opened and so if I change it now and add Iceland, all the current votes will be lost. Therefore I will leave it as it is and if you think Iceland is best please leave a comment below!