During my trip to Dubai I felt that this is one city which does not believe in being content with what it has; but is a city which must have everything possible in a place – skiing slopes, completely new islands in various shapes, 7 star hotels, water parks in a desert, the tallest structures in the world etc etc. This city has to have everything exotic that money can buy.
And I think one of the biggest examples of this attitude, are the artificial islands of the Palm Jumeirah and the World. While I havent seen the World Islands, I saw the Palm Jumeirah during my visit to Dubai last year. The Palm Jumeirah is an artificial cluster of islands, created and arranged in the form of a giant palm tree – complete with a trunk, a crown, 16 fronds and a crescent to complete the outline.
We wanted to see these islands and also The Atlantis resort (which is at the end of the palm islands), hence set out one morning for a visit. We took a metro to the Dubai Marina station and then a taxi to the Atlantis. There is also a monorail here (you can take a taxi from the Marina metro station to the monorail station) which glides over the trunk of the palm from a height. This gives you an actual overview of the Palm Islands, the fronds, the villas, etc. I have heard the ride is very good but we left it for another trip and took a direct taxi to The Atlantis instead. We also saw the fronds, villas, the view of the Dubai Marina area etc but from the ground level.
These islands are amazing and we loved the whole new city and exclusive feel of this place. The villas are beautiful and some even have small beaches and private boats. For some reason though I also got a feeling were empty, not sure about this though.
The Atlantis is like a world in itself with numerous things to see and do. But what I immediately loved about it were the murals on the walls and the marine life detailing around the hotel. The murals on the walls are of various marine animals in the most beautiful colors, lamps have sea-horse and dolphins on them, etc etc. That just adds to the whole experience here.
We generally wandered around for a bit and saw the numerous shops / boutiques, fine dine restaurants, spas, beaches, pools etc. However the novelties here are – the aquaventure park, the dolphin bay and the lost chambers aquarium. You need a ticket for all these activities, but some discounted packages are possible if you are staying in the Atlantis or if you plan to spend the full day here. Since we had limited time we just decided to visit the aquarium.
Now Dubai has two aquariums – one in the Dubai mall and one in the Atlantis. However numerous websites online recommend the one at the Atlantis, hence we only visited this one. Here too there are numerous tours possible – the myth, behind the scenes, diving experience, fish feeding etc. We didn’t take any additional tours and just bought the normal ticket.
Now if you thought that aquariums are for kids and only have fish, then you have to visit this place. The entire interiors (including the fish tanks) have been designed around the theme of the mysterious underwater city of Atlantis and it is surrounded by 65,000 marine animals. It has some amazing lighting effects, water spouts and best of all some unique marine animals.
The whole experience is very surreal and you actually feel that you too are underwater in this mysterious city and a part of this marine life. In many places there is low seating too, where you can sit and stare at the fishes for hours. I am always mesmerised by the collective graceful movement of fishes and really loved the huge large central tunnel. There were also some inquisitive fishes here, that kept coming near the glass to check us out. 🙂
We spent more than an hour here and had a fabulous time. After the tour we went to the Starbucks and enjoyed a good cup of coffee and some muffins 🙂
Tips for the Trip –
- Atlantis is slightly far off from downtown Dubai, hence the cheapest way to reach here is to take a metro to the Dubai Marina station and then take a cab / monorail from there.
- If you are not staying at the Atlantis, then there are various combo / day options available on the website that you can book.
- If you are a UAE resident then you get a discount in the aquarium, so be sure to carry an id proof.