Dive Atlantis at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai has unveiled a range of new dive programs with youngsters in mind, allowing them to get even closer to the 65,000 marine animals that call Atlantis their home. In collaboration with PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), the resort has developed world recognized certification processes for kids and adults, in the form of three brand new programmes.
A few minutes before going home, I got a call from Atlantis Dive Centre inviting me to try the Dive experience at the Atlantis lagoon. Dubbed as an underwater conference, they invited a few media people too to try it out. They told me it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and that I should not miss it. So as scared but excited as I was, I said yes and even though we have a conference the next morning, I confirmed to do it.
The next day, I sneaked out of our conference to go to the dive centre. As soon as I arrived, we were given wetsuits and were transported to the Ambassador Lagoon. The instructors, all of them were very nice and understood that we were all beginners with some of us having no experience at all. They gave us a short briefing, a little bit of practice and some tips on how to ‘survive’ and enjoy diving and just being underwater. I must commend the patience of the instructors as they were really cheerful and approachable whenever we have questions. The most important thing to remember here is that you can only breathe through your mouth and not your nose. So after a few minutes of trying the gear, mastering the hand signals and practicing breathing through my mouth, off we go and we started the diving session.
The first few minutes were tough for me. I was not relaxed at all and I was panicking a bit. The instructor pushed me to go deeper but I got scared and signalled I will come out of the water. So I was palpitating when I got out and he asked me if I was ok. I said I just needed a bit more time to relax and calm myself. He patiently waited and after just a minute, I said I’m ok and I’m ready now.
(This is me in my first attempt and still trying to figure out how to breathe properly through my mouth)
When we tried again, I was now telling myself that the experience is actually fun. What’s great about it also is that there is a dedicated cameraman who will record the whole session and will take pictures as well (thus the video below and the high res pics here). When I got the hang of it, I was already swimming by myself (although the instructor will always guide you) and I was waving to the guests outside the aquarium. I felt like I was a celebrity doing a show being watched by hundreds of people outside. There are a lot of people asking me to just stop and so they can take a picture of me. I looked stupid smiling inside because they were taking pictures even though they cannot see it because of the mouthpiece.
As we were swimming around the aquarium, there were also some trivia related to the lagoon and the kinds of fish printed in cardboard and tied to the rocks. After the session, we were to have a mini quiz and they will pick a winner in random. I really enjoyed the face to face encounter with the sharks and stingrays and the different creatures underwater. It’s an hour and a half long session but it went by so quickly. I was very much entertained that I wanted them to extend the time but they told me, we needed to go and take the quiz. We were then transported to the other scuba diving pool, we had the quiz and that concluded our Dive experience.
I would highly recommend that everyone as in anyone even the kids to try and do this ‘Dive experience’ at the Atlantis Dive Centre. Each session takes about an hour and costs Dhs1,450 (Dhs1,250 for resort guests). I can not stress how much fun the experience has been and if given another opportunity, I will definitely do it again.
For further information about Atlantis please call +971 4 426 1000, or visit http://atlantisthepalm.com