Atlantis Dubai – Don’t Go … Not Just Yet

The Good: (This is Going to Be Short)
It has probably the best aquarium I have seen yet, with a very interesting combination of fishes. The main attraction of this hotel is its aquarium, every person should see if they get the chance. Aquaventure is very entertaining water park, you get a few major slides, the rapids around the whole of aquaventure which you can continually float in with doughnuts.

The Bad:
I think one quote sums up the whole experience. “Its a Las Vegas Hotel without the Las Vegas Service” The hotel really feels like its unfinished, the quality is lacking, and the service is chaotic. You can hear through the walls easily, and it is the same in the shower. The room furniture feels mediocre in comparison to the price you are paying for the room. This is considered the soft opening of the hotel and they were understaffed and opened too much too fast, the official opening is Dec 2008.

And The Ugly:
They weren’t ready for this huge amount of people, in one night 400 people checking in, 800 checking out. Soft opening does not mean 1500 rooms are occupied, only 30% to 50% of the hotel should be in use. There is no familiarity with the staff, they really don’t know you because it is really huge. It is chaotic and they are very disorganized, they are trying to pass this hotel as a luxury hotel but the quality of the rooms feels like it was patched together, some of them have some very nice views but still it isn’t worth the high cost they are charging. I would rather stay at any of the hotels in Jumeirah then stay for a long period at Atlantis.

Hotel services is nothing short of non-existent during that period. Room services would take a minimum of 1.5 hours up to 6 hours, and these are events that took place with us and other people. They are charging HUGE amounts for room service such as 70 KD for some cookies, (melted) ice cream, fruits, and orange juice which was just insane. Internet charges are astronomical and the its wireless, but the wireless signal is very weak. They charge 3.6 KD for 1 hour of use, and 75 KD for 1 week of usage. They are trying to charge the hotel guest everything possible which is insane. You can get the top BMW/Mercedes from any hotel in Jumeriah for 200 AED an hour, but from Atlantis with a driver who isn’t familiar with Dubai you have to pay 375 AED an hour.

This hotel is catering to the masses and not to the individual. It is worth to visit it for a day or two max, not more or you will loose your voice from shouting so much as I did. Even the bellman would take 1 to 2 hours to get to your room. I don’t blame the staff themselves, and I feel sorry for them but every one was extremely frustrated and they weren’t ready for all the hotel guests and opening the hotel to the public.

Then there is the roads on the Palms which lead to Atlantis, there is a security detail closer to the main underwater entrance. Instead being a 10-15 min trip, it is a 45 min to 1 hour and 20 minute trip due to the idiocy of Atlantis and Nakheel security. It was driving me nuts, made it a horrible time to leave or enter the hotel, there is always that delay.

We did enjoy ourselves but it was because of the company and not the hotel. We were extremely flustered from them, and we get into huge arguments with the staff throughout the day and the lack of service was just appalling.

A guy who is just trying to enjoy life!


  1. I love the aquarium pics..

  2. zahed

    dude bas tabi il sidg we had fun

  3. Hehehehe….
    artificial, expensive, bad service.. that sounds like Dubai.

  4. i still wanna go – maybe not stay anymore cos the prices are extortionate – i was checking out the website. but i wanna hit the water park and check out the aquarium

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  7. fadibou

    Stay in any other hotel for 1/3 of the cost, go to see the aquarium for 20KD per day.
    Save the cash.

  8. Hellraiser

    Dude how much are they charging per night?

  9. lulu

    thanx z, thats useful info :)

  10. dubai lover

    I have been to there the first day of Eid Alfitr, really I saw whatever you explained, your are right its clearly the hotel is not ready yet and the staff there are disorgnised.
    I suffered from the traffic jam to reach to the hotel, and from the security at the intrance of the hotel who stop each car and asking foolish question (I was with my family,
    finally when I “succeeded” to inter the lobby I disappointed with the huge amount of south asian (indians) who are roaming around taking photos for themselves and their kids (of course they were not residances) making too much noise, and bad smells (from the hair cream they are using).
    I tried to have dinner at the I talian resturaunt, I faced unpolite people at the resturaunt reception, specially the English guy (I think he is the manager of that resturant) he was really unpolite, rude and looks unpleasant as same as he will give me free meal ;)..
    The Aquarium is very intresting, thanks for pictures.

