It is already my 6th month in the Emirate of Dubai and all of a sudden, I feel so compelled to finally tick off one of my bucket list in this amazing city. I'm talking about the Atlantis, a luxury 5 star hotel built on the apex of the massive man-made island called Palm Jumeirah. True to its name, the hotel is themed on the myth of Atlantis.
|Atlantis, The Palm|
But ticking off this bucket list of mine doesn't mean that I have to book a room for it will hurt my wallet so much. For me, dining in to one of it's restaurant and experiencing one of its facilities is enough. One of its facilities frequented by visitors is the Aquaventure Waterpark where one can get their adrenaline pumping at an exponential rate with its record breaking rides and slides, get up close and personal with sharks and rays or kick back and relax on 700 metres of pristine private beach or in the new exclusive reserved seating areas. Interestingly enough, you can have a free access to this park if its your birthday. Now that's an exciting treat!
A good friend of mine had a free voucher and he asked me to accompany him. We were both stoked and clueless of what the water park has to offer. We arrived at the place at around 12NN and it was jam-packed with tourists and perhaps birthday celebrants. Few minutes later, all the shenanigans started to happen! From sliding in to the so called Aquaconda, gliding through the River Rapids, and to leaping to the nerve-wracking Leap of Faith, all are but a thrilling experience for me. Every ride send shivers to my spine as I haven't tried any of these before. It really is unforgettable. It's worth the price after all.
|Tower of Neptune|
The Tower of Neptune is inspired by a Ziggurat, a massive structure built in ancient Mesopotamia and the western Iranian plateau. It had the form of a terraced step pyramid of successively receding stories or levels. And yes, every level of this tower has a ride that offers different level of excitement. The ride/slide that I enjoyed most are the Shark Attack, Surge, River Rapids and Leap of Faith. I can't remember all. Shark Attack is a slide where in after swirling around a dark hole, you'll end up in a transparent tube where sharks swim around. Surge is a long, thrilling slide that ends up to River Rapids. The Rapids is like river rafting but you don't need a raft, all you need is a single or double tube and let the waters do the work for you. And the scariest ride goes to (drum roll) ..... the Leap of Faith! This is one high slide from the top of the Tower to the bottom. I myself is scared of heights and I just closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and had this faith to whoever built the slide that I will conquer it safely. And alas! I did it! I found myself rejoicing in the waters down below.
Too bad I ain't got a GoPro to film myself while screaming and sliding through the rides but at the entrance there is this booth where you can rent one. There are also photographers all around the park that will have your photos taken and will be available for viewing, downloading, and printing at the end of the day. I saw my photos and it was great. I wish I can share it here but the price was too high!
|Children's Play Area|
You can also go to the beach if you're not fond of rides and simply enjoy the pristine sea waters, the sun, and the panoramic view of the palm.
|Dubai Marina seen from The Atlantis|
You can also unwind and walk around the area filled with greens, restaurants and shops.
Like what I've mentioned earlier, access to the Waterpark is free if its your birthday. You can use the free pass from your birth date itself and anytime until the 7th day. You just have to register your birthday at www.aquaventurebirthday.com and they will send you your voucher. Have it printed and bring with you your Emirates ID or Passport as a proof. Then enjoy!
Adults pay AED 195 - usually up to AED 320
Children (under 1.2m tall) pay AED 170 - usually up to AED 275
I'm lucky because UAE Residents(like me) can save up to 40% At Aquaventure Waterpark provided you have your Emirates ID as a proof. I only paid AED 195 and saved AED 90 at the time we went there.
How to get there?
Take the nearest Metro station and get off at DAMAC (Dubai Marina) Station (Red Line). From there, take the Tram and get off at Palm Jumeirah Station. And from there, take the Monorail, it's like a Metro that will take you from the base of The Palm to the apex where The Atlantis is located. Two-way ticket is AED 25.
My Aquaventure Waterpark experience is truly unforgettable. While this is recommended for family with kids, this is also perfect for people whose on the verge of burning out from work like me. I'm definitely coming back to this place on my 25th birthday and by that time, it's going to be free! Yahoo! -Jon-