This was one of my very favorite days of exploring. My friend Koral and I went to visit the Atlantis Resort which has the Lost Chambers Aquarium in it. Now, this resort is located at the tippy-top of the giant man-made palm island here in Dubai.
The Lost Chambers of Atlantis Aquarium is located inside the Atlantis Resort……
And, as an added bonus, we decided to take the Monorail to the resort, since I’d read that the photo opportunities from the monorail were really fabulous. Best of both worlds, plus, thanks to my handy Entertainer book, we had vouchers for buy-one-get-one-free entrance to the Aquarium. There was also one in there for the dang monorail, but it never crossed my mind to look for one.
I’d read that finding the entrance to the monorail station and parking area was really hard, some people were *never* able to locate it, and gave up and just drove out to the Atlantis. But I had some excellent instructions, and we just *barely* missed the entrance, so just went to the next U-turn place and turned around…. Then to the NEXT U-turn place to get back in the direction we needed (what a pain!!) Got into the parking lot and got a front-row parking space. Score!
Inside the monorail station, there were vending kiosks to buy your tickets. But of course, there were guys around to take your money from you, insert it into the vending machine, and press the button, negating all that “self-service” ya know…… <insert rolling eyes here> They even removed the ticket from the machine and would have likely walked over to the turnstiles and touched it to the little target had I not snatched it out of his hand…. Sheesh. Overkill. Anyhow, up about …. Um… maybe 4 levels of escalators past some pretty cool mosaic tile work
And we were in the waiting area. I’d been told to get a seat up front, as the photos were best from there so that’s what we did. Apparently, everyone else with the large group of oriental tourists accompanying us had read the exact same advice, so the front car was packed and other cars were virtually empty. Where’s the rolling eye thingy?? Ah well, it’s all good.
Info about this monorail – it’s been in operation since sometime in 2009. It’s 5.45 km long, and takes 5 minutes each way. Runs pretty frequently, like every 10 minutes, IIRC. The parking garage will hold 1500 cars, and can be expanded. The monorail trains are driverless, and cost AED 25 return (about $9 USD round trip). The inside of this train is pretty – unlike what I was expecting. Sculptured seating was scooped out all along the sides, and there were some forward-facing seats up front. Great windows, and they were clean, so photos were clear. Now, it runs up the “trunk” of the palm tree, from the station to the Atlantis and back. No other stops are open right now. Here are some photos along the way.
Approaching the Atlantis was an impressive site! Lovely vantage point, too. I’m so glad we decided to take the monorail, no matter how difficult it was to find the station!
And we could clearly see the water park portion of the resort – sure looked like fun, if it was a bit warmer….wow. Further out past the resort and the water park, you’ll see the “big water”…. that would be the Arabian Gulf. Oh, and that big, long, straight slide exiting the pyramid-looking building? It’s a waterslide. But get this, at the bottom – you go through a giant clear tunnel under the dolphin area – how cool is that??
So, here’s the Lost Chambers Aquarium…. And, according to their advertising brochure… “Imagine exploring the mysterious ruins of Atlantis, lost for thousands of years deep beneath the sea. Now picture yourself being surrounded by 65,000 marine animals. Come live out your own Atlantean adventure at the Lost Chambers Aquarium. Explore the underwater mazes and tunnels of this lost civilization while encountering sharks, eels, seahorses and piranhas. There are over 20 impressive marine life exhibits including a touch tank and our interactive Aquatheatre show”.
Here’s a ton of photos of the aquarium – be kind about my lack of mad photo skills. And don’t forget, you’re exploring the sunken city of Atlantis….. so notice the “Atlantis” theme throughout!
Listen – the effort that they put into the theming at the Atlantis was awesome! The fish were cool, excellent variety, big, small, bright, creepy, all sorts of fish. Riding the monorail was a fun experience too, got some great photos. And my favorite part?? No tiny placards with information about each species that I always feel obligated to read. I could just wander around, admire the pretty fish, take photos of stuff, and be happy.