Winners enjoy the thrill of rides at Yas Waterworld
Kimberly Lobo meets the 'test pilots' for the UAE's latest theme park...
Shrieks of excitement could be heard ringing out from Yas Waterworld, Abu Dhabi’s new water park, as lucky competition winners got to be the first to try out the rides.
The attraction on Yas Island, which pays tribute to the UAE’s pearl-diving heritage, will offer 43 rides, slides and attractions over 15 hectares. This week, 25 winners of the ‘Challenge Accepted Competition’ got to take a friend along to the park to be ‘test pilots’ ahead of its opening. The contest was run on the park’s facebook page and asked people to upload a photo of themselves and say what rides they most wanted to try out and why.
One of the winners, Dutch expat Andrew Rotteveel, said: “It was amazing! I tried all the main rides, it was very good - a lot better than other water parks, it’s bigger. They showed us around the park, we tried the Sebag ride, where we had to race down against each other. It was a lot of fun and absolutely amazing.”
Another ‘test pilot’, Craig Osmond, a 25-year-old Brit, added: “Some of the rides have special effects, like you could choose your theme on each ride. It was simply great, different than other water parks.”
He added: “Also, it was very interactive, we discussed some rides with our fellow winners. I tried more than 10 rides, and the rollercoaster ride too.”
Among the rides is The Bandit Bomber - a 550m-long water rollercoaster - that is the first in the world to incorporate on-board water and laser effects. It is one of five rides that the attraction’s bosses say have never been seen before in a water park.
Other rides include Dawwama, a hydromagnetic-powered
six-person tornado waterslide. It has the world’s longest run-in at 238m. And for those who want a bit more of a challenge, Pearlmasters offers a treasure-hunt style interactive adventure game that encourages riders to search for items, interact with sea creatures, fire water cannons and solve puzzles.
General manager Mike Oswald said: “Visitors will be in for an experience that brings together thrilling rides, interactive attractions and a number of world-firsts in terms of water park entertainment - it will take even the most enthusiastic water park fan by surprise!”
Yas Waterworld opens on January 24.