Dubai’s Atlantis Aquaventure, the world’s largest waterpark, proudly announces that it has earned the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES)
This certification marks the first-ever for a waterpark in the Middle East and reflects the team’s unwavering commitment to providing exceptional experiences to guests with diverse needs and ensuring an inclusive environment for all.
The CAC designation is awarded to organisations that complete a training and review process to better understand and assist autistic and sensory-sensitive guests and other persons of determination. In collaboration with IBCCES, Atlantis Aquaventure staff underwent extensive training to better understand the spectrum of potential guest needs. More than 80% of the guest-facing Marine and Waterpark colleagues were trained in Autism & Sensory Awareness (ASA). In addition, a total of 960 Atlantis colleagues are certified by IBCCES in one of four programmes: Autism & Sensory Awareness, Autism Certificate Training, Autism Certificate Training – Aquatics, or the Autism Certificate.
Additional training highlights include:
246 frontline colleagues underwent training on Autism & Sensory Awareness that enables them to better understand the needs and signs of sensory difficulties
621 Lifeguards completed Autism Certificate Training – Aquatics
93 guest-facing Team Leaders, Assistant Managers and Managers completed a 4-hour Autism Training Certificate that included methods of managing sensory overload
In order to help autistic and sensory-sensitive guests and their families plan a visit and navigate the waterpark, Atlantis Aquaventure also re-designed all in-park signage to include IBCCES sensory ratings for 24 attractions. This enables guests to understand the sensory intensity for each slide or attraction, such as noise level, lighting, and water temperature, so informed decisions can be made prior to entering an area. In addition, the team has created two designated Quiet Zones in Atlantis Aquaventure, which have lower sensory stimulus for those who might feel overwhelmed during their visit. A Quiet Room will also become available later this year.
“We are incredibly proud to become the first waterpark in the Middle East to receive the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation,” said Kelly Timmins, Director of Marine Animal Operations and Sustainability, Atlantis Dubai. “Partnering with IBCCES emphasises our commitment to inclusivity and accessibility and is part of our long-term Corporate Social Responsibility strategy under the Atlantis Atlas Project, with initiatives focused on supporting people and the planet on our journey to becoming a sustainable tourism business. We look forward to welcoming all guests to Atlantis Aquaventure for an enjoyable and memorable experience.”
“IBCCES is thrilled to partner with Aquaventure to help support the team’s long-term goals of accessibility and inclusion. Everyone deserves to make memories and feel welcomed when they travel to new destinations,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “Working with industry leaders like Atlantis Aquaventure – Dubai will make a huge impact in the region and around the globe to create more inclusive spaces.”
The CAC designation process began in 2022 as part of the Atlantis Atlas Project – Atlantis Dubai’s commitment to do business in ways that are good for both people and planet. The project has a fully comprehensive strategy in place to drive both environmental and social initiatives, focusing on Responsible Operations, Conservation & Animal Welfare, Education & Awareness, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The collaboration with IBCCES is one of several programmes to drive the destination’s CSR strategy.
By completing the CAC programme, Atlantis Aquaventure is leading the way as part of a wider Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) initiative to achieve the Certified Autism Destination (CAD) designation in Dubai, which IBCCES awards to communities with a multitude of trained and certified lodging, recreation, and entertainment options. Once achieved, this designation would mark the first CAD in the Eastern Hemisphere.
This World Autism Awareness Day, on Sunday, 2nd April, Atlantis Aquaventure invites persons of determination to enjoy complimentary access to the waterpark and experience the improved changes under its Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation. Waterpark tickets will be available for a guest and one caregiver by presenting a valid Person of Determination ID Card at the Atlantis Aquaventure ticketing plaza.
Atlantis, The Palm and Atlantis The Royal guests enjoy complimentary, daily access to Atlantis Aquaventure as part of their stay while day visitors can purchase a ticket to the world’s largest waterpark from just AED 299. For more information, please visit https://www.atlantis.com/dubai/atlantis-aquaventure/aquaventure-waterpark.