Atlantis looks to renovation as well as expansion

$1.4b Royal Atlantis due to add nearly 800 more rooms, alongside villas and hotel apartmentsImage Credit: Megan Hirons Mahon/Gulf News archive

Eight years after it opened, Atlantis, The Palm, is looking at renovating its existing facilities.

“We are serving over 5 million covers [customers] a year, and we have a lot of repeat customers from Europe and the GCC,” president and managing director Serge Zaalof said. “We have to renovate and innovate.”

Atlantis announced its $1.4 billion Royal Atlantis expansion, adding villas and hotel apartments and nearly 800 more guest rooms, a 50 per cent expansion, in February. It’s due to open in 2018. The expansion’s revenues are expected to match operating costs three months after opening. Zaalof said he expected the investment to be recouped “quite fast” but could not give a precise figure.

There are plans afoot to expand Atlantis’ water park, but Zaalof declined to reveal them, saying there were two options and a decision on which to develop had not yet been made.

He welcomed the recent improvements to the rival Wild Wadi water park and the upcoming Legoland water park due to open at Dubai Parks in October. “This is good for Dubai, for the families, by definition. It’s great. Dubai Parks will be amazing for visitors, for our customers also. It’s very good for ‘Destination Dubai’.”

About 57 per cent of Atlantis guests were families, he said, compared to a UK average of 90 per cent families.

Zaalof said he was also keen to expand and improve Atlantis’ conference facilities.

“I am never satisfied,” he said. “The conference and MICE [meetings, incentives conventions and exhibitions] market is something which is important for Dubai, for the retail also. We need to work much more on it because we already have 3,000, 4,000 people coming to Dubai conferences. It impacts the revenue of Dubai in a big way for a short time, and also with the social media you have a clientele who really promote your business. And it’s a good total customer spend to have in your hotel budget. Most of them guarantee breakfast, lunch, dinner at good rates.”

Source: Andrew Staples, Chief Business Reporter,


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