I recently visited Dubai with my boyfriend Paul on my way back from Doha Qatar. I knew the Atlantis The Palm was somewhere I had to visit. We toyed with eating in Ossiano (the aquarium restaurant), however, £300pp is too much, even with my spending habits. We looked at visiting the aquarium or the aquaventure park, but felt it wouldn’t be a new experience. I’ve never fancied scuba diving and for £170 I wasn’t going to try it. So we decided to try the Dubai Atlantis Ultimate Snorkel for £50pp.
Arriving at the Atlantis The Palm
We got an Uber to the Atlantis and upon arrival, it lived up to all photos I have seen. The entrance to the day events is to the side of the main hotel. We walked through the main lobby towards the reception, past a range of boutiques, Starbucks and other small shops. I really wanted to go to Nobu in Dubai but we went in Doha. I’m glad of this now, as the entrance is through this lobby, which is shared with the waterpark and aquarium. It felt like it had lost its glamour, there were people walking in dressed up for Friday brunch, with people ready to go swimming, for me it didn’t really work.
Once we showed our tickets to reception we were told to wait a short while. An employee came and got us, and took us through a staff only door. I felt like I was going backstage, we were taken in a large lift up to the tank area. We were told as we booked the early 11am slot it was often quiet, it materialised we were the only two going in the tank.
Time to suit up
We sat underneath a canopy out of the sun. An instructor advised us of how to use our snorkel, and the types marine animals we were likely to see. I was given a wet suit and float jacket, then shown the changing room. An instructor was to stay in the tank with us and a photographer, of course not forgetting 65,000 marine animals.
Under the sea
I got in the water and was immediately blown away with the depth of the tank, there were shoals of fish, stingrays which I was assured were de-barbed, and sharks. It was mesmerizing having sharks swim inches underneath you, I was told not to splash and often found myself frozen with a mixture of excitement and fear. We were able to see people taking photos in the aquarium while swimming across the tank. It truly was an amazing experience, which I would recommend as being worth every penny. Having the tank to ourselves for 30 minutes was a chance in a lifetime.
Then we wait
I didn’t purchase a waterproof pouch for my phone, and was looking forward to see the photos from the photographer. However it took over two hours for the photos to be uploaded for us to purchase a print. There wasn’t a great deal to do, and everything was extortionately priced as expected. So my advice would be if you didn’t want to go to the water park or aquarium afterwards, is to take an underwater camera or pouch.