Every now and then, every adult should feel like a big kid. And what better place to do this than at one of Dubai’s famous water parks.
We didn’t mean to go to Wild Wadi yesterday at all. We were simply driving past at about 5pm, on the way to the beach. The children wouldn’t even have noticed, but suddenly my DH came out with:
“We could go to Wild Wadi?”
“Isn’t it a bit late?”
No such luck. It was late-night opening day. A couple of coupons were located in the Entertainer book, and all of a sudden, my plans for a lazy sunset on the beach mutated into a high-energy, wet, extremely splashy and tumultuous time on rides such as the Burj Surj, the Jumeriah Sceirah and Tantrum Alley (named after my overtired children on the way home, I think).
Located right next to the Burj Al Arab, the great thing about Wild Wadi is there’s something for everyone: a huge wave pool with lifejackets for little ones; surfing simulators; family rides; downhill free-fall slides; and rides in which you get blasted upwards so you don’t even have to climb the stairs.
Unlike when we visited a few years ago, Son1 was now old enough, tall enough and brave enough to lead DH and I (separately, because one of us always had to stay with Son2) on all sorts of hair-raising, daredevil watery adventures.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” I’d ask, hastily trying to take in the stunning view of the white, sail-like Burj set against a pinky-purple sky stretching over the Gulf’s distant horizon. “Yes, c’mon Mum,” he’d reply, with a thrill-seeking glint in his eye.
As a grand finale, we found ourselves on a gravity-defying, aquatic rollercoaster, being rocketed upwards by water jets to a small, ‘we’re not finished with you yet’ holding pool. From here, there were two options: the less-scary way down, and an ominous-looking, churning tunnel of doom.
I started paddling us furiously away from the black hole towards the gentler shoot, when a lifeguard grabbed our double-ringed inflatable. “Sorry,” she grinned, “You can’t go down that in a double.”
“Enjoy!” she called out mercilessly, pushing us into the ‘intense-thrill-factor’ tube and heralding the start of an insane blur of speed, in the pitch back, through watery twists and turns that rearranged my innards on the way down.
Our verdict: an absolute blast. Can’t wait to go again.