Breaking Travel News
Breaking Travel News interview: Tim Kelly, managing director, Atlantis Dubai

Breaking Travel News interview: Tim Kelly, managing director, Atlantis Dubai

With Atlantis, the Palm being joined by Atlantis, the Royal earlier this year, the one-of-a-kind destination is going from strength-to-strength.

Here Breaking Travel News joins managing director, Tim Kelly, at Arabian Travel Market to find out what guests can expect this year.

Breaking Travel News: Arabian Travel Market is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year – how is the team from Atlantis Resorts joining the celebrations?

Tim Kelly: It’s always an absolute pleasure to be here at one of the world’s leading travel and tourism events. Dubai has been on such a journey over the past 30 years, and it’s pretty remarkable that Arabian Travel Market has been there every step of the way, supporting the growth and development of this great city.

We look forward to celebrating at our annual ATM party!

BTN: How would you describe the mood in Emirati tourism as we head into the key summer season?

TK: 2022 was a staggering recovery year for the tourism industry in Dubai, the emirate surpassed global and regional recovery levels and already 2023 is demonstrating great growth. I think the mood is extremely positive and bookings are already pacing well for the summer months across the board.

BTN: Atlantis, the Palm was recently joined on the Palm Jumeirah by Atlantis, the Royal – how has the second iconic hotel been welcomed by the market?

TK: Following the Grand Reveal of Atlantis the Royal in January of this year, it’s certainly been an interesting and challenging but extremely rewarding first couple of months. We’ve seen great pick up by the much-valued Dubai resident market, as well as UK, Russia and the USA, with our suite category performing extremely well.

All in all, it’s been a great start.

BTN: What does it add to your offering in Dubai that was not previously available?

TK: Atlantis the Royal heralds a new dawn in ultra-luxury travel for Dubai. It subverts the classic stereotype that Dubai + luxury equates to gold and opulence, moving the very definition to something that is hyper-personalised, something that is so special it has to be experienced to be believed.

The reality is that anyone can create a hotel with the most opulent stones or unique materials, but it’s the people who deliver luxury.  The future of delivering luxury lies in our ability to anticipate our guests needs before they have even established these themselves. 

BTN: Are there any events scheduled for the rest of the year – Beyonce was on hand to celebrate the opening earlier this year, how are you going to stay in the headlines?

TK: Committed to introducing culinary excellence to the region, we will build on this legacy by joining forces with one of the world’s most celebrated chefs, Björn Frantzén, to introduce two new concepts to the region in quarter four of 2023. With an aim to further enhance the city’s reputation as a world-class dining destination, Atlantis will be home to Studio Frantzén, as well as a fine dining concept and the sibling to both three-Michelin star restaurants, Frantzén in Stockholm and Zén in Singapore.

BTN: Atlantis, the Palm took the title of World’ Leading Landmark Resort at the World Travel Awards last year – a title it has held for a decade. At the same time, Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis, the Palm was honoured with the title of World’s Leading Water Park. How important are accolades such as these?

TK: It was an absolute honour to take home the title of World’ Leading Landmark Resort, a title we have held for a decade and an accolade that means a great deal to us as the Palm Island’s first and leading resort.

Last year winning World’s Leading Water Park was also a momentous occasion following our expansion of the park and the addition of Trident Tower making us officially the world’s largest waterpark.

BTN: Atlantis, the Palm has recently completed a series of 3D virtual tours of the property- how important are such showcases when it comes to driving demand?

TK: We always like to embrace technology when it comes to enhancing the guest experience, and by utilising virtual reality to give prospective guests an immersive, 360-degree walkthrough of our rooms, is a great way to bring the Atlantis experience and product to life from the comfort of their homes.

Not only does this create a highly captivating and interactive experiential piece to the website, but accompanied with a straightforward booking process, we find that more customers are motivated to make direct bookings with us rather than through a third party.

More Information

Located at the centre of the crescent of the Palm in Dubai, Atlantis, the Palm is the first entertainment resort destination in the region.

Opened in September 2008, the unique ocean-themed resort features a variety of marine and entertainment attractions, as well as 22 hectares of waterpark amusement at Atlantis Aquaventure, all within a 46-hectare site.

It is home to one of the biggest waterparks in the world and the one of the largest open-air marine habitats, with more than 65,000 marine animals in lagoons and displays including the Lost Chambers Aquarium, a maze of underwater corridors and passageways providing a journey through ancient Atlantis.

Aquaventure Waterpark features 23.5 million litres of fresh water used to power 105 thrilling waterslides and attractions, including several world record-breaking slides, and two river rides featuring tidal waves and pools, water rapids and white-water chargers.

Dolphin Bay, the unparalleled dolphin conservation and education habitat, and Sea Lion Point were created to provide guests a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn more about some of nature’s most friendly mammals.

The resort boasts an impressive collection of luxury boutiques and shops as well as extensive meeting and convention facilities.

Atlantis, the Palm is also known as the culinary destination in the region where guests can take their pick from a collection of 35 world-renowned restaurants including Bread Street Kitchen & Bar, Hakkasan, Nobu, Seafire Steakhouse & Bar and the award-winning underwater restaurant, Ossiano.

Atlantis is also home to a buzzing nightlife scene with entertainment destination Wavehouse offering something for everyone, while White Beach is the perfect place to unwind with a drink as the sun slips into the Arabian Sea.

The new iconic landmark of Dubai, Atlantis the Royal welcomes guests to an experience that will completely redefine their perspective of luxury.

Crafted by the world’s leading designers, architects and artists, this is a destination where everything has been designed to challenge the boundaries of imagination.

Atlantis the Royal ignites the horizon with a collection of 795 elegant rooms, suites and signature penthouses.

Featuring stunning views of the Dubai skyline and Arabian Sea, 44 of them have private infinity pools.

The resort delivers a curated array of awe-inspiring experiences, inviting guests to swim amongst the clouds in sky pools, be dazzled by fountains that breathe fire or dine at more celebrity chef restaurants than anywhere else in the world.

Guests are taken on a journey of the impossible, with artful masterpieces, iconic entertainment and beautiful craftsmanship at every turn, where the highest level of service will set a new standard in excellence.

Find out more about both properties on the official website - or take a virtual tour of Atlantis, the Royal from Breaking Travel News’ partner Virtual World here.