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Top theme parks and water parks in the Middle East

Discover the biggest attractions in the region, from Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi to Legoland Dubai.

The Middle East is home to a diverse cluster of theme parks and water parks. The majority of these are located in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and other emirates. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is also set to complete in 2022 on Yas Island, home to myriad unique parks.

Saudi Arabia is currently creating a host of attractions in order to diversify the economy and reduce reliance on oil. However, the country’s existing parks are slightly smaller than the world-class attractions on our list. New developments include Six Flags Qiddiya and an ‘extreme park’ on an oil rig called The Rig.

top theme parks in the middle east ProSlide Atlantis Trident Tower
Atlantis Aquaventure

Due to the hot and dry climate, many Middle East parks offer water-based entertainment. Keep reading for our selection of the top theme parks and water parks in the Middle East, from Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Motiongate Dubai to Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi and Atlantis Aquaventure.

1 Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

ferrari world abu dhabi

First on our list of the top parks in the region is Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the Middle East’s leading theme park, and the first-ever Ferrari-branded indoor theme park. Home to thrilling rides, amazing attractions and spectacular shows, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is located on Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Attractions include the Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster, and Flying Aces, a dynamic coaster with one of the tallest loops in the world. Owned by Miral and operated by Farah Experiences, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is joined on Yas Island by Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi.

“Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is home to one of the most iconic brands in the world. And it is also an enormous theme park, which I just love,” Bianca Sammut, general manager at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and head of Yas Island theme parks and attractions, told blooloop last year.

“Our driving experience at the park is perhaps the most popular. Where else in the world can you get to drive a Ferrari? It’s a bespoke attraction, for us, and that’s where our guest experience starts to differentiate itself. You can’t do these things anywhere else.”

2 Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi

yas waterworld abu dhabi

Spread across 37 acres on Yas Island, Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi offers more than 40 rides, slides and experiences at various thrill levels. Designed to celebrate the UAE’s pearl-diving past, the water park features the world’s largest surfable sheet wave, as well as the region’s first and only 5D water adventure.

Opened in 2013, Yas Waterworld is owned by Miral and operated by Farah Experiences. Ballast VR recently provided the new DIVR underwater VR experience to Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi.

“At Yas Waterworld, there are always new experiences to discover, and exciting adventures to be lived. We are excited to introduce this first-of-its-kind adventure in the UAE that is guaranteed to deliver unforgettable guest experiences,” said Ryan Watkins, general manager at Yas Waterworld.

“We strive to cater each experience to fit our guests’ interests and look forward to welcoming water park fans to try out the all-new underwater VR experience!”

3 Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi

warner bros world abu dhabi

Next on our list of the top theme parks in the Middle East is the world’s first Warner Bros. branded indoor theme park, Warner Bros, World Abu Dhabi.

The park can be found on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Home to 29 exhilarating rides, family-friendly attractions and live entertainment, it covers 1.65 million square feet and boasts six immersive lands, as well as shopping and dining experiences.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi is the world’s largest indoor theme park. Opened in 2018, it brings to life DC superheroes such as Superman and Batman, as well as animation characters like Bugs Bunny and Scooby-Doo. 

“We wanted every area to be interactive and fun,” Don Strickler, general manager of Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, told blooloop.

“So, when you walk our areas, you’ll run into Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck; you’ll run into Superman or Batman. The level of detail that we put into the theming and the music restaurant is incredible. Every restaurant you walk into is a different experience. Each retail space is different; different merchandise, different experiences, different feelings.”

Miral recently opened the world’s first Warner Bros. hotel, The WB Abu Dhabi, on Yas Island.

4 Global Village, Dubai

Embed Global Village

Global Village, a multicultural festival park in Dubai, celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. Home to culture, shopping, dining and entertainment, the attraction offers more than 150 street food outlets and 26 shopping pavilions. It also includes the Carnaval funfair, which features games and attractions.

“Global Village is a truly unique and world-leading entertainment concept, offering guests the opportunity to experience the culture and diversity of more than 78 countries in a single location. Due to the immense scale of our operations, and the various subsystems involved, we are often presented with distinct business challenges,” said Bader Anwahi, CEO at Global Village.

“It’s a nice story to tell,” Anwahi told blooloop. “Global Village was launched in 1997, with a small project on Dubai Creek – around 18 kiosks. Today, we are a 1.6 million-square-metre destination with 3,500 retail outlets, 40,000 shows in a season, more than 300 F&B outlets, and more than 160 rides, skill games and arcades.”

