> The Beesley Buzz: Dubai Diaries - Day 4 - Adventures at Aquaventure

Dubai Diaries - Day 4 - Adventures at Aquaventure

Written on Sunday 4th September 2016 (apologies for photo quality - most taken with a waterproof camera at waterpark)

It's now 6am Sunday 4th September. We arrived home yesterday lunchtime UK time after a comfortable yet busy flight home with Emirates having had to wake up super early at 4am Dubai time making it a really long day by the time we got unpacked and to bed last night.

I have a 'note to self ' to add at this point. ..do not read an emotional book on an airplane. I blubbed my eyes out all the way home reading Jennifer Niven's All The Bright Places. Such a beautiful book.
Friday was our last full day in Dubai. Just like the other days we had a packed schedule with Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis The Palm Dubai. The plan was to then have lunch at Kaleidoscope, followed by The Lost Chambers Aquarium.

Well you know what they say about best laid plans and all that. In Dubai Friday and Saturday are the weekend days so I can only imagine that there may have been a mix up in communication from those organising our visit and the weekend staff on duty as they were not expecting us.

This led to a delay in getting our wristband entrance tickets sorted and getting started. A couple of other hiccups meant that we didn't get started at Aquaventure until after midday despite leaving our hotel as planned at 10am.
Aquaventure waterpark is located at The Atlantis, Palm Dubai - A stunning building inside and out!

I'm going to give you our top tips later in this post to make things run smoothly. In our situation the staff told us that there was no way we'd be able to finish by 2pm for our meal and sent me over to speak to hotel security about changing our meal time. He reassured us that we could take as long as we needed and then head over for our meal whenever we wanted. So with that (seemingly) sorted we headed into the Aquaventure waterpark and had an amazing time.

You would need to allow a long day if you want to enjoy everything - the place doesn't close until late in the evening so if you have that long, then stay and enjoy everything.

We prioritised the lazy river and torrents, the rapids, the kids splash area with kids slides and pouring buckets, shark attack (sadly with no sharks due to maintenance ), zoomerango, and leap of faith (sadly with no sting rays to see again due to maintenance.)

We also popped briefly to the beach/sea area just to tick it off our bucket list. It was really quiet on the beach and had stunning views of the Burj al Arab in the distance. The kids wanted to get back to the rides so we didn't spend long on the beach.

We had a quick peek at the dolphins in dolphin bay.
By the time we did all this (and we estimate that this was around half of what was on offer) this took up most of the day. When we headed for our Kaleidoscope meal we were told that Kaleidoscope was now closed until later in the evening (3 different people told us different times of when it was due to re-open). After racing around the hotel in an attempt to find someone who knew about our visit and could make a phone call for us we had to resign ourselves to the fact that we'd have to leave Kaleidoscope and The Lost Chambers aquarium for our next trip to Dubai. We are determined to come back to this amazing city!

We headed back to Rove hotel for our evening meal before packing ready for our early start the next day.

As promised, here are our top tips for Aquaventure Waterpark :
  • Arrive early and stay late to allow yourselves enough time for everything
  • Take as little as possible with you - the standard lockers are tiny
  • Extra lockers and larger lockers are available at extra charge so that is another option if you really can't travel light.
  • Bring some form of beach footwear with you. We had brought our crocs all the way to Dubai but we had no idea that we would need them for Aquaventure so hurriedly had to purchase shoes to wear on the day as we were told we'd be 'at risk' without them. Indeed we saw plenty of red burnt feet for those who were attampting to walk around without footwear because the ground really is hot enough to burn your feet very quickly.
  • Crocs and flip flops are fine for getting from place to place but aren't permitted in the water or on the rides. They advised us to wear the wet-suit type beach shoes which they said would be permitted in the water and on rides. It turns out that they are only permitted on some rides so we still had to remove them and hold them for some things.
  • Glasses aren't permitted on the fast rides so again I was having to hold them and then not be able to see anything as mine are prescription sunglasses. 
  • They are really hot on safety which is brilliant. There are lifeguards positioned everywhere and we even watched them doing a practise rescue with a lifesize doll.
  • They stuck strictly to the height restrictions which for most things seemed to be 120cm. Again fantastic from a safety point of view but to be aware of if you have little ones too you need to plan to swap around. 
For our family this meant that there was very little that Miss T could join in with. We only found the lazy river and the kids splash area that were suitable for her and she didn't enjoy the lazy river as she capsized in her ring at one point. The kids splash area then got closed for an hour for cleaning when someone had an accident which is great that they take hygiene so seriously. But if you do have a younger member of the family,  logistically you just need to plan to take turns on the rides so that someone can stay with the little one. 

