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Breaking Travel News interview: Timothy Kelly, managing director, Atlantis, the Palm

Katie Jensen speaks to Atlantis, the Palm managing director, Tim Kelly, about winning at the World Travel Awards

While there can be no doubt last year was a challenging one for hospitality across the Middle East, Atlantis, the Palm in Dubai has begun 2021 with a bang.

The one-of-a-kind property on the crescent of the Palm Jumeirah recently picked up three prestigious titles at the World Travel Awards – including honours for World’s Leading Landmark Resort, World’s Leading Hotel Dining & Entertainment Experience and World’s Leading Hotel Suite and is using the success as a platform from which to build.

Next month the resort will debut a long-awaited upgrade at the famous Atlantis Aquaventure, further developing what is already a world-beating facility.

One of the biggest waterparks in the world, the park will welcome the exciting addition of a third action-packed tower.

The development will break records with the 34-metre tall Trident Tower, which is set to introduce 12 incredible new slides to the Atlantis Aquaventure offering and entertain everyone from the little daredevils to the waterpark veterans.

Aquaventure has long been the leading waterpark in the Middle East, with more than 20 amazing rides and rivers spread across 17 hectares of thrills and spills at Palm Island.

Now thrill-seekers will be treated to a whole new world of fun with the addition of Trident Tower which will feature signature world-class ProSlide rides including the world’s longest all-new MammothBlast, a 449-metre family adventure water coaster that delivers uncompromising force at unprecedented speeds.


Rafts rocket through winding channels, experiencing a breath-taking series of back-to-back curves, drops and uphill climbs powered by patented Blast water propulsion technology.

Tim Kelly, managing director at Atlantis the Palm and the Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences, said: “At Atlantis we endeavour to deliver amazing experiences and everlasting memories to all of our guests and so enhancing the Atlantis Aquaventure offering is the natural next step in providing the best experience possible.

“We have carefully curated each attraction to ensure that we deliver first-of-its-kind ride technology for children, families and thrill-seekers alike.

“Trident Tower and its record-breaking slides will be a thrilling addition to the Atlantis experience, and we look forward to the unveiling next month.”

The expansion comes at an exciting time for Atlantis, with the launch of the Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences, which is also set to debut over the next 12-18 months.

Crafted by the leading designers in the world, architects and artists, this new generation of distinctive luxury will offer infinite ocean views, accented with lush green spaces, encapsulated in dramatic architecture.

Sitting side by side on the crescent of the Palm, the introduction of the Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences to the Atlantis site will extend the footprint of the resort dramatically.

This new phase for Atlantis will comprise of two properties, a 2.3 kilometre stretch of private beach, 35 world-class restaurants and bars and one leading international beach and nightclub.

Totalling 43 storeys, the Royal Atlantis will also be home to 231 distinctive luxury apartments, 795 luxury hotel rooms, more than 90 swimming pools and an awe-inspiring rooftop Skypool, suspended 90 metres above the Palm.

Of course, with so many new attractions coming to market, Atlantis, the Palm has been careful to maintain and develop its existing facilities.

“Ahead of Expo 2020 we undertook a programme that has updated our property with contemporary flair, while staying true to the property’s iconic heritage.

“Revamped and revitalised, it has been stylishly upgraded, while still keeping the soul of Atlantis alive,” said Kelly adds.

“We are maintaining our focus on customer needs and demands, and constantly evolving, ensuring that each and every experience is unique, with all our visitors making memories that last a lifetime.”

Atlantis, the Palm recently saw the completion of the refurbishment programme that has refreshed the entire resort.

Following a vigorous competition, UAE based architects WA were selected to refurbish the resorts’ rooms and suites, delivering a contemporary underwater design to provide a fresh look and feel in keeping with the resort’s underwater theme.

Integrated technology with sound bars and touch screen panels, oversized flat television screens and bespoke chandeliers are just some of the stand-out features of the spruced up new suites.

Atlantis, the Palm, has also raised the bar of its luxury offering with the relaunch of its Imperial Club service including a brand new 3,091 square metre lounge.

The stunning new Imperial Club Lounge, located in the East Tower, sits over two floors and can accommodate Imperial Club guests for complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and cocktails, and canapés over the course of a day.

Additional refurbished guest areas include the Zone, a teen-only hangout for ages 13 to 17, Plato’s Lounge serving breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails and the concierge and VIP check in lounge.

Sun loungers located on the Royal Beach, Royal Pool, Zero Entry Pool and all guest towels have also been replaced for a cleaner, more modern look.

The programme has also seen the introduction of four new restaurants including the incredibly successful launch of revolutionary entertainment destination Wavehouse, the opening of the globally celebrated Cantonese fine dining restaurant Hakkasan and the introduction of Atlantis, the Palm’s poolside burger concept Beach Buns.

Finally, with healthy and safety still top of mind, Atlantis, the Palm is currently offering international guests who stay five nights or more in resort free Covid-19 PCR tests.

Additionally, the all-encompassing resort has partnered with one of the leading hospitals in Dubai in order to be able to conduct the tests from the comfort of their own hotel room.

This means that guests can maximise their leisure time without the need to disrupt their vacation with a visit to a hospital or clinic.

Speaking about the development, Kelly said: “We are continuously evolving to meet the needs of our customers during this challenging time.

“Using our on-site medical centre, the new PCR tests will help to reduce any travel inconveniences and encourage more international guests to visit Dubai’s premier entertainment destination.”

More Information

Atlantis, the Palm is the first entertainment resort destination in the Middle East and located at the centre of the crescent of the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.

Opened in 2008, the unique ocean-themed resort features a variety of marine and entertainment attractions, as well as 17 hectares of waterpark amusement at Atlantis Aquaventure, all within a 46-hectare site.

It is home to one of the largest open-air marine habitats in the world, with over 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.

Find out more on the official website.