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Water paradise

January 15 - 21 , 2020

Gulf Weekly Water paradise

Residents of Bahrain will be able to enjoy its first publicly accessible splash pad experience during the day and the evening starting today at the Waha Splashclub, located in The Lagoon, Amwaj Islands, writes Naman Arora.

The ‘splash park’ intends to create a space where kids and families of all ages can learn about water and have fun, with up to 30 diverse water features. Even those who use a wheelchair are able to enjoy the splash pad area as well as the accessible washrooms.

Nabil Rashidi, the chief executive officer at Waha Splashclub, has created splash pad experiences for companies and hotels across the region, including The Grove in Bahrain and Saudi ARAMCO.

Nabil, who is a father of three, said: “As a parent myself, I wanted to make the splash pad experience available to tourists and residents across the kingdom, instead of having it exclusive to certain club members or people who are staying at a five-star hotel.”

Nabil’s firm Premier Q, which also designs, supplies and constructs waterpark equipment, partnered with Vortex Aquatic Structures International, a Canadian company that specialises in building splash pad equipment.

As the GulfWeekly toured the facility last week, some of the standout features included the Water Journey, an experience with paddles and water paths to teach children about the flow of water through tactile experience as well as the various pressure-sensitive water fountains to give children a fun way to learn about Pascal’s Principle, whereby pressure is uniformly transmitted throughout a liquid.

Stephen Hamelin, president and chief executive of Vortex Aquatic Structures International, said: “While some play events focus on the cognitive play others provide various levels of physical play. For example, the Water Journey is an interactive event that allows children to explore the hydraulic cause and effects as they control the flow of water through a maze of channels. There is also special attention to providing physical challenges for the very young as well as the older school age kids. At the Splashclub, toddlers can take their first trip down a waterslide while move physically advanced children can venture under the thundering splash of the Super Wave.”

A unique misting stand, invented by the team for Bahrain, gives those on the side-lines a cooling water based experience of their own.

The Waha Splashclub, which is an all-Bahraini company with mostly Bahraini employees, also has its own food truck, which serves light snacks and drinks aimed for kids.

The entire park has a fully computerised control system with the ability to adjust flow, light colours and activities build into a programmable back-end.

The splash pad has been designed with environmental sustainability and safety in mind. As we watched the most visually striking feature, the Super Wave splash water down, Nabil explained that the reservoir for the splash area, which can accommodate up to 300 children, was 15,000 litres, less than a third of the 50,000 litres needed to fill a small swimming pool.

Additionally, the system recycles its water, sanitising it along the way to ensure a minimal carbon footprint. The splash pad also includes various safety features to avert the possibility of any injury or drowning.

Stephen said: “Safety is at the core of our product development process. We challenge ourselves to provide exciting play experiences while minimizing the risk of injury.  All products are designed and engineered in accordance with international safety guidelines for aquatic play and amusements.  In addition, an impact attenuating flooring system is installed to improve comfort and to reduce the risk of injuries from falls. 

“The Splashclub is also designed to have no standing water eliminating the risk of drowning.  This is a huge stress relief for families with very young children and affords parents with some peace of mind.”

According to Cristina Fulgencio, general manager at Waha Splashclub, based on the success of this club, the company will explore opening similar public splash pads in the country and region.

The Waha Splashclub is open to the public every day from 10am to 9pm, with a two-hour pass priced at BD5 and a day pass priced at BD8 per child. Parents, who are required to be present to supervise their kids, pay BD2 per person. The area is also available for birthday parties and other events, with live entertainment, annual memberships and other added features to be unveiled in the coming months. For details, visit www.wahasplashclub.com

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