Mike Oswald

General Manager of Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi
Mike Oswald
Mike Oswald

This American water theme park veteran from California is now overseeing what is billed to become the region’s most popular waterpark – and one of the most talked-about in the world.

What was your role in the preparations for the opening of Yas Waterworld?
I’ve been involved from the start. From the funding, designing the park, working with the ride manufacturers and developing the theme. It was amazing to see it all come together.

Why is Yas Waterworld different?
It has 43 rides, slides and attractions, including five one-of-a-kind rides that have never been seen in any other park in the world. At the top of the list of the park’s must-try rides is Dawwama, the world’s first and largest hydromagnetic-powered six-person Tornado waterslide featuring a 238m funnel. Then there’s Falcon’s Falaj – the longest six-person raft ride in the Middle East. Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi is unlike any other in the region and rivals the best in the world.

Which is your favourite ride and why?
It has to be the 50m-long Bandit Bomber – the first roller coaster to be incorporated into a waterpark and the first to integrate laser and water effects into one ride. It’s amazing fun – I never get bored of it.

Tell us about the park’s theme.
In order to bring prosperity back to her village, an Emirati girl goes in search of ‘the lost mother pearl’, meeting a band of unlikely characters along the way. When she finds it, it’s the 8m-diametre pearl that’s the icon of the park.