Escaping the stifling desert heat can be a tricky business in Dubai. If the thought of any outdoor activity away from the comfort of the air-con already gets you in a sweat, then a visit to one of Dubai’s world famous water parks is just the answer. Not only are they the ultimate way to cool off, they also guarantee a day of adrenaline-filled fun for all. So to guide you through what’s on offer, here’s the lowdown on the top 3 water parks in and around Dubai.
LOCATION & PARK GROUNDS
Wild Wadi: 4/5 Aquaventure: 5/5 Yas Waterworld: 3.5/5
Spread over 42 acres and situated next to the Atlantis hotel, Aquaventure’s sheer size means it’s easy to find a quiet spot to relax amongst its many pools, shaded gardens, or 700-meter beach. Its location on the famous man-made Palm Island affords the park with spectacular views of the Dubai skyline whilst the short 20-min drive from central Dubai makes it easily accessible.
*Choose the Klook transfer ticket and be privately chauffeured from your hotel for added ease.
The Wild Wadi on the other hand is far more compact in size, totaling only 12 acres that makes it feel a lot busier. Located in the shadow of the Burj Al Arab it has excellent views of the iconic hotel, stretching shoreline, and offers its own man-made beach. Like Aquaventure, it’s only a short 20 min drive from Dubai center.
*Transfer ticket also available.
Situated on Yas Island, Yas Waterworld technically isn’t in Dubai- in fact its much closer to Abu Dhabi. However, as a transfer option direct from your Dubai hotel is available and Yas being a world top 10 water park, we thought you should know about it. Its huge 37-acre size also includes a private beach and dolphin zone.
* Transfer drive approx. 50 mins from Dubai.
Insider Tip: On the day aim to arrive as early as possible as queues build up pretty quickly. As a general guideline avoid the weekends and avoid the crowds!
Wild Wadi: 5/5 Aquaventure: 4.5/5 Yas Waterworld: 4.5/5
Opened in 1999, the Wild Wadi is Dubai’s original mega water park. It lays claim to the Jumeirah Sceirah, which at 32 meters high is the Middle East’s highest and fastest water slide. Experience the nail-biting wait before the floor suddenly disappears beneath your feet to send you free falling 120 meters at up to 50mph! Enjoy a panoramic vista of Dubai from the top of the Burj Surj before screaming down two hair-raisingly steep waterslides and spiraling into a bowl below. The Wild Wadi’s unique upward-moving water network that connects 16 rides to each other gives you one adrenaline rush after the other so no need to queue or even leave the water!
Aquaventure’s most popular ride, Leap of Faith, involves a high and sharp drop through a transparent tube surrounded by sharks and stingrays, it’s a ride to really get your blood pumping! Rides such as Aquaconda, the world’s biggest water slide will propel you and your friends on a truly wild ride whilst the turbulent white water rapids guarantee thrills aplenty.
Yas Waterworld and winner of TripAdvisor’s 2015 Traveler’s Choice Award has split its rides into four zones according to their intensity so there really is something for everyone. From 20-meter high tornado slides to free fall drops and interactive water rollercoasters. The Dawamma is a particular highlight being the world’s largest six-person waterslide whilst Liwa Loop boasts the first looping waterslide of its kind in the Middle East!
All three of the parks offer fantastic lazy rivers to lie back and relax as you float through the meandering waterways.
Wild Wadi: 5/5 Aquaventure: 4/5 Yas Waterworld: 4.5/5
Its safe to say that all three parks will provide kids with the ultimate playground. Each has extensive children-only areas complete with splash pools, climbing fortresses, water guns and dumping buckets. Aquaventure’s cool climbing frames and Yas Waterworld’s children’s treasure hunt will certainly keep them laughing and entertained. However, the sheer size of the Wild Wadi’s Juha’s Lagoon with over 100 activities for kids is definitely a winner.
Wild Wadi: 4/5 Aquaventure: 5/5 Yas Waterworld: 5/5
For an unforgettable experience, Aquaventure offers some amazing extras such as swimming with dolphins and a shark safari (for an extra price). For any aspiring surfers, the Wild Wadi is the place to be with a one-of-kind wipeout pool producing a realistic wave effect ideal for body-boarding. Yas Waterworld also offers a similar facility along with surf lessons so you too can learn to ride the waves like a pro.
DINING AND SHOPPING
Wild Wadi: 4/5 Aquaventure: 5/5 Yas Waterworld: 4/5
Extensive shopping and dining options are available in each of the parks, offering everything from snacks, fast food to more exclusive and traditional menus. Restaurants at Aquaventure however tend to be more expensive.
Please note that the Wild Wadi and Yas Waterworld do not serve alcohol so if you’re wanting to enjoy a cocktail in the sun, head to Aquaventure.
Insider Tip: If you plan to visit in a group of four and/or more why not book a cabana! Here guests can indulge in a little luxury as they’re served cold towels, food and drink whilst lounging in peace away from the crowds.
Wild Wadi: 4/5 Aquaventure: 4/5 Yas Waterworld: 4.5/5
At full price, tickets occupy a similar price range with Yas Waterworld being just lightly cheaper than the other two. Book with Klook and receive further discounts on each of these water parks plus transit options and skip the line passes! However, be mindful of the extra travel cost to Yas Waterworld due its distance from Dubai.
Time now for the verdict, drum roll please…
AND THE WINNER IS…
After the count-up, Aquaventure inches ahead of the others at 27.5, whilst the Wild Wadi and Yas Waterworld tie close behind at 26. Remember that these are some of the best water parks in the world let alone the UAE so it mostly comes down to personal preference. All that’s left to do is pay them a visit and decide for yourself!