Wild Wadi Water Park Resort, Dubai, Image, Architect, Picture, Location, Design
Wild Wadi Water Park : Dubai Resort Information
UAE Resort Development – design by Atkins
23 Oct 2008
Wild Wadi Water Park Dubai – Information
Location: Jumeirah Beach Resort
Wild Wadi is more than just a fairy tale, it stands as one of the best water parks ever designed. An integral feature of the Jumeirah Beach Resort, located 20 minutes drive from the centre of Dubai, this breath taking 12 acre ‘fun paradise’ is yet further proof of the emirates growth as an international tourist destination.
Four years ago, a research team from Dubai toured the most popular water parks in the United States, Europe, South Africa and the Far East and devised a radically different concept for a new water park. Wild Wadi breaks new ground in that 16 of its 24 pulsating rides are interconnected, meaning that thrill seekers of all ages can experience one adrenaline rush after another without ever leaving the water.
The vast majority of the rides at wild Wadi have never been built before in the Middle East. Rides like the Jumeirah Sceirah, the tallest and fastest free fall ride outside the United States, the aptly-titled tunnel of Doom which takes you on a spine-tingling journey of twists and turns underground, and the Summit Surge which uses high powered water jets to transport up to four people at a time uphill. The wipe-out flow rider is another Middle Eastern first, on which thrill seekers can surf a tube wave nearly three metres high.
As well as being the; last word in family entertainment, Wild Wadi Aqua Park represents an architectural and engineering masterpiece. The time, effort and resources spent creating a state of the art water park in an authentic Wadi setting are staggering. Wild Wadi contains some 50,000 cubic metres of concrete, 6,500 tonnes of steel reinforcements, more than 40,000 plants, 80km of rope, 800 cubic metres of timber, 150 sets of pumping equipment, 24 mechanical rooms – all completely hidden from view – and no less than 7,5km of buried pipework. Nearly 3,000 workers were employed in what was truly an international construction effort that began in June 1997.
Dubai’s ground-breaking water park may resemble an unspoilt tropical oasis but it also boasts a full range of modern facilities, including a 450 capacity car ark, spacious changing facilities, two fast food restaurants and its own shop. There is even an ATM cash dispenser. However Wild Wadi Aqua Park’s most innovative feature is its novel access system. Instead of paying with money, visitor can enter the park and buy services using electronic credits stored on a special waterproof wristband. Leftover credits are refunded on departure or retained on the wristband for use next time.
Wild Wadi’s designers pride themselves on having thought of virtually everything. No stone has been left unturned in their attempt to devise a completely new entertainment experience. From its inter-connected rides to the painstaking details of its themeing and design, Wild Wadi is in every sense a world beating Water Park.
At first the sound of insects and the piercing cries of wild birds break the silence. Then there is a distant roll of thunder followed by the first spots of light rain. Slowly the rain becomes heavier, the clap of thunder nearer and a steady stream of water starts to flow down the cliff face of the wadi entrance.
Suddenly the heavens open, lightening flashes, thunder cracks and the stream becomes a raging waterfall surging across the wadi plain. Minutes later the rain has stopped, the impromptu waterfall has dried to a trickle and soon peace is restored in Wild Wadi.
Wadi Wash, a choreographed sound light and water show, is one of the main attractions at Wild Wadi Aqua Park and runs each evening. Hidden speakers and strobe lights provide the sound and lightening effects, sprinkler systems simulate rainfall, while concealed pumping equipment connected to an underground reservoir flood the wadi plain with as much as 70 cubic metres of water during the seven minute display. Smaller more frequent floods can also be operated in tandem with other attractions at the park.
The tallest and fastest speed slide in the Middle East, the Jumeirah Sceirah is strictly for the fearless. Daredevils brave enough to give it a try, clamber up a spiral staircase to reach its blue and gold domed summit before plunging an incredible 27m in a series of peaks and troughs, hitting a top speed of more than 80 kph along the way. So fast is your descent that you even experience a sense of weightlessness.
