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From Magic Planet to Ski Dubai, Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) has made a name for itself in the Middle East by integrating strong family attractions into its shopping malls. Shama Uchil explains how a rooftop waterpark has driven footfall to Bahrain City Centre


Wahooo!


Bahrain’s rooftop waterpark


Family fun at


30°C A line-up including a Master Blaster water coaster, Flowrider, Sidewinder, mat racer, tube slides, rain fortress, lazy river, wave pool and tots’ pool provides Wahooo! with arguably the region’s most up to date mix of water attractions. With just 800,000 people living on the island of Bahrain, the waterpark must pull from several other surrounding territories. Around 50% of its guests are Bahrainis, followed by 20-25% from Saudi Arabia and the remainder from countries including Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. As we reveal in our main article, the concept of swimming indoors is still a foreign one to many local families; in fact there are very few public swimming pools generally. As such, Wahooo! promotes “guaranteed 30ºC all year round” – an enticing offer in either summer or winter.


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t Majid Al Futtaim (majidalfuttaim.com) we have seen from previous experience how well received unique and distinct leisure offerings can be at our shopping malls, take for example the world renowned Ski Dubai at the Mall of Emirates. For Bahrain it was decided that a waterpark would be best suited and offer superb facilities to both the people of Bahrain and other visitors from across the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries. Wahooo! Waterpark opened at Bahrain City Centre in Manama in October 2009.


A Speaking to waterpark industry experts, such as


Aqua Leisure International, we made sure that we had the best mix of rides available in the 15,000 square metre space. We have a mixture of high and low thrill


rides for children and adults, so that everyone can enjoy them.


The design team wanted an Indian Ocean theme.


With vinyl-printed scenes throughout the park, a schooner moored alongside the wave pool and a wave pool beach area with granite styled rock work, we believe the theme has been successfully achieved; in fact our designer says it looked just as he had imagined it on paper.


The challenges of building the waterpark on the top floor of the mall were significant. Not only from a logistical point of view, as we are 20 metres off the ground on the fifth floor of the mall car park, but also in terms of physical weight. The design of the park including water storage tanks, ride structures and pool


APRIL 2012


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