Dubai’s Beachside Shanty Town

At the tip of the La Mer peninsula, in Dubai, lies the region’s newest water park—Laguna Waterpark. The Arabic word for “come meet us”, laguna perfectly captures the water park’s friendly and welcoming atmosphere. A cool retreat from the desert heat with a ‘shanty town’ aesthetic, the park was created with the purpose of delivering carefree fun by the sea for families, chill-seekers, and sports lovers alike.

Four Zones of Fun

Laid out into four distinct zones: Splash, Slide, Surf, and Relax, the park features a mix of attractions and distractions for the entire family with WhiteWater rides featured in three of the four zones.

The Slide zone centers around a thrilling slide tower that boasts five first-rate slides:

  • AquaSphere + Manta Fusion – Both Middle East firsts, this 3-person fusion slide features a pulse-pounding 6-meter (19.7-feet) drop into the imposing sawtooth Manta.
  • Constrictor + Super Bowl Fusion – Featuring high banking turns through the Constrictor into the dizzying revolutions of the Super Bowl, this inner tube water slide is a must do ride.
  • 2-Lane Whizzard – Upping the excitement of an already fun Mat Racer, the Whizzard loops riders, racing headfirst, through a darkened flume before popping them out into the sunshine to race side by side.
  • Flatline Loop – Not for the faint of heart, riders begin this high-thrill ride in an AquaLaunch that, when the countdown is complete, will drop the floor out from underneath, plunging them into a near free fall.
  • Freefall – The thrills continue on Laguna’s Freefall water slide where brave guests free fall 70 kph (45 mph) straight down!

The Surf zone features the world’s first 180° stationary wave and what Laguna considers to be the park’s marquee attraction:

  • WaveOz™ – Featuring an entirely inflatable ride surface for added safety, WaveOz is the highest capacity surfing machine in the world.

The Splash zone is the ultimate children’s area chockfull of interactive water play for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens, and even adventurous parents:

  • RainFortress 4 – pouring a massive 1,800 liters (476 gallons) of water from its tipping bucket and featuring over 70 interactive play features, this impressive structure is the perfect spot for kids to while away the day.
  • AquaSpray – Laguna’s splash pad features plenty of interactive water fun for toddlers and younger children to cool off in.

Designed with Purpose

Not only does Laguna Waterpark feature many attraction firsts for the region, the park has been designed with UAE residents in mind. Entry to Laguna is just Dhs99 for residents and Dhs159 for non-residents. Their current visitor make-up is 65% domestic market, with the majority being Emiratis, and 35% visitors from countries including Saudi Arabia, India, and China.

Designed to be an easy half-day excursion rather than a full-day out, the park’s accessibility, size, and price point reflects this purpose. With plenty of shade, quality food, and an unlimited readmission policy, visitors are free to combine their water park experience with visits to La Mer’s beach and abundance of cafes, restaurant, and shops.

Emerging Trends

We asked the team at Laguna for their opinion on what they saw as the current consumer trends in the water park market in the Middle East. Here are a few of their answers:

“Floor temperature is one of the most important issues for our type of venue as everyone is walking around in their bare feet. The park selected a “cooling” effect floor (light color, aerated structure) with good anti-slip values. We are always looking for cost effective solutions, often areas are large and investment is not transparent to visitors or stakeholders so improvements in “cooling” parameters and pricing help everyone.”

If you are looking for a stay-cool floor that significantly reduces slips and falls while minimizing bumps and bruises when they do occur, download our Life Floor brochure. Learn more about this extraordinary patented foam-rubber flooring system that has been designed specifically for the unique needs of water parks.

“There are more and more people researching and buying online; well structured and simple to use web sites and payment gateways (B2C/B2B/domestic/tourist) are becoming more important than ever so open platform solutions with easy integration (handshake) between multiple suppliers will continue to get more important.”

La Mer as a Destination

Laguna Waterpark’s opening earlier this summer has helped to turn the entire La Mer peninsula into a complete leisure and retail destination, allowing visitors to choose the type of experience they would like to have, depending on their mood.

And if they’re in the mood for big thrills and cooling water, Laguna’s many attractions combined with a pool lounge with swim up juice bar, cabanas, F&B outlets, and diner makes it a top choice for a half, or even full, day out with the family.

Dawn Kirby