One of only four such rides in the world, the Wipeout Flow Rider is an adrenalin rush not to be missed. Devised by the maverick American lawyer/self confessed surf fanatic Thomas Lochtefeld, the Wipeout works by shooting out more than seven tonnes of water per second in a thin sheet across a moulded foam structure, producing a realistic wave effect ideal for body boarding, knee boarding or proper surfing. Simply garb a flow rider board and jump on.
The riptide flow rider nearby is an ideal warm up before venturing onto the Wipeout. It works on the same principle as its sister ride but is designed to produce a flatter wave that is easier to surf.
Master Blasters defy gravity, propelling riders in an inflatable ring up a swell as down thanks to a series of high-powered water jets. There are 10 Master Blasters at Wild Wadi Aqua Park, including two family versions that can take up to four people at a time. The longest ride is called Flood River Flyer, which snakes 192m from the lazy river known as Juha’s Journey to a shallow water pool nearly 15m higher up the park. From here, thrill seekers have a choice – they can take a water slide back down to Juha’s Journey or enjoy two more Master Blasters even higher up the park.
The Family Master Blasters at Wild Wadi work in a loop. Summit Surge shoots riders to a pool area uphill, from where Rushdown Ravine takes them on a 170m white knuckle ride back to where they started.
Besides Master Blasters, Flow Riders and the Jumeirah Sceirah, wild Wadi has six more familiar ring rides. The longest, and arguably the best, is the Tunnel of Doom which spirals 109m, mostly in total darkness underground, before plunging its swimmers into Juha’s journey. The 100m long Flying Falls also lives upto its name as does Falcon Fury, a short by no means sweet ring ride of 58m.
Instead of a minimum age requirement, all the main rides and attractions at Wild Wadi carry a height requirement of 1.1m. Each ride is clearly signposted and described in both English and Arabic, while lifeguards and trained supervisors ensure that the park’s safety regulations are observed at all times.
Youngsters unable to swim are allowed to play in the children’s pool by Juhas dhow. Providing a parent accompanies them, they can also play in the Breakers Bay wave pool and in the park’s Lazy River Juha’s Journey.
Besides daredevil rides, Wild Wadi Aqua Park has two temperature controlled river courses, each 1m deep, where visitors can enjoy a leisurely swim or sunbathe while drifting in inflatable rings. The longest is Juha’s Journey, which meanders 485m around the breakers Bay wave pool and Shahbanbar’s Souk, as well as travelling a short distance underground. Juha’s Journey is also the entry and exit point for a number of Wild Wadi’s best rides, including White Water Wadi, Thunder Rapids, Flood River Flyer and the Tunnel of Doom.
Conditions on the 170m Flood River, which flows around a secluded island located at the centre of the Water Park, get decidedly choppy when the Pulse Wave is activated. A massive body of water surges from an underground reservoir, creating a high swell that sweeps the length of the River. The Pulse Wave runs as often as every 15 minutes at Wild Wadi and can be operated to coincide with the Wild Wadi Wash display. As the name suggests, the Flood River Flyer races above Flood River creating an exhilarating waterfall effect.
Water is quite simply everywhere at Wild Wadi Water Park. An incredible 50,000 cubic metres of water, the equivalent of 30 million one-litre bottles, are pumped around the park every hour, requiring four megawatts of electricity, enough power to light 200,000 light bulbs.
Yet thanks to an ingenious system of more than two dozen waterfalls, strategically positioned Wadi’s and rocky channels, virtually all the water used at Wild Wadi Aqua Park is recycled.
As well as powering the park’s 24 rides, water is used to irrigate Wild Wadi’s 40,000 plants and cool its rocky pathways during the hot summer months. Special fogging systems also help to maintain an ambient temperature in some of the busiest areas of the park.
The creators of Wild Wadi Water Park have transformed the shallow lagoon where Juha’s dhow ran aground into a paradise for youngsters. The children’s pool area is equipped with several water cannons, a Catherine wheel and a barrel shower, while Juha’s abandoned dhow home is home to three children’s slides. Overlooking the fun and games is Sinbads’s Gallery, a fast food restaurant ingeniously crafted out of the dhows rescued sails and crow’s nest.
