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New Water Park in United Arab Emirates

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While many of the proposed amusement parks in the area are on hold, an elaborate water park is about to open.



Ice Land Water Park set to open


RAS AL KHAIMAH // In the sweltering September heat, the plastic penguins look a little sandy and tired from the Arabian summer.


Yet the story of a group of renegade penguins who make themselves a new home on the Arabian Sea is the theme of a polar-themed water park that backers expect to put RAK on the map as a tourist destination. Featuring a huge man-made waterfall, a rain dance pool and aquatic football field, Ice Land Water Park opens its doors to the public this Wednesday, 28 months after its originally scheduled opening.


On Thursday evening, the media was given a sneak preview of the 50-hectare icy playground that will accommodate 10,000 guests and includes 37 slides.


Experiencing what the public will soon be able to do themselves, journalists stepped into the park’s entrance – a chilly blue cavern carved into the man-made mountain that guards its entrance – and immediately felt a world away from the desert outside as the thermostat plummeted.




After buying tickets at the cavern, visitors enter a world of icy igloos and snow glazed mountains. In the days before opening, staff have tested the rides before the crowds arrive.


They swish down slides from Swiss-inspired chalets. Each mound of mountain has a name designed to chill. “Mount Cyclone” is already a lifeguard favourite, as is the 100m slide descending down “Mount Attack”.


After three years of construction, workers have just a few days left to put the finishing touches on the igloo-inspired huts and lay the prickly blue astroturf carpeting that covers the park.


Three-hundred and eighty thousand litres of water have already begun to splash down the 37-metre tall and 165-metre wide Penguin Falls, but boxes of plastic coral in primary colours are yet to be unpacked and placed in the Coral Isle pool where guests will snorkel with real fish.




6,000 guests can boogie down at Penguin Bay in the 2,800-square-metre rain dance pool, an outdoor disco showers guests with water.


Russian and Indian staff faced off against each other in a friendly game of football to test the squishy plastic aqua field.


Executives are optimistic that Ice Land, one hour from Dubai and just 30 minutes from Umm al Qaiwain’s Dreamland Aqua Park, will attract tourists in the thousands from around the world.


“There are a lot of water parks in the world but theme water parks are very few,” said Balwant Singh, the managing director of Polo RAK Amusements, the company managing the park.


The project is partially financed by RAK Investment Authority and RAK Properties, who own other coastal developments such as Mina al Arab. Ice Land is the first phase of the US$100 million WOW RAK theme park that will include a shopping mall with an ice rink ready in autumn 2011, and Planet Earth amusement part in 2012.


“Tourists coming from different parts of the world will have accommodation, they will have nice malls, they will have a water park,” said Mohammed al Qadi, the chief executive of RAK Properties. “Everything complements each other and we are very optimistic that RAK will be put on the tourist map from now onwards.”


The location of a wintry water park in a hot emirate that suffers from power and water shortages may seem odd. However, the park will be supplied by its own generator and have water pumped to it from a desalination plant.


Even so, the RAK public has had a mixed reaction. Residents of Jazirat al Hamra, the coastal village directly beside the development, said the loss of the public beach hurt their fishing industry.


Some people mourned the loss of a popular location once populated by ghost crabs and the occasional stray camel.


Others were optimistic.


“It will be very good for RAK,” said Aaesha Khamis, the head of promotion for RAK Tourism and a resident of the area.


“Emiratis will be there,” said Santokh Chawla, a managing director of Polo RAK Amusements. “Without them we are not complete.”


The park has 600 employees and is expected to create hundreds more jobs.

No reason was given for the delayed opening.


“We are businessmen but we have a passion for this industry and we’re always on the site and we try to do it better,” said Mr Chalwa. “We say if we lose a little money we are happy but we want to give the best thing to the public.”


Edited by gisco
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^^Yes, it will be a resort complex, but the water park is the first phase. Here's a more comprehesive article on the complex. An amusement park is still planned as part of the complex for the year 2012.




Ras Al Khaimah: The exciting, $100 million Ice Land Water Park in Ras Al Khaimah, is due to open its doors to families on September 29.


The ice-themed water park has been designed around the theme of global warming, and tells a story about how penguins find a new home in the coastal waters of the Arabian Gulf.


The Ice Land Water Park is phase one of the 125-acre WOW RAK theme park and resort in Ras Al Khaimah.


The water park will be officially opened by Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, at a grand opening function on Wednesday.


The Ice Land Water Park, spread across an area of 110,000 square metres, packs an array of unique attractions including the world's largest manmade waterfall and "rain dance pool" along with more than 50 exhilarating water slides and rides.


