When you are holidaying in Dubai, which is a very hot place, you looking to do some water activities. Beaches are beautiful, but maybe you get bored of a beach and would like to swap it for a fun and little bit more adrenalin for a day. Where else to go then?
Water parks are a great solution. Dubai has several waterparks, but the best water parks are Wild Wadi and Aquaventure. Is Wild Wadi or Aquaventure water park better? In this article, we will have a look at which one to choose based on the location, size, facilities, price, and of course slides.
How big are Wild Wadi and Aquaventure?
Wild Wadi opened in 1999 and it was the first water park opened in Dubai. Its size is about 48.5 thousand meters square and it is much smaller than Aquaventure. Therefore it can get busier and you may have to wait to go to some slides. Therefore, avoid visiting it during weekends and bank holidays.
Aquaventure opened in 2008 and with its size of almost 170 thousand meters square became the world’s largest water park in the world. There are pool areas, palm trees grass shaded areas, and also 700 meters of a beach area for you to relax. Due to its size, it doesn’t get as busy as Wild Wadi and there is plenty of space to find for your relaxation. However, you need to walk more, which is one thing to consider when you are having small children.
Which one has a better location?
Wild Wadi water park is located next to Jumeirah beach hotel and Burj Al Arab hotel. Therefore, while you are in Wild Wadi, you have a perfect view of the Burj Al Arab. Wild Wadi has a great central location, easily accessible by busses or taxi in case you don’t have a car. From JBR or Marina, it is about 10 minutes by taxi and about 25 minutes by bus. If you go from the other side, downtown, by taxi it takes 15 minutes and by bus about 35 minutes.
Aquaventure water park belongs to Atlantis hotel and it is located on the man-made island Palm Jumeirah. Palm Jumeirah is a little bit out of the city center and all the other attractions, but not too far. From JBR or Marina, it will take you about 45 minutes by public transportation and about 20 minutes by taxi. From Downtown, it will take you about one hour by public transportation. Therefore, location wise if you are not staying at Palm Jumeirah, Wild Wadi is better located than Aquaventure.
What are the prices?
You can buy tickets online or at the gate. Wild Wadi one day pass for a person 1.1 meters tall and above is 269 AED. For a person below 1.1 meters is 199 AED. Children under age 2 can enter for free. This price includes the entrance fee and use of all rides. Lockers and towels are for an extra fee.
In case you are staying in the Jumeirah hotel or Burj Al Arab, you have unlimited free entrance to the park. If you are a group of people, a maximum of 8, you can book a private cabana, which is more expensive. The park is open from Monday till Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Please check their website before you go as this could change based on the season.
Prices of Aquaventure are a little bit higher. The daily pass for adults is 299 AED and for children 249 AED. Adult ticket is from hight 1.2 meters, which is higher than in Wild Wadi. Children under age 3 are free. Also, lockers and towels are for an extra charge.
The same as Wild Wadi, in case you are staying in Atlantis hotel, you have free access to the water park. Also, private cabanas are possible to buy here too. The opening hours are Monday till Sunday 9:45 am – 6:30 pm. Also, please check their website in case of change.
Other activities for extra charge are shark safari or dolphins encounter. When you book the dolphin experience, you have free access to the waterpark as well.
What rides there are for kids and adults?
In Wild Wadi there are several different rides for kids over 1.1 meters tall and for adults. For example, Burj Surj, Tantrum Alley, and Master Blaster are rides where riders need to sit on a ring and hold the handles. There is also Lazy river, Action river, Wipeout and Riptide which is a surfing area, and Breaker’s Bay which is a wave pool.
The best and more adrenalin slide is Jumeirah Sceirah. You have to walk up the tower from which you have an amazing view of the whole park. There are two capsules for two riders available. You need to step in one of them, they close it and on the countdown, the floor underneath your feet will open and you are falling straight down the 120 meters slide, up to 80km/hour. This slide is quite an adrenaline, therefore not everyone has the courage to do it. You can see my short video here.
For little children under 1.1 meters, there is Juha’s Dhow and Lagoon, which is a family play area. Little ones will have so much fun here.
As Aquaventure is the largest water park in the world, there are 105 different slides for adults and children. The well-known ride is Leap of Faith, which is an almost vertical slide that continues through the tank with sharks and rays. Don’t worry, you are inside the tube. It is so fast, that you actually can’t even notice the sharks around you. More body slides are Blackout, Vortex, Poseidon’s Revenge, and Slitherine, where you can race with your friend.
There are several group slides on the rings, like Odyssey of Terror, Shockwave, Zoomerango, and Aquaconda. To play and compete with your friends, you can try Hydra Racer, where you will be challenged to be the first at the bottom to get the trident. There are some more water coaster slides, Aquaventure rivers, Splashers kids play area for the little ones, Immortal falls, which is jumping from the cliff, and Surf’s up is a surfing area.
As you can see the number of slides here is enormous and everybody can find something that they like. There is even a beach area where you can go and relax. Due to its size, I would recommend this park more to adults or older kids as you will need to walk a lot.
What food and beverage do they offer?
You didn’t come to eat at water parks, however, spending the whole day there you need to eat and drink something. You are not allowed to bring food and drinks to the park, however, taking one small bottle of water is ok. In Wild Wadi you can get burgers or pizzas, they also have stands with popcorn, fruits, and ice cream. For healthier options, they offer salads, smoothies, and juices. They also have some kids’ meals available.
At Aquaventure there are many restaurants and also kiosks with snacks and refreshments. Probably the best restaurant with the most variety of food would be the Barracudas, where you can eat inside under air conditioning or take it outside. You can find burgers, pizzas, Mediterranean grill food, Asian noodles, and many more.
In both water parks, you don’t need to carry money or a card, but you can top up a certain amount of money on the wrist band which you then use to pay for your food.
So what do you think? Is Wild Wadi or Aquaventure better? I think both of them are great and no matter which one you choose, you will not do wrong with any of them. Aquaventure is better for adults and older kids and also the food options are bigger. Wild Wadi has a better location, no need to travel so much, it is more suitable for smaller children and it is cheaper. The choice is yours. Enjoy and have fun! If you want to share your experience, please leave a comment below. I will be happy to hear it.