Further out to sea, across a narrow sandbank shaded by palm trees, Breakers Bay wave pool has room for more than 600 swimmers. The largest wave pool in the Middle East, Breakers Bay produces parallel and crossing waves in 10 different patterns up to 1.5m in height.
The thrills and spills at Wild Wadi Aqua Park are bound to leave you with an appetite, which is why the water park has two fats food restaurants, serving burgers, French fries, pizzas, hot dogs, shwarmas and sandwiches, as well as ice creams and a wide choice of soft drinks. Sinbads Galley caters for hungry shipmates around breakers bay, while Julshan’s Kitchen is the port of call for visitors near the entrance of the park.
Food can be eaten throughout Wild Wadi. A number of picnic tables are dotted around the park, while Julshan’s kitchen has its own shaded viewing area with tables for more than 100 dinners.
Wild Wadi is the world’s first theme park to use a cashless access system, technology first pioneered at ski resorts in Austria. The water parks ingenious wristbands are themed on the characters, 10 in all, of the Wild Wadi legend. As well as buying entrance and paying for your food, drinks and gifts from Souk Al Wadi, they can also be used to secure your locker in the parks changing rooms.
Hidden away inside the towering walls of the Wild Wadi Aqua Park entrance are two communal changing rooms, with booths and a total of 2,500 lockers.
In order to accommodate thousands of visitors, Wild Wadi is cleverly laid out with plenty of illustrated maps and signposts. There is also an information desk and a lost property counter.
To avoid long queues the Wild Wadi Water Park has a total of eight entry gates where visitors pick up their wristbands before heading straight to the changing rooms. When it is time to leave, simply cash in the remaining credits on your wristband at any cash register in the park or retain the band until your next visit.
As well as employing expert personnel, the creators of Wild Wadi have ensured that the park itself, including all 24 of its rides, meets the most exacting safety standards world wide. Regulation height barriers and non-slip surfaces feature throughout, themed shading and more than 400 palm trees protect swimmers against the sun, and water spays cool rocky pathways. Low voltage lighting is also standard, while safe alternatives for breakable materials such as glass have been used in the construction of the park.
To guarantee Wild Wadi’s rigorous safety standards are maintained an independent team of experts inspects the park four times a year.
Although Dubai’s Wild Wadi Aqua Park is a mass of sophisticated engineering, virtually all the modern technology and modern materials are hidden from view. Where ever you go at Wild Wadi the feeling of having just stepped back in time still prevails.
A team of architects studied rock formations in the UAE’s Hajar mountains to assist with the design of no less than 11,000 square metres of imitation rock work at Wild Wadi Water Park. Pebbles, rocks and cobbles, specially selected for their size and colour, were also brought in from the region to help build authentic wadi streams and waterfalls.
Eight hundred cubic metres of African teak, ‘weathered’ with cut marks to resemble driftwood, have been used throughout the park, largely to ‘theme away’ the metal work of Wild Wadi’s rides. Fishermen were also recruited from India to bind mile upon mile of rope into nets and bridges, and to secure the park’s countless timber structures.
Complementing its tropical theme, Wild Wadi Aqua Park features more than 40,000 plants from local date palms to exotic flowers imported from the Far East. Wild Wadi has also been planted with 3,000 square metres of grass.
Shahbanbar’s Souk, overlooking the Breakers Bay wave pool is perhaps Wild Wadi’s best example of themed design. A host of antique artefacts, from money chests to picture frames, are on display. For added authenticity, fruit boxes are piled high around the Souk, with the names of their contents scrawled in Arabic and Hindi.
Wild Wadi Water Park : main page with images
Images from Jumeirah except the one noted
Wild Wadi Water Park Dubai – information from Atkins 271008
Wild Wadi Water Park Dubai architect : Atkins
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Wild Wadi Water Park context : UAE Property
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Wild Wadi Water Park Dubai UAE Rides – page