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Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai

There is a good reason why I believe the Atlantis is amongst the very best destinations for a family holiday: it consistently delivers on its promises.

Everything has been thought of here to provide the ultimate in family entertainment and unique experiences that encapsulate the appeal of a holiday in Dubai.

The Palm Island is the largest man-made island in the world and the smallest of the Palm Trilogy, with Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira under construction.

Atlantis was the first resort on the island to open its doors in September 2008 and continues to be recognised as one of the great family-focused tourism havens and hotels in the world.

Amongst its host of incredible adventures to discover are the thrilling facilities at the onsite Aquaventure waterpark, The Ambassador Lagoon, The Lost Chambers Aquarium and for animal lovers the opportunity to get up close with the resident dolphins and sea lions.

Just about every one of my clients that has stayed here has loved their swim with the dolphins.


An abundance of outlets catering for all tastes including children are available. My personal favourites include:

Gordon Ramsay’s family brunch at Bread Street Kitchen

Every Friday afternoon, guests can enjoy sharing starters, a British roast, or fresh catch of the day, plus signature desserts. The Bread Street Kitchen team keep youngsters busy with different cooking sessions and a complimentary visit to The Lost Chambers Aquarium after their meal.

Saffron and Kaleidoscope

These are the resort's two interactive buffets. Saffron is a theatrical buffet with 20 live cooking stations where guests are very much part of the action, whilst Kaleidoscope is an inviting restaurant focusing on Mediterranean cuisine complemented by specialities out of Northern Africa and India.


Wavehouse is an all-in-one, first-of-its-kind concept and the Atlantis' newest addition. It is a collection of spaces which seamlessly morph into each other, from a dedicated restaurant, adult-only bar and beach-themed terrace through to an arcade area, soft play zone, augmented reality experience and a licensed bowling alley. The restaurant's menu is full of creative twists on popular favourites, such as deep-fried Babybel cheese and rainbow sliders, while the trendy bar serves up a range of cocktails with the tropical terrace a great place to enjoy a drink and watch daredevils take on the Surf's Up wave rider below.

Kids Eat Free at Seafire

From 5pm to 7pm daily, the Seafire doors open early for some quality family time over dinner and under 11s can enjoy a complimentary dinner from the kids menu.


There are, of course, room types designed to ideally accommodate families with no less than 1,400 guestrooms and suites in the Royal Towers, boasting inter-connecting doors and including two specially created 'family' room types:

The Deluxe Family Room

This consists of one double queen room and one adjoining king room that can accommodate up to six guests. This room category also includes daily complimentary access to the Atlantis Kids Club as well as offering magnificent views of the Arabian Sea or The Palm.

The Imperial Club

This is great added value and undoubtedly worth the money, giving access to its own lounge for breakfast, afternoon tea, evening drinks and canapés and entry to an exclusive beach club.


The kids are in for a treat with first-class activities and clubs provided for toddlers through to teenagers along with daily events at the Zero Entry Pool and The Royal Beach, all in addition to the infamous on-site water and animal experiences.

This waterpark is widely acknowledged as not just the best in Dubai but among the best in the world. With unlimited complimentary access offered to all Atlantis guests, it contains 18 million litres of fresh water used to power more than 30 thrilling rides, including the longest river in the Middle East which takes an impressive 45 minutes to float down.

Splashers Mountain

A fun-filled playground for the youngest guests featuring elaborate water games, slides and structures providing a world of thrills and spills.

Splashers Island

Launched in 2018 and suitable for young families, this area features 20 thrilling water attractions including the first KIDZ Tornado and KIDZ Bowl in the region, which are exact replicas of the popular Aquaventure adult slides but made for kids!

Shark Lagoon

For a thrilling definitive feeding experience, join an Aquarist in the shallow waters of the Shark Lagoon at the Mesopotamian-styled Tower of Neptune for a hands-on Cownose Ray Feeding experience where visitors learn about the anatomy of these graceful species as they emerge for their treats.

Shark Safari

You don't need to be a scuba diver to experience the Shark Safari, where a special helmet is donned for a memorable underwater adventure safely exploring the Shark Lagoon for a fish-eye perspective on the world.

The Lost Chambers Aquarium

This stunning aquarium brings explorers into close contact with the myth and the advanced inventions of the ancient Atlanteans via a maze of underground tunnels and passageways that feature tanks filled with special exhibits found in the local Arabian waters.

The Fish Tales Tour

This tour shows what it takes to care for over 65,000 marine animals of 250 species in Atlantis with an informative behind the scenes insight. Guests are welcomed to the resort's fish hospital and nursery, where interactions with new-born jellyfish, seahorses, clownfish, sharks and rays happen daily.

The Ambassador Lagoon

This 11 million litre, 10-metre-deep marine habitat and underwater exhibit is home to several hundred species of marine life, with a viewing panel looking right into the mystical ruins of Atlantis.

Dolphin Bay

This state-of-the-art dolphin education and conservation centre and interaction habitat was created to bring enlightenment and education to visitors about one of the ocean's most fascinating and loved inhabitants. Atlantis guests can meet and interact with these charismatic animals in an unparalleled encounter programme that is enriching for both them and the dolphins.

Sea Lion Point

Looked after by 45 experienced marine mammal specialists, this is the only sea lion habitat in the region whose residents are South African fur seals. Guests can connect with and learn about the wonders of these charming marine creatures.

Vital Statistics

There are many more notable statistics about the Atlantis that I have learned. Here’s a dozen that I love...

  • The resort's size of 46 hectares equates to 64 Wembley football pitches and includes 1.4km of beachfront

  • 24 restaurants are on site including three outlets by celebrity chefs, Nobu Matsuhisa, Giorgio Locatelli and Gordon Ramsay

  • 58,000km of steel bars were used in the construction – that is more than nine times the length of the Great Wall of China

  • There are 54,000 trees/ palms and shrubs

  • More than 2,250 tonnes of marble and stone were used to create the walls, fountains and magnificent floors throughout the resort

  • The total cost to build Atlantis was USD 1.5 billion

  • The height of the highest point from ground level is 120m

  • The priceless Dale Chihuly sculpture in the Grand Lobby was created using 3,000 hand-blown pieces that were individually placed to create the 10-metre-high entry centrepiece

Sculpture in grand lobby
Sculpture in grand lobby

  • Atlantis has 35 retail outlets

  • The viewing pane into the Ambassador Lagoon is 10m long and 70cm thick and if all the water was drained from The Ambassador Lagoon it would fill 4.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools

  • The Atlantis Kids Club is the only kids club in the world that has an underwater theatre

  • ShuiQi Spa and Fitness has 17 therapists, 27 treatment rooms and offers more than 60 different treatments

These guys undoubtedly understand what makes a luxury family holiday perfect and whatever age your children or your family size, I look forward to planning your Dubai experience with them.


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