5 Motiongate Dubai

motiongate dubai

Also on our list of the top theme parks in the Middle East is Motiongate Dubai, the flagship theme park at Dubai Parks and Resorts, which also offers Legoland Dubai, Legoland Water Park and Bollywood Parks Dubai.

Dubai Parks and Resorts opened in October 2016 and is the Middle East’s biggest multi-themed leisure and entertainment destination. Motiongate Dubai, the largest Hollywood-inspired theme park in the Middle East, is spread across four zones – Columbia Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, Smurfs and Lionsgate. Featuring 27 thrilling rides and attractions inspired by movies including Shrek, Madagascar and Ghostbusters, Motiongate Dubai occupies 1.9 million square feet.

The theme park’s Lionsgate zone is expanding with the addition of two new coasters inspired by John Wick and Now You See Me.

“This exciting expansion makes the Lionsgate Zone at Motiongate Dubai the epicentre of immersive blockbuster thrills in the region,” said Lionsgate EVP and head of global LBE, Jenefer Brown. “For the first time ever, it will offer fans the opportunity to experience the poetic action of John Wick and masterful misdirection of Now You See Me through exhilarating coaster experiences.”

6 Legoland Dubai Resort

legoland dubai

Combined, Legoland Dubai and Legoland Water Park feature 60 interactive rides, water slides, shows and Lego building experiences. Also part of Dubai Parks and Resorts, the park opened in 2016. The park’s operator, DXB Entertainments, is now also gearing up to launch the region’s first Legoland Hotel. With more than 1,300 rooms, the hotel will “complete” the Legoland Dubai Resort.

“In line with our stated hotel strategy to deliver over 1,300 hotel rooms to the destination, we are getting ready to open the region’s first Legoland Hotel,” said Mohamed Almulla, CEO of DXB Entertainments.

“This will complete our 360-degree Legoland Dubai Resort offering, with the hotel complementing the existing Legoland Dubai theme park and Legoland Water Park.”

7 Bollywood Parks Dubai

entrance to bollywood parks

Opened in 2016 at Dubai Parks and Resorts, Bollywood Parks Dubai is the first theme park of its kind in the world, and one of the top theme parks in the Middle East. The attraction’s six themed zones house immersive environments inspired by Bollywood blockbusters. Operator DXB Entertainments previously revealed plans to open 10 new rides at Bollywood Parks Dubai.

“We are currently in the process of rolling out many exciting surprises with the launch of our new rides and the reopening of our theme parks,” said Mohamed Almulla, CEO of DXB Entertainments. “We are working closely with our partners to promote Dubai Parks and Resorts as a preferred family staycation destination.”

“During the closure of operations from March to September 2020, we have focused on the enhancement plan which includes the addition of 10 new rides in Bollywood Parks Dubai and two new rides in Motiongate Dubai,” he added.

8 Atlantis Aquaventure, Dubai

atlantis aquaventure dubai

Aquaventure at Atlantis the Palm in Dubai opened on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah back in 2008. The world’s largest water park boasts 79 exhilarating slides and water rides, and is one of three Atlantis Aquaventure attractions in the Bahamas, China and the UAE. 

ProSlide Technology provided 17 new water slides for phase three of the recent Atlantis Aquaventure expansion. “The water rides ProSlide installed are second-to-none and are the perfect complement for our vision for Atlantis to be among the world’s best water parks,” said Sascha Triemer, VP of marine and water park at Atlantis, Dubai.

“Their technology, innovation, and creative design have brought Atlantis to a completely new and higher level in the destination industry that could not have been achieved with any other water ride manufacturer,” Triemer added.

9 Wild Wadi Waterpark, Dubai

wild wadi waterpark

Located in Dubai, overlooking the Burj Al Arab, Wild Wadi Waterpark is an outdoor water park with 30 rides and attractions. Opened in 1998, and now firmly on the list of the top theme parks in the Middle East, Wild Wadi is operated by Jumeirah.

Aquatic attractions include the ‘Breaker’s Bay’ wave pool, ‘Wipeout and Riptide’ surfing experience, and Juha’s Journey lazy river. Water slides include ‘Burj Surj’, ‘Tantrum Alley’, and ‘Jumeirah Sceirah’.

Back in 2017, it was reported that Wild Wadi was relocating to Marsa Al Arab. However, Jumeirah is yet to release further information.

10 IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai

img worlds of adventure

Owned by IMG Group, IMG Worlds of Adventure is a vast indoor theme park that covers four zones, which include Cartoon Network and Marvel lands.