Ice Land Water Park is managed by Polo RAK Amusement and is a joint venture between India's Polo Amusement Group and RAK Properties PJSC and RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA).


The fun park for families has been equipped with a full set of utilities including four megawatts of its own power generation, a water desalination plant capable of producing 525,000 gallons a day, and water filtration systems to maintain the four million gallons of pool water, to ensure uninterrupted enjoyment for visitors.


Speaking at a press conference to launch the park, RAKIA chief executive officer Dr Khater Massaad said that the water park would be a wonderful addition to the tourist attractions of Ras Al Khaimah.


"The Ice Land Water Park is a unique and wonderful project for the whole of UAE. I hope that this will add to the tourist attractions available in Ras Al Khaimah and attract people from across UAE and overseas," Dr Massaad said.


He added that the park would have two more phases which when completed in 2012 would create a 400,000 square metre park on a league with the biggest parks around the world.


Balwant Singh Chawla, managing director, Polo RAK Amusement said: "The Ice Land Water Park currently qualifies among the top five parks in the world in terms of size and the attractions offered”.


“We hope that with the addition of more facilities planned to take place within one year it will be among the top three water parks in the world,” Chawla said.


Mohammad Sultan Al Qadi, managing director and CEO of RAK Properties PJSC added: "Families and theme park enthusiasts from all over the UAE and the rest of the region have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Ice Land Water Park and we are certain that they will not be disappointed with the water park's excellent mix of traditional and unique water attractions and slides”.


“Designed to accommodate up to 10,000 visitors, Ice Land Water Park underlines Ras Al Khaimah's continuing thrust to offer a premium selection of business, leisure and lifestyle amenities and to attract more visitors to the emirate. Ice Land Water Park will certainly reinforce the growing reputation of Ras Al Khaimah as a safe, secure and exciting place to live, work and play," Al Qadi said.


The signature attractions of the park include the Penguin Falls – described as the world's largest man-made water fall that stands 120 feet tall and 540 feet wide with 100,000 gallons of water cascading down its contours each minute.


Penguin Bay, an interactive water play area, is the largest “rain dance pool” in the world measuring 30,000 square feet and offering shaded discos, open discos, rain showers and the "Rock Hoppers’ Den" - a fully equipped stage with excellent acoustics and theatre lighting to create pulsating performances. Rain dances and on-the-spot contests are to be a regular feature of the Penguin Bay.


Other novel attractions of Ice Land Water Park include the Aqua Games, a regular-sized soccer field with soft turf, shallow water and rain showers to offer a unique soccer experience; the Coral Reef, which offers real-life snorkelling in a man-made coral reef complete with live fish; and the Tundra Baths, forerunners of the modern-day spas and jacuzzis that possess the therapeutic powers of hydro massage.


There is also the kids’ cove, a dedicated play area for the toddlers. It includes shallow waters, miniature slides and a sand pit; and the slide zone with 24 water slides emerging from five towers from heights of up to 110 feet, giving visitors a majestic view and a unique experience as they slide down heavily themed snow-clad mountains and mountain streams.


Ice Land Water Park offers a unique panoramic view of the Al Hajar Mountains to the east and the Arabian Gulf to the north and will also offer visitors a wide range of food and beverage options, including a food court, plus buffet and a la carte dining options. The venue also has car parking space for about 2,500 vehicles and 75 buses, while the shaded seating areas are designed to accommodate up to 2,000 guests. Walk ways are also covered with synthetic turf to prevent slips and provide bare feet with comfort in the heat.


The entire park operates on a hi-tech radio frequency identification system which manages ticketing, lockers, food court and merchandising transactions. Trained lifeguards will also be on duty.


Ice Land Water Park is the first phase of WOW RAK, which is working to become the complete family entertainment getaway. A chalet-type seaside resort and the shopping mall, which comprises the second phase of WOW RAK, are expected to open in autumn 2011.


The shopping mall is being designed to offer a rich entertainment experience which includes multiplex theatres, “four dimensional” theatre, and an ice-skating rink. The Planet Earth amusement park, which is to include five themed zones (cosmos, oceanic, Amazon, mountain and desert) each featuring a signature ride besides other attractions, will open in autumn 2012.






Edited by gisco
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This park looks amazing. I love how all the slides are built into artificial mountains/slopes, and how nothing looks out of place.


I can't wait to see what the finished complex will look like!

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I remember someone posting construction pictures of the park a few months ago, just can't remember who or find the post at the moment, but do remember thinking this place was gonna be nothing short of first class as are most projects completed in that area of the world. I have some relatives whom I haven't seen in forever that live in Dubai, maybe I will have to "visit" them one day

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