Located in front of the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab, Wild Wadi Waterpark (+971 4 348 4444) was first on the scene and remains among the best, with a choice of over 30 rides and attractions. From kid-friendly slides and the relaxing lazy river to the truly terrifying Jumeirah Sceirah (which propels you to speeds of 80 km/h), it’s wet and wild all the way. Open daily from 10am-6pm.
At Atlantis,The Palm, Aquaventure Waterpark (+971 4 426 2000) delivers 17 hectares of H2O action. Dare to make the dramatic descent that is the Leap of Faith, jump in a two-person inner tube and journey through the Tower of Neptune to a shark-filled lagoon, or relax in a private, poolside cabana. Open daily from 10am to sunset.
In Jebel Ali, Legoland Water Park (+971 4 820 0000) at Dubai Parks and Resorts is designed especially for families with kids aged two to 12. Slide, splash and swim through 15 Lego-inspired water slides, raft rides and pools. You can even construct your own Lego raft to help you on your way. Open daily from 10am-6pm.
Laguna Waterpark at La Mer (+971 4317 3999) has four different zones – Splash, Slide, Surf and Relax – and all manner of hair-raising rides to hurl yourself down. The central Water Slide Tower is at the heart of the action, with a host of cool attractions, including five rides, plus a family zone, lazy river, and pool lounge with swim-up juice bar. The star attraction, however, is the WaveOz 180 Florider – the first of its kind in the region – where you can tackle the competition-level wave on a body board or stand-up board. Open daily from 10am-6pm. Tickets cost from Dhs125 on the door.
For something on a smaller scale (although it's actually the world's largest inflatable waterpark), head to JBR where you can find AquaFun, which challenges you to run, jump and slide your way past 74 games without falling off. Open daily from 10am-7pm. From Dhs150 per adult and Dhs120 for kids (ages 6-12).