IMG Boulevard and the Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure are original concepts created by the group. Launched in 2016, IMG Worlds of Adventure was the world’s largest indoor theme park until Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi opened in 2018. The park covers an area in excess of 1.5 million square feet, and is home to roller coasters, thrill rides and themed attractions.

Lennard Otto, CEO at IMG Worlds of Adventure, previously spoke to blooloop about the use of cutting-edge technology at attractions in the Middle East. “UAE parks are pretty much all new,” he said. “The parks are all using the latest technology in their attractions.”

11 Dreamland Aqua Park, UAE

dreamland aqua park

Inaugurated in June 1997, Dreamland Aqua Park is located in Umm Al Quwain, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates. It is the largest water park in the region, boasting more than 250,000 square metres of land.

The park, which is number 11 on our list of the top theme parks in the Middle East, includes 15 water-based slides and attractions, as well as camping facilities and cabanas. It also features a mini zoo, and has several F&B outlets. 

12 Al Montazah Parks, UAE

al montazah parks

Al Montazah Parks in Sharjah, UAE covers an area of more than 126,000 square metres. It consists of two parks, a theme park called Island of Legends and a water park called Pearls Kingdom.

The latter is home to more than 25 thrilling rides and attractions, including a wave pool and slide tower. Island of Legends takes visitors on a journey through nine nations. Formerly the Al Jazeera Park, Al Montazah reopened in 2018 following extensive renovations.

“We are certain that Al Montazah Parks in its new avatar will redefine leisure and entertainment for the entire family,” Khalid Al Qaseer, manager of Al Montazah Parks, said in advance of the launch. “The destination is poised to be one of the most thrilling and fun-filled escapes not just in Sharjah but in the UAE.”

13 Saraya Aqaba Waterpark

saraya aqaba waterpark

Next on the list of the top theme parks in the Middle East is Saraya Aqaba Waterpark, which opened in July this year as Aqaba’s first world-class water park and the largest water park in Jordan. The attraction features more than 25 rides, slides and experiences across more than 28,500 square metres.

Inspired by Jordan’s iconic landmarks, offerings include Dead Sea Drop, Wadi Rum Race and Aqua Jerash. Saraya Aqaba was developed by Eagle Hills and is operated by Farah Experiences, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi-based Miral Asset Management LLC.

“Over the years, Farah Experiences has garnered deep industry expertise managing and operating award-winning theme parks and attractions in Abu Dhabi,” said Julien Kauffmann, CEO of Farah Experiences.

“Eagle Hills is committed to delivering a truly world-class attraction to provide a new entertainment option for both the residents of Aqaba and its visitors,” said Abdallah Al Fraihat, executive director of Eagle Hills Jordan. “Saraya Aqaba Waterpark aims to rejuvenate local and family-friendly tourism in Aqaba, Jordan and for us to realize this ambitious goal we need to partner with capable and experienced operator.”

14 Quest, Qatar

doha quest

Also launched this year, Quest is Qatar’s first-ever indoor theme park. Operated by MR-ProFun, the park covers 32,000 square meters within a mixed-use leisure and entertainment hub called Doha Oasis.

Quest offers more than 30 rides and attractions, from thrill rides to simulators and VR experiences. EpiQ Coaster is the world’s tallest indoor roller coaster, and Magma Blast is the tallest indoor drop tower ride in the world.

Quest is divided into three time dimensions – Oryxville, City of Imagination, and Gravity. It features a handful of themed F&B outlets, including Planet Hollywood Doha. In addition, Quest includes a 3D flying theatre attraction called Wings of Destiny and a 3D motion simulator called Legend of the Golden Oryx. It also has a spinning swing ride (Gravity Swing), the Jumpin’ Star mini drop tower, and the Time Travel thrill ride.

15 The Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park, Bahrain

top water parks middle east

The final entry on our list of the top theme parks in the Middle East is The Lost Paradise of Dilmun, Bahrain’s biggest water park, set in 77,000 square metres of desert oasis.

Opened in 2007, the park has welcomed more than two million visitors. It contains more than 20 slides and attractions, including a lazy river, wave pool and raft ride. relaxing pools and spas are also available at The Lost Paradise of Dilmun, which is inspired by Bahrain’s ancient history.

The park is separated into six themed areas – Dilmun Beach, Qasar Enki, Tylosplash, Kids’ Mesopomania, Falcons’ Dive, and the Oasis Pool. 

Top image: Turbo Tower at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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