Day 4 was much better weather, beautiful and sunny, and we were so glad we’d left this day free to spend at the hotel. After another delicious breakfast at the Khaymat Al Bahar (more Nutella pancakes) we decided we’d visit the Wild Wadi Waterpark which is based next door to the Madinat Jumeirah, at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. But the good news is we didn’t even have to leave our hotel grounds, our butler at the Dar Al Masyaf called us a golf buggy which picked us up from our villa and took us along the buggy route to the waterpark. On the way there we asked to make a stop at the Al Naseem hotel because they have a turtle rehabilitation lagoon, where they look after sick and injured turtles. Once a year they release them back into the ocean, when they are ready to go back in again! And also once a week on a Wednesday you can go and watch them being fed, unfortunately we missed this as that’s the day we arrived and found out about it too late. Kimaarah loved seeing the turtles swimming around, this was a really good educational opportunity that I actually wrote about on her online nursery journal as I told them I’d keep them updated with what she was getting up to on holiday. When Kimaarah starts school I won’t have a problem in taking her out for a few days if I feel there’s an educational element to the holiday, and as long as she has good attendance and behaviour! Kimaarah learnt that putting plastic in the ocean is dangerous to the turtles and I’m not saying I’m the most environmentally friendly person ever, but I do feel like this is an important lesson to learn from a young age so I was pleased I had the opportunity to show her.
We got back on our golf buggy and was driven under the road leading to Burj Al Arab which was good to see and arrived at Wild Wadi. This is Dubai’s only themed waterpark as it’s got an Arabian theme, and the best news is anyone staying at the Madinat Jumeirah gets unlimited access when outside guests pay about £70 for a one time entry. So you could easily get your money’s worth by visiting a couple of times during your stay. Getting in was really easy as we arrived about 11am, an hour after they opened, there wasn’t a big queue and we just had to show our room key at the desk and was given wristbands to wear – not them tacky looking ones, these looked a bit like watches! You can pay for a locker but we didn’t bother, I probably should have as I left a pair of flip flops in there and only realised later that day! We found some chairs, there are a few different areas with loungers and you can also hire a private cabana which looked lovely as they are in more secluded areas and come with a fully stocked fridge. We didn’t bother with a cabana as we only planned on staying for a few hours but if you wanted to make a day of it I’d definitely recommend as they were more out of the way and you don’t have people sitting right on top of you! I’ve looked online and these are about £500 so not cheap at all but I’m sure this is about the cost if you have a cabana somewhere like Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando (correct me if I’m wrong!)
I took Kimaarah to the side of the big wave pool to collect a life jacket, they have special ones there for the kids in all different sizes, they are strict with kids wearing them and I did see one of the lifeguards approach a lady who’s baby had a different swim jacket on and told her to wear one of theirs, it was reassuring to see they took kids safety so seriously. My mum took Kimaarah into the wave pool for a little while which didn’t have the waves going all the time, it was nice for her to be able to bob about and practise kicking her legs, as she can’t swim yet (must book swimming lessons soon!) It’s also lovely and warm as they control the temperature to make it suitable for everyone! No one wants a shivering baby! The wave pool was the middle feature of the waterpark, if you’ve seen my photos and videos it’s a beautiful blue with views of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, it gave us those holiday vibes! I went off to find something to do, I decided to first try out the lazy river which turned out to be a whole loop of different rides and slides, I got in my ring and floated along until I reached some rapids which took me to an upwards slide – ladies make sure you have suitable swimwear on because I had to check myself quite a few times 😂 I went along about 8 different slides ending up on a black tunnel slide, the ‘Tunnel of Doom’. While you’re going around you’re actually being taken higher and higher, it gives you amazing views of the Burj Al Arab, it was totally different to any waterpark ride I’ve been on before. It was relaxing and exciting at the same time if that’s even possible! They have a few other scary slides which I didn’t go on, one was the ‘Jumeirah Sceirah’ because I have to be careful of my back and another 2 are group slides where you need 2 – 6 people and all sit in a big round inflatable together – hearing everyone’s screams I knew they would be good! I’ve also watched some videos on YouTube which gives you a good idea of how the different slides are!
