By William Faria - Team Mangalorean UAE
Ras Al Khaimah Sept 26, 2010: Polo Amusement that owns and operates two of India's leading water and amusement parks under the brand name of 'Fun n Food Village' on Thursday evening officially launched a multi-million dirham Ice Land water park in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) in the United Arab Emirates and is the largest theme park in the Middle East region.
The project, which is an ice-themed water park serves as the first phase of family entertainment destination to be known as WOW RAK. It is part of the Polo RAK Amusements LLC, which is a joint venture of Polo Amusements from India, jointly with the local UAE investors represented by RAK Investment Authority and RAK Properties PJSC. The Ice Land Water Park also showcases the world's largest manmade waterfalls and rain dance pool at the Penguin Bay, with an assortment of showers on a dance floor measuring almost a 6,000 sq. metres area that can hold a capacity of 2,000 people in one session.
This 120-acre multipart entertainment venue at the Khor Qurm region in RAK and will officially open its doors to the public from September 29. It will have more than 50 exhilarating water attractions and water slides. The foundation stone was initially laid in August, 2006 by Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. All the walkways to this park are covered with synthetic turf, to prevent slips and provide comfort to bare feet during summer.
While addressing a battery of journalists at the venue during the launch, Balwant Singh, Managing Director and CEO of the Polo RAK JV & Santokh Singh Chawla Jt Managing Director, Polo RAK Amusements LLC, said that though the penguins are artificial structures, it goes along with the story that during the effect of global warming, a clan of Penguins lost their home in the Arctic, drifted along the oceans and found a new home along the coast of Jazeera Al Hamra, in Ras Al Khaimah.
“So Ice Land is all about setting up a new home-land for the Penguins. The overall theme depicts the Arctic life and revolves around the artificial snow mountains and the 'penguins'.
The Ice Land leverages the amazing occurrence of snowfall on the Hajar Mountains and the phenomena of global warming to formulate a story line for Ice land. The theme draws inspiration from the concern of global warming, the two brothers explain.
The venue, which can accommodate over 10,000 guests daily, also has a large aqua-soccer field, which is also unique to the Middle East region, as participants will play soccer under the rain showers on a non-slip plastic turf, under flood lights. There will also be the Coral Isle - snorkeling on manmade coral reefs, with an aquarium experience as you swim.
Kabana Resort with 70 luxury beach-front shelters for day and overnight use, will be the centre of attraction for families you need privacy, says Balwant.
Talking of future plans, the duo said the project is being developed in three phases. The Iceland water park being the first phase is scheduled to open its doors to public on September 29. The second phase to be completed by autumn 2011 would include a shopping mall and a 180-room chalet type resort facility. In the third and final phase, the Planet Earth theme park would be developed and made open for the public by autumn 2012.
WOW RAK as a destination is being positioned as one of the premium attractions for both residents and tourists. “It will be the gateway to Ras Al Khaimah that would support the large development of hotels coming up in the Emirate,” says Santokh.
Developed as a family aquatic centre, Ice Land offers a mix of traditional and unique water park attractions distinctive by their 'guest experience' and variety. The legendary experiences at the Ice Land Water Park start with the Penguin Falls, which stands 120 feet tall with 500,000 litres of water cascading down its slopes every minute, qualifies to be the world's largest manmade water fall.
Other facilities include the Rock hoppers Den as the centre stage, all fully equipped with 100,000 watts of music power and theatre lighting. The Kids Cove offers a time to remember for children as an exclusive kiddies play area with more than 12 miniature slides and attractions just for them. The Tundra Baths, forerunners of the modern-day spas and Jacuzzis that carry with them a legacy of therapeutic powers of hydro massage.
The Slide zone with 24-water slides emerging from five towers with heights of upto 110 feet, gives the visitors the spectacular view and unique experience, as they slide down. The entire park is monitored by an integrated RFID system to include ticketing, access control, lockers, food court and merchandising transactions.
What's more besides the water park enthusiast, the Iceland water park also caters to the visitors with a wide selection of food and beverage options in the form of platter foods, a food court and a gourmet restaurant. “The food Court with 700 umbrella-shaped covers, would offer Arabic, Italian, Indian, Asian cuisine and international fast foods and a dedicated vegetarian counter,” explains Balwant.
He said that the various expatriate and the local communities residing in the Gulf region will have an opportunity to celebrate the national day of their respective countries, including festivities like Eid, Diwali, Christmas, the Bandra feast and many more attractions.
“Our deejays will cater to music of all kinds, we want each and every person regardless of his race to enjoy this family entertainment”, said the duo.
The project includes 4-megawatt power generation, a water desalination plant capable of producing 525,000 gallons a day and water filtration systems to maintain the 4 million gallons of pool water, to ensure uninterrupted enjoyment to the visitors. The facility has also been designed to be eco-friendly as it is equipped with two water-recycling plants that will recycle water to be used for horticulture purposes.
Polo Amusement (India) which also operates in Nagpur are also the developers of the Bolshoi Water Park in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.