1 The region’s only 180-degree surf park This brand-new waterpark – which only opened on Saturday May 12 – is found at the happening beachside destination of La Mer. It’s also is the only place in the Middle East where you’ll find a full, 180-degree wave machine. The WaveOz 180 FlowRider is being dubbed “the ultimate surf machine” by developers Meraas, and is the centrepiece of Laguna Waterpark. Master the waves either surfing or bodyboarding, on what is only the third wave machine of its kind in the world. The other two are found in Brazil and Armenia.
2 Refuel at the on-site restaurant and bar Because sometimes you just want to have a sit down and refuel with a bite to eat. With views out over the sprawling Arabian Gulf, the waterpark’s very own restaurant and rooftop terrace bar is yet another addition to the growing number of exciting eateries and hangouts at La Mer. Staying open after the sun goes down, you can either take a breather here during the day, or let the night play out to the sounds of newbie surfers wiping out in the background.
3 All day access to La Mer Since it opened, La Mer has become one of city’s most buzzing new attractions. The 13.4 million sq ft coastal resort is, as you’d have figured, absolutely massive, and stretches more than two kilometres down the shoreline. Built on the site of one of Dubai’s favourite historical beach areas, the resort has tonnes of fantastic restaurants, ice cream parlours, cafés and bars. Head here after dark and La Mer is a surprisingly busy part of town. Your entry ticket to Laguna will allow you to pass in and out of the waterpark all day long, so you can go and enjoy some watersports or stop off for a tasty bit of freshly made gelato.
4 Slip and slide all day Spread across four distinct zones (dubbed Surf, Relax, Slide and Splash), you’ll find half a dozen different rides, slides, flumes, lazy rivers and more. With rides titled The Manta, Constrictor, The Loop, Freefall and Mad Racer, there’s plenty at Laguna Waterpark to get your heart racing. The AquaDrop is fairly self-explanatory, and if you can hold your nerve, you’ll plummet at a stomach-dropping 17 metres per second (61.2kph) which, if it helps put it into context, is about 25 percent faster than the top swimming speed of a killer whale (48kph), and faster than a leopard running at full tilt (which is 58kph). Elsewhere, you can just mosey on down the lazy river, drifting away in a big old rubber ring, letting the world pass you by for a while. And when the time comes to get out, you can slide on into the magnificent...
5 ...Infinity pool lounge That’s right, entry to Laguna also gets you all-day (and after dark) access to the park’s awesome infinity pool. We’d consider that enough of a win on its own but, in even better news, it also comes with its very own swim-up bar. And because the pool immediately stares out at the Arabian Gulf from a just-off-the-beach location, if you align your head just right, you can sort of pretend you’re sitting out in the sea. The Dhs99 entry – starting rate for UAE residents – can almost be justified by spending the whole day lazing around getting wrinkly toes and hanging out in one of 11 private cabanas (the pool area even has its own juice bar). You can even hire the pool lounge and the surf machine area for your own private surfing party. Gnarly.
6 Cheapest entry fee in town Okay, it’s nearly summer, and that means that you’ll find a whole raft of spectacular savings and deals across Dubai. And those savings often extend to the other waterparks you’ll find in town. Usually in a bid to get sun-shy residents out and about during the scorching months, you’ll find that places like Wild Wadi Waterpark and Aquaventure drop their prices (the former is offering Dhs149 access this summer, down from the usual Dhs336). Laguna Waterpark is not attempting to match or surpass the city’s top attractions, and its price point reflects that.
As mentioned above, a day rate for Laguna starts from a mere Dhs99. That’s bargainous value no matter which way you look at it. UAE residents booking online beforehand can take advantage of this brilliant rate by visiting www.lagunawaterpark.com, while the on-the-door price for residents is Dhs125, and Dhs159 for non-residents. Sign us up.
7 It even has its own shop If you’ve had a particularly magical day at Laguna, you can drop in to the waterpark’s dedicated on-site merchandise shop and pick up your own towel, T-shirt, baseball cap or a souvenir. Equally, if you’ve forgotten some important bits and bobs on your way in, you can pick up some essentials – waterproof suncream and more.
8 Laguna matata, buena vista Spend all day going up and down the rides and flumes and you’ll scale approximately 40 storeys on your tootsies. That’s the height of Big Ben, by the way, so good effort. It’ll also burn up to 240 calories – so that’s a guilt-free ice cream right there. But while you’re up there you’ll also be treated to a near-panoramic view of Dubai’s skyline, pretty much from Dubai Frame all the way to Al Habtoor City. It’s stunning, and we’re sure you’ll agree. From Dhs99. Open daily 10am-8pm. La Mer Central, Jumeirah 1, www.lagunawaterpark.com.
The amount of calories you’re likely to burn (on average) every time you climb the stairs for one of the waterpark’s slides or rides.
40 The estimated number of storeys you’ll climb if you were to go on eight of the park’s immense water rides, flumes, slides and drops.
61.2 The speed you reach (in kph) when plummetting from the AquaDrop – that’s faster than a leopard going at full speed (58 kph).
3.8k The number of litres dumped out of the gigantic tipping bucket located at the child-friendly Aqua Play area, in the middle of Laguna Waterpark.