Business | Construction

Yas Waterworld in final stage of development

New leisure attraction centred around pearl diving in tribute to Emirati culture

  • By Saifur Rahman, Business Editor
  • Published: 20:00 September 1, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Courtesy: Yas Waterworld
  • Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi is set to become the fifth water theme park in the UAE after Wild Wadi, Aquaventure (Atlantis), Dreamland Aquapark in Umm Al Quwain and Iceland Water Park in Ras Al Khaimah.

Abu Dhabi: Yas Waterworld, a new water theme park on Yas Island is getting ready for its official opening later this year. Construction work on the project that will offer 43 water rides is 91 per cent complete.

Yas Island’s newest attraction is currently in the final stage of development next to the Ferrari World theme park, Yas Marina Circuit and the Yas Plaza which houses a number of hotels. It is a 10-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport, 30 minutes from the city of Abu Dhabi, and 50 minutes from Dubai.

“Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi will be home to 43 rides, slides, and attractions, including four one-of-a-kind rides that have never been seen in any other waterpark in the world,” Mike Oswald, park manager of Yas Waterworld, told Gulf News.

Oswald said some 1.2 million kilograms of steel had gone into building the distinctive pearl crag at the development. The theme park will see a water turnover rate of 5.6 million litres per hour once it opens. Contractors have carried out 50,000 square metres of rockwork across the park.

Developer Aldar Properties had earlier awarded the main construction contract for the project, which is designed by Atkins, to Al Jaber L.E.G.T. Engineering and Contracting (Alec) for Dh604 million. The project will be managed by Farah Leisure Parks Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aldar, which will also operate the park.

“Emirati culture plays an important part in Yas Waterworld’s design. The park’s theme is centred around pearl diving, a tradition deeply rooted in the local culture and history,” he said. “Built on 15 hectares [0.15 square kilometres] space, Yas Waterworld is likely to rival the best water parks in the world.”

Mohammad Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Farah Leisure, said, “When completed, Yas Waterworld and other attractions will transform Yas Island as [an] international leisure destination. Yas Waterworld is another piece of the grand puzzle of Yas Island, pieces like Ferrari World Abu Dhabi are now complete and future pieces like Yas Waterworld and Yas Mall are coming,” he added.

When opened, this will be the fifth waterpark in the UAE after Wild Wadi, Aquaventure (Atlantis), Dreamland Aquapark in Umm Al Quwain and Iceland Water Park in Ras Al Khaimah.

Oswald, an American water theme park veteran from California, is upbeat that the new attraction will complement the existing water parks in the UAE with both Aquaventure and Wild Wadi having made it into the list of top 20 water parks globally based on attendance.

“Based on the growing resident population, in-bound tourism and the lack of direct competitors in Abu Dhabi, we are confident we will see quick growth in our attendance,” he says. “In the first year of operations we expect to cross the half-a-million mark.”

One of the Yas Waterworld’s unique selling points lies in its location — the $40-billion (Dh146.88 billion) Yas Island development — that houses the Formula 1 Yas Marina Circuit, Ferrari World theme park among many other developments.

“Yas Island is a destination unlike any other, home to some of the UAE’s most exciting attractions, racing events, concerts, luxury hotels and much more; Yas Island is the place to be,” Oswald says.

Besides, there are several iconic rides and attractions in the waterpark to provide visitors a truly diverse guest experience.

“We have installed the first interactive suspended roller coaster in a waterpark utilising water effects as well as special effects triggered by on-board laser guns, we have the world’s first 6-person hydromagnetic tornado and mammoth watercoaster, the first AquaLoop in the region, an incredible maze of 6 slides which contain light, sound, and video effects and much, much more,” Oswald says.

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