I came off the rides feeling fresh and went to find my mum and Kimaarah who were having a lovely time still in the wave pool. I took Kimaarah into the kids area where they have loads of slides, a big bucket that fills up and then empties over you if you stand under it (if you like the drowned rat look) and all different water fountains. However with my child she’s not the bravest and by the time I’d got her up to the pink slide she wanted to go on she was a blubbering mess! The lifeguard was so kind and tried to reassure her but she wasn’t having any of it! So down we went, for children who like slides and running around in their own safe area it would be perfect.
After this we got some lunch at Wild Wadi, they have quite a few different food outlets but we just went to the one that was closest which reminded me a bit like KFC, ‘Juha’s Family Kitchen’ the portions were huge, I could have shared a meal with Kimaarah and my mum, all the food was cooked well, the popcorn chicken was especially lovely (£8 per portion) I had a 3 piece chicken meal which came with chips and a drink for about £17 so no it’s not the cheapest but when you’re in a tourist attraction in Dubai I think you have to expect that! You aren’t allowed to bring your own food in for health and safety reasons, which is fair enough in somewhere like this I think. If you’re staying in the Madinat or the Jumeirah Beach you can charge your food to your room and pay at the end of your stay, this was another thing we didn’t end up paying for thanks to our resort credit! There’s also places you can get ice creams, fruits, snacks, and lighter options if you didn’t want to eat a huge lunch that you might lose going down some of the slides after 😂 Another thing I noticed is they weren’t strict about swimwear, you didn’t have to be that covered up – I saw one girl in a thong bikini even! When we had lunch we just ate in our swimwear as it was an outside seating area, it felt lovely and casual, overall it was a great few hours.
As some people know we stayed at the Atlantis last time which has the Aquaventure waterpark, I cant really tell which I preferred as the Wild Wadi seemed smaller but still has enough slides to keep you busy, lovely lazy river, I would definitely recommend it!
After we’d had enough excitement at Wild Wadi we took the golf buggy back to the beach and the lovely beach staff found us some loungers, put towels on them, brought over bottles of water in a cool bag and also some sun cream for us to use – this is all part of the service! I got chatting to the guy about his job and how long he’d been there, he was from Kenya and had worked there for 5 years. I found out that Jumeirah Group gives them private medical healthcare, either an apartment or housing allowance, and more benefits, it’s probably why all the staff are so amazing as they’re being looked after so well! I didn’t encounter one bad member of staff and of course I’m more aware of this from my background in customer service and hospitality. I asked him does he have any children as I remembered a lady we’d met when staying at the Atlantis who had a little girl the same age as Kimaarah, but back in her own country and I’m sure she was from Kenya too. But he said no he doesn’t have any children, big mouth Kimaarah pipes up with ‘why don’t you have any children?’ Ffs 😂🙈 I can’t praise the staff enough for their kindness to Kimaarah and the time they spent making sure we all were okay and had everything we needed, you didn’t have to think about anything and really got to focus on enjoying your holiday!
After a couple of hours on the beach and more shell finding, building sandcastles with the buckets and toys the beach staff very kindly brought over for Kimaarah to play with, we headed back to the villa to get ready for dinner. We decided to revisit the Arboretum buffet at the Al Qasr as this was my mums favourite, it was stunning walking into their lobby with the chandeliers and walking down the beautiful stairs with Arabian carpets, seeing the flower displays, everything about it was stunning and that’s before you had even seen the food! They had seating inside and outside and some of the food was outside, the beef tenderloin and chicken shish were my favourite, I think I said it in one of the previous posts but this was no ordinary buffet! The Madinat had the best buffets I’ve been to and I did love the Saffron buffet at the Atlantis but these felt a lot more sophisticated, less busy, no queuing up, we just chose where to sit and the waiters would appear to offer drinks and make sure we were looked after! On this night I wore a bit of a low cut dress 👀 no one said anything to me but generally I didn’t see anyone else with this sort of dress and I felt a bit more comfy when I was wearing a jumpsuit for example. As the Madinat Jumeirah is one of those places which has a certain reputation in Dubai, it’s regarded as one of the best and has visitors from all over the world! So I would just say to keep this in mind, we saw people in jeans so I’m not saying you have to get your Louboutins on every night but just to know it’s more of a sophisticated and classy resort!
After dinner we headed to bed, my mum had wanted to go to the Dubai Mall to see the fountains but Kimaarah was a bit too tired and I didn’t want to keep her up and make her too moody as we all know how threenagers can be! So that is something on our list for next time!
Stay tuned for the next post of day five!
Love, Emma x