Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

The Dubai Staycation: Atlantis The Palm

with 6 comments

The stars aligned in the UAE last week and the private sector (that’s everyone who doesn’t work for the government) was granted a public holiday that fell on a Thursday, giving us all a three-day weekend. Hurrah!

Having decided we’d get away “somewhere”, I chose super-tacky Atlantis, much to the surprise of both DH and my discerning friend A (“Seriously?” she asked. I’m sure an eyebrow rose). Not because I have a love of rubbing shoulders with Russian tourists, but because there’s so much there for the children to do and, having nipped up there the other week to hang out with a friend, I’d seen how much DS loved splashing about in the “zero entry” pool (fake-beach style).

Atlantis The Palm: It's big, it's ugly - and it's fun for families

Atlantis The Palm: It’s big, it’s ugly – and it’s fun for families

DH sighed. He wasn’t keen. “Too busy, too tacky and too full of tourists,” he said. “But, if you must book it, make it good…” (he knows me well).

So I treated him to a Terrace Club Suite – a suite with a living room big enough for two single beds for the children, a separate bedroom (with a door you could close, very important), and a large terrace.

The Imperial Club access bit wasn’t intentional but, as the weekend went on, I realised I’d always choose that, even if it meant taking a smaller room. It gave us a dedicated lounge for check-in – a life-saver when the hotel was at 100% occupancy and the lobby was heaving with stressed tourists – a place to pick up our free Aquaventure wristbands without queuing, snacks throughout the day, a cream tea in the afternoon (hot scones – proper clotted cream – yum) and a fabulous cocktail hour from 6pm to 8pm during which there were free-flowing free drinks, along with what I can only call a light supper: Canapés, maki rolls, bruschetta, salads, breads, crackers, cheeses, cold cuts, sandwiches, hummus, crisps, nuts, cakes, pastries, fruit… Needless to say, we didn’t need any dinner.

The children absolutely loved having Aquaventure on tap. It was great to be able to dip in and out as we fancied, rather than feeling we had to spend the whole day there because we’d paid for it. We’d go as soon as it opened, nip home for lunch and a lie-down, then slip back in for a final ride ‘n’ slide as the sun started to dip and the day-trippers headed home. It was a bit like having the world’s best water park in our back garden. Oh, hang on…

The best bit about the whole thing though was that, despite being just 15 minutes from home for only two nights, we felt like we’d spent a week in the Seychelles.

So would we go back?  Even DH said yes.


Written by mrsdubai

June 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm

6 Responses

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  1. We would like to come with kids next year; seems amazing for them!


    June 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm

  2. Sounds great! How much did it set you back?


    June 16, 2013 at 12:36 pm

  3. Thanks for sharing this, travelling to Dubai for the 1st time in March and I was contemplating a couple of nights in a club room, now I know it’s good 🙂 Also need a good desert hotel, any suggestions? Thanks Fatima


    November 5, 2013 at 10:22 am

    • Hello, glad it was useful. Bab Al Shams is okay as a desert hotel but the winner, for me, if you don’t have kids (they are not allowed), is Al Maha. xox


      November 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm

  4. Lucky Mrs Dubai who obtained a free weekend at Atlantis Duba for posting a super-detailed plug about it. My kids are too old but any tips on how to get a freebie at Burj A la Arabe?

    Anne Paulsen

    April 17, 2015 at 9:59 am

    • Oh ye cynical lady, I received nothing free from Atlantis, not even a biscuit. We paid for the weekend and I wrote about it in detail purely in the hope that it might help others decide whether or not the resort is for them, which – you may have noticed – is my way. If something is sponsored on this blog I will tell you (and to be honest, it 99.9% is not)- otherwise I have paid for everything in order to be objective. Good luck with blagging your stay at Burj Al Arab!


      April 18, 2015 at 8:28 pm

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