Alas, we are at our last installment of my Abu Dhabi Adventures. (The first two adventures are “Of Tracks and Targets” and “Of the Fast and Furious“). I can’t believe it’s been more than two weeks since our trip already! How time flies.
Considering the summer heat during our stay, visiting Yas Waterworld is the only righteous thing we had to do on our third day in the city. Again, UAE is a very humid place and the idea of being submerged in water activities all day long sounded like the most awesome idea ever. Yas Waterworld is located near Ferrari World (Come to think of it, with all these “worlds” beside each other, why didn’t they just call it Yas Universe instead of Yas Island?) They had a summer promo of 4 guests for the price of 3. Original price per person for general admission is 240 AED. You will be given blue e-bands that will serve as your entrance ticket, wallet and locker key throughout your stay. Just load it with cash amount in the counter before going in and keep it wrapped in your wrist. Any amount that will remain there can be claimed back again before you leave.
As we entered, we felt the Eid festivities on full swing. The entire lobby where you will enter is designed like a busy souk – it’s where all the souvenir and food kiosks are located along with the locker and comfort rooms. And because it was already Eid, the place was packed!
Since we weren’t able to take our mobile phones with us (you could if you had one of those protector pouch things), I wasn’t able to take photos of the rides in general as much as I wanted to. The documentation of our trip relied mostly on the GoPro camera that Luke had which could handle the “wet” environment, so to speak. So again, pardon me as most of the photos from this post will be of the generic nature.
Here are the rides we enjoyed at Yas Waterworld:
This huge wave pool is what will welcome you as you go through the park’s sliding doors. It is huge and was fairly crowded when we visited. The waves come in every thirty minutes and you can have a great view of the Mother Pearl that is situated atop. Lifeguards are stern and all around so tomfoolery is not tolerated. A great place to chill and cool down if you’re done with all the other fierce rides.
It’s a huge water slide that can only make you say, WTH!? The blue and green slides will test your courage as it is both long and steep. The green one in particular, is the scarier one since the downturn angle is so sharp you would feel that you’re gonna fall off. But you won’t. As long as you keep your position laying back and leave it all to the screaming, you’ll be just fine. I did the blue one and after seeing how high up I came from, I couldn’t believe that I was able to do that.
This is great for a group slide that can fit up to six people and will have you in intense drops and curves. All of us (Luke, Mary, JD, Clarisse, Jay and me) took on this ride head on and we had an AMAZING time doing it. Our video coverage of this experience can be found here: VIDEO OF FALCON’S FALAJ*
If you’re looking for a more relaxing kind of water activity, this is it. You simply ride on top of one of the floating devices and follow the water trail as the light waves push through the river-like path. You’ll pass by pseudo-waterfalls and fountains until the almost-10-minutes journey ends. You can have another go or so until you get bored and move on to something else.
This is another group slide that’s a bit more intense than Falcon’s Falaj simply because of the enormous funnel-looking aspect of it where it seems like after being pushed out to the major slide, you and your friends will be plummeted into this funnel where it can get kind of scary (until you are slipped right out of the hole). Unfortunately, it indeed became a scary ride for us. Why? BECAUSE WE GOT STUCK in the middle of the ride. It was the most unexpected thing ever.
There was just four of us in this ride and as we were sliding left and right in the middle of the funnel, our floating device suddenly got stuck like a magnet to one side. We couldn’t move our floating device ourselves, even if we tugged and urged it to. It was quite a frantic moment because we were afraid that the next riders would get plummeted and hit us off course and cause an even worse situation. We were also thinking if it would be wise to get out of the floating device and slide through the funnel ourselves. but we figured, we didn’t know if we were still in a high place so we might endanger ourselves all the more if we left our spot. Luckily, six minutes later as we were seated there trying our best to remain calm yet constantly yelling for help (it just so happens that the spot where we got stuck was where CCTV camera was pointed at), a large lifeguard came through the hole beneath us and pulled us out. He was pretty calm and smiling when he got us but I was still like, please let me come out of this alive. Apparently, we were like 10 seconds away from ending the ride from where we were stuck and we ended up in a shallow pool where Clarisse and JD eventually met up with us again, worried. Badass ride, but I’m not sure I’ll be on it again any time soon. There’s a video documenting us being stuck which you can find here: VIDEO OF GETTING STUCK IN DAWAMMA*
Rush Rider / Bubble’s Barrel
After the scare from Dawamma, we decided to go for a short walk to take the edge off. We ended up at the Rush Rider where there was a short wait. The guys decided to try it so off we go! It’s a flowboard/surfing tutorial for beginners while Bubble’s Barrel is a more advanced version of it. There is a strong gush of water coming from the base and you’d have to ride on a board and find your balance as you go against the wave. The better ones are able to kneel on the board as well. It’s quite risky because the waves are really powerful and if you don’t listen to your instructor carefully and do as he says, you can be smacked by the generated waves and who knows how that will hurt. The exercise will last for a little over a minute and if the instructor sees you as qualified, they’ll mark you as capable for Bubble’s Barrel. If not, well, on to the next ride then!
This is a fun water slide that you could do with your friends. What happens is you’ll all have a foam-mat to lie on, headfirst and you will be sliding through a downwards loop until you reach the actual slides that are side by side and whoever reaches the finish line first wins the race (a timer displays your lap time). You’d have to go through a dark tube first so if you’re claustrophobic, maybe this won’t be for you.
Last but not least, the gang tried the rollercoaster ride (JD and I stayed behind for this one already) wherein you will be seated and strewn along the theme park in an exciting and scream-worthy manner. There are no handles to hang on to so you just have to stay seated for your dear life and watch out for the water bombs that’s due your way. It’s one-of-a-kind since it’s the first rollercoaster in the world that’s been incorporated in a water park.
There were other rides like the Liwa Loop and the Serpent Complex that were weren’t able to try. But we were satisfied with our whole experience overall. I mean, the thrill and (real) danger was there so it was like shooting for a water-themed action movie, I think. The lifeguards were pretty stern and on point, we felt safe in their presence. For the high slides and rides, be prepared to traverse up a loooooong flight of stairs (there are no elevators). It’s amazing to think that there’s this some-kind-of-an -awesome waterpark in the heart of the Middle East. It’s like a real-life oasis! We ended the night by relaxing in the wavepool, chit-chatting about what such a day it has been!
The next few days had us winding down a bit. We rested for one day and then spent a whole day in Dubai on the next. After that, it was all chillin’ and mallin’ for us all. We also managed to squeeze in a visit to the Bake Corniche on the same day as our flight. Before we knew it, we had to go back to reality, back to work and back to Riyadh. Like I said, Abu Dhabi was nothing short of an assault to my adrenaline. It was filled with so many adventures and memories that are surely story-worthy to my friends and family.
Until the next trip then!