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Inside Dubai’s famous Atlantis hotel with 1,500 rooms, private beach club and the tallest waterslide in the world

OXYGEN helmet fitted tightly around my head, I take a long stride through the water, brushing my foot against a stingray’s tail as I lift my leg.

Sharks circle overhead, unphased by my presence, while below colourful fish of seemingly every variety weave through the pool.

Dubai’s Atlantis hotel boasts 1,500 rooms and the world’s tallest waterslide, the Odyssey of Terror
At the bottom of the famous Ambassador Lagoon Aquarium you can swim with sharks circling overhead

In total, there are 65,000 marine creatures swimming alongside me, and I haven’t even left my hotel.

I’m at the bottom of the famous Ambassador Lagoon Aquarium in Dubai’s Atlantis hotel.

This is essentially a humongous fish tank, which dominates the lobby in the East Tower — and hotel guests and visitors have the unique chance to hop inside it on this Aquatrek Extreme experience.

Guided by my own scuba diving instructor, I descend 30ft down a ladder, GoPro in hand to capture every moment.

As someone who’s not a fan of heights or the sea, I’m shaking with fear, but feel almost instantly elated when I see the hordes of bright sea creatures just within touching distance in front of me.

Located on Dubai’s artificial island, The Palm, Atlantis is just huge — with more than 1,500 hotel rooms, two towers and 28 restaurants serving cuisine from the likes of Nobu Matsuhisa and Gordon Ramsay.

And we get stuck in straight away at Saffron restaurant’s outrageously lavish brunch.

It costs £103 a head, but this is no ordinary nosh. You get unlimited food and drinks, a DJ, musicians — and sequin-clad dancers on podiums.

And the food is a cut above, too, with juicy lobsters and loaded bao buns served alongside espresso martinis and Aperol Spritz cocktails.

We watch, fascinated, as groups of expat Brits arrive dolled up in cocktail frocks and heels (the brunch isn’t just for hotel guests).

By 2pm, the area next to the sushi counter has turned into a dancefloor and a conga line is weaving through the restaurant.

It feels a little odd to be partying in the middle of the day.

But in many ways, Dubai is a city of contradictions.

While alcohol, dancing, loud music and public displays of affection are banned, the hotels are given exceptions, meaning breakfast mimosas and influencers posing in thong bikinis are the norm.

And with each hotel crammed full of entertainment, there’s no need to leave the resorts.

The Atlantis has a fabulous fit-ness centre and spa — with all the standard facilities, from hammam baths to Jacuzzis and saunas, plus special experiences like under- water yoga against the backdrop of the stunning aquarium.

There’s also paddleboarding, wave machines, sea lion meet-and-greets and helicopter tours.

The resort even has its own beach and swanky beach club, (£41 per guest for weekday entry, including £20 for food and drinks), with a perfectly manicured stretch of sand that leads to an infinity pool overlooking the sea and city.


And the fun isn’t just reserved for daytime. At night, head to the Imperial Club Lounge.

You have to upgrade your visit to gain Imperial Club access, but for that extra cost you receive free Champagne, cocktails and canapes between 5pm and 7pm.

An Atlantis holiday wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Aquaventure Waterpark (free for hotel guests) — one of the largest in the world with 105 slides.

While I wasn’t brave enough to tackle the world’s tallest waterslide, Odyssey of Terror, I got plenty of screams in on the other rides. Just allow lots of time for queueing.

If you’ve got cash to splash, it’s well worth shelling out for a private cabana with sunloungers, huge lockers, a massive fruit platter and, most importantly, a butler.

That evening, we soak up views of the glowing pool at the Arabian Terrace bar, sipping on the most delicious spicy margaritas.

They’re not on the menu but staff will serve you anything you want.

And that’s exactly what makes this place so special.

It’s not just the incredible food or thrilling waterpark rides (though they’re up there).

It’s having anything you desire at your fingertips — celeb treatment, without the status.

The Ambassador Lagoon Aquarium is essentially a humongous fish tank, which dominates the lobby in the East Tower
Located on Dubai’s artificial island, The Palm, Atlantis is just huge — with more than 1,500 hotel rooms, two towers and 28 restaurants

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