Safety is high priority - there were lots of lifeguards on duty

Life vest for children were provided free of charge
Like most of Dubai, the whole place was clean. The changing rooms were a pleasure to use with shower gel and shampoo provided for use in the showers. The floors were kept clean and dry. 

Towel hire is available or you can take your own.  Some people had got their towels at the start and used them to reserve sunloungers but as sunlounging was not something we were planning to do we only got our towels at the end. 

This caused a bit more of a delay as there is no towel pick up near the changing rooms and yet you need the paper ticket they give you to pick up your towel.  So this involved a bit of to-ing  and fro-ing to go to locker,  get tickets,  go back into the park to get towels then back to the locker room to get changed.  

With Dubai being so technologically focused we were impressed with the barcode wristbands being scanned for entry to the park and to access lockers and yet towel vouchers are issued on paper receipts and so are meal vouchers if you are eating at a beachside fast food restaurant like Shark bites or Barracudas where you can stay in your swimwear.  So being wet and carrying around paper tickets is not a good combination! 

Our final bug bear with this place was that smoking was permitted and in my book places with lots of kids around and smoking permitted is not a good mix. 

Oh and remember plenty plenty plenty of suncream. Spending so much time in the water makes you forget that the temperature is over 40 and unless you keep reapplying that suncream you are going to get burnt. 

Overall this is a great place to visit which is so nearly perfect. For us our timings went awry but if you allow plenty of time, and are aware of the small lockers and the need for beach shoes, then you should have a fantastic time as the rides are brilliant.

This was our last full day in Dubai but I hope to write a summary post at some point too to round up all our adventures. 

And here is some further info that Aquaventure and Kaleidoscope have provided: 

  • Aquaventure is the largest and most dynamic water-themed attraction in all of Dubai and the number one Waterpark in the Middle East and Europe. 
  • Set among 17 hectares (42 acres), this non-stop water experience consists of several extraordinary water slides, extensive river ride action with cascades, tidal waves and rapids. The lush tropical landscape is traversed by over two kilometres of water adventure; The Rapids circumnavigate and lead into the thrilling Mesopotamian styled Tower of Poseidon which stands in the centre of the action, reaching 40 m (100 feet) into the sky. The Tower Of Poseidon features five heart pumping, record-breaking rides.
  • Voted best waterpark in the Middle East and 3rd best in the world by Trip Advisor
  • The Aquaventure waterscape contains 18 million litres of fresh water used to power a huge variety of thrilling waterslides, a 2.3 kilometre river ride with tidal waves and pools, water rapids and white water chargers. 
  • Aquaventure is the only waterpark in The Middle East that offers Marine Animal Experiences including: Shark Safari, a delightful walk on the bottom of the Shark Lagoon, Cownose Ray Feeding, in the water interacting and feeding the hungry rays. 
  • Resort guests of Atlantis have unlimited complimentary access to Aquaventure Waterpark as admission is included in the guest room rate. For more information see: www.atlantisthepalm.com/marine-water-park/aquaventure-waterpark
Prices for visitors start from:
  • £44 (AED 250) for those above a height of 1.2 meters
  • £36 (AED 205) for those below 1.2 meters
  • Children aged 0-2 years of age can enter free of charge. 
Kaleidoscope is a truly international buffet breakfast, international lunch and dinner buffet with main focus on European Mediterranean cuisine, complemented by cuisines of Northern Africa, India and the Levant region. A mosaic pizza oven prepares fresh pizzas, as well fresh pasta and traditional curry and tandoors.

A huge thank you to Visit Dubai and Tots100 (special thanks to Extraordinary Chaos blog too as it was via Richard's comment on Sarah's blog that won!) 


  1. I found Aqua adventure pretty stressful too. Long queues for pre paid tickets which we had been told the wrong heighs for and paid too much. Then few double rings as people were holding onto them for later. We had a lovely time but took me half the day to calm down!

    1. I think it is a case of being prepared and knowing as much as possible beforehand. It is a great place but just the organisation/admin side of things could do with improving a bit. x


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