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One of the World’s Largest, Craziest Waterparks Is Set to Open in Qatar

Elisabeth Edwards
Photo Credit: Pablo Porciuncula / AFP / Jeff Gritchen / MediaNews Group / Orange County Register / Getty Images

Qatar is gearing up to open one of the world’s largest – and craziest – waterparks. Known as Aquatar, the “oil rig” theme has us wondering if oil and water are meant to mix.

Aquatar will be the jewel of this man-made city

The 300,000-square-foot park will include 36 water slides and attractions as well as a 279-foot-tall tower which will be the world’s highest water slide. Located in Lusail, an artificial city built from the ground up by the Qetaifan Island North development project, Aquatar Water Park was anticipated to bring in countless tourists visiting the country for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Qatar occupies a small desert peninsula off the coast of eastern Saudi Arabia. It’s roughly the size of the state of Connecticut and has one of the largest reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the world, making it an extremely wealthy country that affords its citizens a high standard of living. The design of Aquatar will reflect the oil and gas industry and its history in Qatar.

The area surrounding the park will also include lavish retail plazas, luxury residential communities, a beach club, and the “Linear Park” – an artificial Salt Canal linked to the ocean that will allow visitors to enjoy aquatic activities like fishing and boating. The entire city is built on a 14-square-mile island and has cost over $40 billion dollars to build as part of Qatar National Vision 2030.

The National Vision is set to elevate Qatar to an “advanced society capable of sustaining its development and providing a high standard of living for its people.” The Vision will address five major challenges currently facing Qatar including uncontrolled expansion, social development, environmental management, economic growth, and preservation of traditions – all by the year 2030.

An oil-themed waterpark

The colors used throughout the park are rusty to “give visitors an idea and feel of the oil and gas fields, but in the form of a waterpark,” said Sheikh Nasser, the managing director of Qetaifan Projects, the company in charge of the waterpark. “There is no doubt that there is nothing better than the history of oil and gas in Qatar, which is actively contributing to the development of our country and promoting and showcasing our history and culture.”

Visitors can explore the history of oil and gas in Qatar with a 3D, augmented reality attraction that takes them back in time. They can also opt to try out some of the craziest waterslides ever created at the “Icon Tower” which stacks several different slides on top of each other. The tower is a staggering 279 feet high and contains 12 rides on six levels. Parkgoers will use an elevator to reach the top.

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The park is projected to bring in 50,000 visitors daily, especially during the FIFA World Cup as the Lusail Stadium is only three miles away. However, as the World Cup opening ceremony came and went the park remained under construction. Will Aquatar succeed in rising above the rest and successfully completing the most insane waterpark the world has ever seen, or will it come to sink or swim?