  11. marshmallow

    fadibou u cheapo

  12. jewaira

    That’s too bad Marzouq.
    Thanks for the thorough review though.

    Another blogger also went and reported a similar bad experience.

  13. hi

    hahahaha bad smell from the hair cream they use!!!…hahahaha what a racist

  14. Excellent coverage. The inside of the hotel reminds me of the Rapture from BioShock. But those chargers are insane. If I ever went to Dubai again, I’ll definitely pay it a visit but I don’t know if I’m going to stay there, at least, not in the near future.

  15. I love how you described it as a Las Vages hotel without Las Vegas

    I soOo need some Las Vegas

  16. NoOne

    I loved “fishes” so much =) It sounds much better than fish.

  17. Q80 In Denver

    even hotels can be copy cated ! what the hell! this should’ve stayed in the Bahamas because it was made for the bahamas! it still sucks there .. except for “the cove” which was the most luxurious of all “atlantis” hotels back in the bahamas ..

  18. why am I getting this post as a forward from my friends lol

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  20. Seve

    I was there for the first five opening days, what a shambles. Two hours to check in, a further two hours to get our cases. It went downhill from there with service, poor meals at so called Michelin star restaurants. You expect to pay over the odds for drinks etc but you then expect first class service. Not so.
    The building and Aquaventure was good, the aquarium a pleasure to see and how well maintained it was, the fish were treated and fed better than the quests.
    Whilst in Dubai visited the One & Only Royal Mirage, also owned by Sol Kertzner, what a difference!!!
    The happiest and best hotel service was at the ice cream parlour.
    Lessons must be learned quickly and comments by quests taken on board or otherwise a bad reputation takes a long time to recover.

  21. mrs marrocco

    thank you for the photoes really lovely.
    my main gripe with the hotel is there 375 aed for a journey
    as it’s a fraction with every other taxi.
    Also be clear that they are into overcharging.
    I don’t like mean; they are mean. Absolutely no need to overcharge.
    The staff were all very well mannered and gave excellent service.
    Nobu was below par – didn’t like the wait nor was the food that good.


  22. A Dubaiburger

    In this Atlantis Hotel the quality of all technical works have fallen victim to the fast track work, so nothing works properly.
    Even the traffic calculation for check in/out hasn’t been done,so if you go on thursdays or on holidays you should wait for a very long time for getting in your room.
    Very chaotic, disorganized and untrained staff.
    Really pls don’t go to stay there. It’s not worth.

  23. sonya

    interesting comments,anyone got a very recent update?

  24. john

    I have had a lot of friends that have stayed recently and have really enjoyed there stay, I think a lot of you forget they are currently going through there soft opening and its bound to have its problems especially when it had a fire 2 weeks before opening and had a lot of water damage and couldnt use there main lobby for check in and check out and this is the reason for previous negative reviews.Like all hotels they have the same problems for example madinat jumeirah and Jumeirah beach hotel had a lot f complaints when they open and still do, you cant keep everybody happy and I can say this because I have worked in a lot of the big hotels around the world and its all the same.Give atlantis some time to train there staff and let the dust settle before making any conclusion.

  25. ron

    Hey, can someone tell me how muchto go to Atlantis waterpark for 2 adults and 3 kids. please send individual prices if you know them that would be a big help. thanks.

  26. ron

    oh, by the way, great photos of the grouper! He looks as mean as they say he is!

  27. Marete

    I think all the people who have been disapointed by Atlantis should go back after four months or so and compare!
    the shortcomings are never, and never will they be PARMANENT!
    and bytheway…..all these people dwelling sooo much on the negative, why dont they say the positive things?…talk of how great the spa is, have they visited the kids club and club rush( for teenagers)? none of them has said how spectacular the lobby looks like!
    about the staff, give them a short time and they will be the perfect one and only Atlantis staff!(i dont mean they are bad, but wait and see) i hope each one of you will be my witness

    Regards to you all!!

  28. SickandTired

    Well maybe if the staff were treated with a scrap of decency then maybe they would not mind bending over backwards for the guests – before you can get loyalty from the customer you must first have loyalty from you staff!!!!!

  29. Elise

    i’ve been to the Atlantis it’s not what he says it is
    it is amazing the staff are so polite and willing
    the water park is awsome
    the food is great and the rooms are fabulous
    I could’nt ask for any better

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