Spread across 42 acres next to Atlantis, Dubai's newest, steroid-pumped waterpark sloshes punters through a series of rapids, waterfalls, waves and the showpiece slide, the Leap of Faith.

Grab an inflatable ring and join the 2.3km tidal river loop, monitored by lifeguards stationed every five metres. Adrenaline junkies might pooh-pooh the rive's rapids, which fling you through caves and chutes; while they're great for short bursts of madness, most of the best bits are followed by rather tame periods of lazy bobbing. The highlight is The Torrent, with around 2km of crashing waves to wake you up.

At any point you can hop off and join a queue for any one of the tube slides that catapult you at top speed and (at some points) in near total darkness. A tip for the ladies: best avoid skimpy bikinis. Not only do you have to parade around in your near-naked glory between rides, there are a few lecherous blokes about. Besides, flimsy bikinis and waterparks are a recipe for disaster.

Setting Aquaventure apart is the Leap of Faith, perched atop the faux Mesopotamian ziggurat structure. This daddy of waterslides is a stomach-churning plunge down a 27.5m near-vertical drop, launching you into a clear tunnel through the shark lagoon, and splitting you out on the other side, giddy and disheveled. Naturally, the queue for this ride takes an eternity, but the I'm about-to-die adrenalin rush is unbeatable.

For the less adventurous, a floating through the Shark Attack slide is a safer option, allowing you to peer at rather puny reef sharks through the safety of an acrylic tunnel. And when you tire of the fun, there's a 7km beach with hundreds of sun loungers, rest areas and a few fast-food eateries to chow down in.