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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 20/01/2013

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A spectacular battle of fire-breathing bandits, thrilling flowboard tricks and a mesmerising fountain show headlined the official launch of Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi on Saturday in a grand opening ceremony.

Shaikh Tahnoon bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Eastern Region, officially opened the waterpark, signing a classically-styled guestbook with a flourish in keeping with Yas Waterworld's Emirati-inspired setting.

The element of fun and family that lies at the heart of the mega waterpark experience was out in full force as the waterpark filled up with visitors from 9.30am - parents with kids, waterpark enthusiasts and VIPs from the UAE community - who came to view the waterpark's stunning collection of rides, slides and attractions come to life.

In a colourful celebration of Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi's Emirati theme, hundreds of actors dressed in exotic Middle Eastern garb swarmed the waterpark's souk setting, engaged in death-defying displays of sword fights and put on a tight rope show over the waterpark's canals, bringing Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi's panoramic entrance to life through music and playacting.

The morning's visitors were treated to a tribute to the UAE's pearl diving heritage with the Hoyamal Pearl Dive Show before attention turned to the FlowBarrel, where a team of world champion Flowboarders flown in especially for the day put on an incredible show. Huge tricks, big air and crazy backflips were the order of the day as the crowd was kept riveted by the flowboard action.

The spectacular inauguration ceremony later in the afternoon took the form of an epic battle between the villagers and the bandits who stole the legendary pearl, inspired by the waterpark's "Legend of the Lost Pearl" storyline. The fun interactive performance saw many of the audience get into the action, cheering on the villagers and dodging splashes of water, as the battle for the pearly prize gained intensity.

Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi's central character Dana and her crew won the battle and the pearl was restored to its rightful place, ensuring prosperity to the mythical Emirati village and marking what is expected to be a hugely successful start to Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi's commercial operations.

The ceremony concluded with the tumbling roar of the waterpark's central waterfall and an unbelievable fountain show that left the crowd spellbound.

"Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi came to life today - both symbolically and literally. It has been an incredible journey to this point and unbelievably satisfying to watch the people's reaction to what has been created. We are confident that people will have seen nothing like it before and we look forward to the waves of visitors expected to arrive now that the park is officially open," said Mike Oswald, park general manager.

The waterpark's signature rides such as Dawwama - the world's first and largest hydromagnetic-powered six-person tornado waterslide, Bubble's Barrel - the largest FlowBarrel 10 Double in the world, Bandit Bomber - a 550-metre interactive coaster that is the first to make an appearance in a waterpark and Slither's Slides - a maze of six slides and tunnels offering 30 distinct experiences, Falcon's Falaj -the longest mammoth water coaster ride in the Middle East at 300 metres, were met with delight from park visitors.


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