Lost Paradise of Dilmun waterpark, Bahrain
THE Lost Paradise of Dilmun (LPOD) waterpark opened in Bahrain in September 2007 having been developed by the Al Areen Holding Company and representing an investment of US$50m.
The park is set in an area covering 77,000 sq.m, with approximately 45,000 sq.m currently being utilised and a further 20,000 sq.m of this space earmarked for future expansion and car parking. It takes its theming inspiration from Bahrain’s rich cultural heritage, the Kingdom of Bahrain being the centre of the ancient Dilmun empire which existed more than 5,000 years ago, and evokes the spirit of ancient times by drawing attention to the beauty of the Dilmun ruins, enabling guests to escape into a “lost civilisation.”
The waterpark and Al Areen Palace and Spa 5-star resort hotel are the first components of the US$1.3 billion Al Areen Development, which is being built over a site of 2 million sq.m in the southern region of the Kingdom of Bahrain, close to the wildlife sanctuary. The luxury, mixeduse health, residential and family tourism development is within an elevated desert setting and will embrace a world-class spa resort, the state-of-the-art waterpark and a range of residential, commercial, recreational and entertainment facilities.
Bahrain’s first world-class waterpark, and what is claimed to be the Middle East’s largest stand-alone water theme park, features 18 of the latest slides, pools, fountains and attractions and caters for all age groups. It incorporates many exceptional features, such as the Dilmun Artesian Spring which recreates the idea of Bahrain’s ancient springs. It is an area for families to relax in, with shaded seating around the pool and Jacuzzi-style jet massage nozzles strewn across the insides. All these special features are encircled by a large swimming area.
LPOD also offers visitors the only wave pool in the Middle East with a sandy beach, which provides for people of all ages and tastes. And adding to the guest comfort element are replicas of Dilmun ruins set up with thatched shaded lounging areas and extensive landscaping.
Younger children are catered for with an extensive interactive wet play area. This has a wide range of themed, interactive play equipment with structures offering a dozen slides, water sprays, water curtains, mini tip buckets and a host of knobs, swivels and levers to adjust and direct a series of jets and sprays.
Working its way around the wave pool and acting as a natural navigation path through the whole facility is a lazy river which meanders through a series of themed tunnels. Each tunnel features wall paintings, replicated ancient artefacts and treasures, accompanied by sounds and visual effects to further enhance the experience.
All the slides and attractions at LPOD were supplied by the Canadian company WhiteWater West Industries and they are featured in a number of differently names zones. In Falcon’s Dive, for example, guests will find a Boomerango, Superbowl, two 23m. high speed slides and three open flume body slides that begin 23m. above ground level.
Kids’ Mesopomania includes the Kids Rain Fortress, specially designed for children under 10, along with the Tots Pool, a wading pool with tiny slides and water features for youngsters under three years old, while the area also includes the new Battle Boat and training pool, a large pool designed for the new Battle Boat kids attraction and which the park also uses for swimming and swimming courses.
The Tylosplash zone accommodates a family raft ride, which at 26m. high is the tallest ride in the park and features four-person, circular rafts, while the same area also provides four tube slides. The Dilmun Beach area houses the park’s wave pool, the largest in the GCC region, while in the Qasar Enki zone can be found a spa pool with built-in seating, therapeutic water jets, Jacuzzi pumps and a swim-up refreshment counter. The Paradise River is also to be found in this area, the 420m. long river winding its way through the park, past fountains, waterfalls and statues, through tunnels and ruins while also offering a sensory experience with smoke, sound and lighting effects. Finally, a sixth area, Oasis Pool, features a swimming pool with a natural riverbed finish and built-in water features.
Among the other facilities available to guests of LPOD are eight food outlets serving Arab grills, Western BBQ items, healthy juice drinks, ice creams and snacks, while a 1,000 sq. m area at the park entrance, called The Souq, houses the park’s retail offering, selling logoed merchandise and souvenirs, resort wear, swimwear, pool accessories, towels and much more.
Also provided are two Royal cabanas with private gardens overlooking the wave pool, five VIP cabanas for day rental with waiter and VIP services, in addition to four beach cabanas for day rental, with special services, while the park operates an integrated “cashless” entry and purchasing system, allowing visitors to charge up their wristbands so they can spend in the park without the need to carry cash.
LPOD’s annual attendance is anything between 160,000 and 200,000 and in addition to the water based fun and entertainment on offer during the main season, the park also holds rock concerts based in and around the empty wave pool during the winter, as well as cinema nights, again utilising the wave pool. “Dive in” cinema nights are also held during the summer when the wave pool is full.
And coupled with all the waterpark entertainment and activities on offer, LPOD also provides a range of facilities for team-building events and conferences, as well as offering numerous group packages and events packages.
At a glance
Opened September 2007
Bahrain’s first world class waterpark
Part of the first phase of the US$1.3 billion
Al Areen Development
Represents a US$50m investment
18 main attractions
Six separate ‘zones’
Rides and attractions supplied by
WhiteWater West Industries