Located on Yas Island just outside Abu Dhabi’s downtown area is Yas Waterworld, the UAE’s first Mega Waterpark. It’s centered around pearl diving and showcase’s the Emirati’s traditional pearl diving culture.
It offers 43 slides, attractions, and rides, including 5 unique rides never before seen in a waterpark, and the first interactive treasure hunt in a waterpark. The park is also home the the largest children’s play area in any waterpark in the Middle East. It was named 2nd. best waterpark in the world by the LA Time’s Global Ranking of the World’s Top Waterparks.
Last summer we combined a day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi to spend a fun filled day at Abu Dhabi’s Ferarri World and Yas Waterworld. We spent the morning in Ferrari World then cooled off at Yas Waterworld until the park closed in the early evening. The kids had a blast! From riding the world’s fastest roller coaster to sliding down one of the world’s looping waterslides the day was packed with thrills and adventure.
The park opens daily from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and is located on the island’s main road not far from Yas Mall. Prices start at 240 AED for adults and 190 AED for children under 1.1 meters tall for Bronze tickets which gives unlimited all day park access and includes a 5 AED merchandise voucher for the shops. Silver and Gold tickets are priced higher; silver tickets include 3 fast passes and 10 AED voucher; gold tickets include unlimited fast passes, 15 AED voucher, and a souvenir towel.
Or you can purchase a 2 Park pass starting at 50 AED more per ticket. The 2 park pass can only be purchased at the ticket booth and will allow you to one day access to each park within 14 days, at least in the off season and provided you purchase the tickets at Yas Waterworld’s ticket counter. During peak season or if you purchase your tickets online (from the Ferrari World web-site) or from Ferrari World’s ticket counter you must visit both parks on the SAME DAY. Do check the parks’ websites before you go for prices and park times as they are subject to change without notice.
One thing I noticed about both parks, they’re very strict about safety and adhere closely to height and weight requirements for all rides. They are also have a strict policy against cutting in lines, so strict that it is written on their tickets that cutting lines will result in expulsion from the park! (Believe me after spending some time in the UAE you will appreciate this as for some reason folks can’t seem to grasp the simple concept of queing up and waiting your turn, specially in the women’s restrooms!)
The waterpark is also very strict about bringing in outside food, guards at the gate check bags and will ask you to remove any food other than baby food and formula before entering.
They’re not overstating it when they claim to have the largest children’s play area in a waterpark in the Middle East. From my experience they have the largest kid’s area in all the waterparks I’ve ever visited and that includes Atlantis the Palm.
The play area consists of 3 sections; The Marah Fortress that has 6 slides, 2 water dumping buckets, geysers, and water canons; Yehal which has 3 little slides, and small dumping bucket; and the Tot’s Playground complete with swings, mini slides, and other mild water activities protected from the sun by giant canvas tarps.
For a bit for excitement you can wander over to Amwaj, the beach and wave pool area. Be sure you grab a life jacket for the little ones as the ebb and flow patterns generated might get a bit rough. Life jackets are provided free of charge and can be found around the entrance of the attractions.
Floating down the Al Raha River (Lazy River) was my idea of a relaxing ride until we merged with Yadi Yas. It got a bit more thrilling when the pulse waves hit our tubes!
For more thrills slide down one of the slides that exit out of the serpent mouths. There’s too many of them to name! My grandson Dion managed to do them all!
If you’re more of a surfer or want to be a surfer check out the swells on one of the 2 endless wave sheets the Rush Rider and Bubble’s Barrel where you can Flow Board or Body Board. There are height requirements so small kids won’t be able to participate due to safety reasons.
The Dawwama – one raft holds 6 people for this exciting tornado ride. There is a minimum and maximum combined weight requirements for this ride that are strictly enforced. If you don’t have 6 people in your party or don’t meet the weight requirements, no worries, the attendants will load you into the appropriate raft and you’ll make new friends. We did!
If you’re a real adrenaline junkie then check out one of the major thrill slides under the giant pearl. From loops to drops you’re sure to find a slide you’ll love in this area! These slides have strict height and weight requirements that are strictly enforced for your safety. I know my grandson Dion was disappointed when he didn’t meet the 40 kg. minimum weight of the Liwa Loops, but we couldn’t have him stuck in one of it’s curves or flying off in one of the loops!
For those of us who aren’t big time thrill seekers there’s fun and adventure on the inter-active treasure hunt or you can water bomb innocent pedestrians while riding the inverted roller coaster equipped with water canons and buckets!
We didn’t get to ride all 43 slides in the half day we were there, but we got enough thrills and water fun to make it worth the visit. We all had a great time and slept all the way back to our Dubai hotel.