Dubai Q&A with Founder Oliver Brendon

Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark , LEGOLAND® Water Park , Orlando , Olly's Blog
Dubai Q&A with ATD Founder Oliver Brendon
by Founder and CEO Oliver Brendon
I was fortunate enough to visit the newly developed Dubai Parks and Resorts and Aquaventure at Atlantis The Palm recently. So, I thought that I’d ask and then answer the kind of questions that I’d probably ask about these parks as a British traveller to Dubai.

Dubai Parks and Resorts

1. How many parks are there? 

Currently, there are four parks – MOTIONGATE, LEGOLAND , Bollywood Parks and LEGOLAND Water Park. They are also building a Six Flags theme park which will open in 2019.

2. Are they any good?

Yes - really good. In terms of number and variety of theme parks, Dubai isn’t Orlando…yet! The destination is making a concerted effort and spending a serious amount of money to try and catch up though and I would highly recommend a visit to a Dubai theme park at any time of year. They have excellent rides, very short queues (usually 0-5 mins even for the most popular rides) and remarkable technology.

3. Where are they?

In between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. An oasis of theme parks in the desert.

4. How do I get there?

Dubai Parks & Resorts is about a 30 – 40-minute drive from the major tourist hotels at Jumeriah Beach and The Palm. Taxis are relatively cheap compared to the UK or you can get there via a hop on hop off Big Bus tours available to pre-purchase at Attraction Tickets Direct. You can read more about getting around Dubai here.

5. Which theme parks at Dubai Parks and Resorts should I visit?

Below is a brief description of each of them from my experience.


Whether you’re travelling with children or not or whether you’re travelling in the summer or the cooler months, this park is a must.  It’s very similar in look and feel to Universal Studios Orlando.  The signature Bullet Train, Hunger Games rollercoaster is a fantastically exciting ride with a backward and forward launch.


Bullet Train Dubai Motiongate


There are 27 rides and 15 live entertainment experiences in total with many suitable for children including recognisable brands such as The Smurfs Village, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train your Dragon, Madagascar and Ghostbusters. Many areas are under cover to protect visitors from the summer sun and a whole section of the park – DreamWorks – is indoors and fully air-conditioned.  There is a rollercoaster in DreamWorks which felt like the fastest that I’ve ever been on. Either it is or I’m getting old.

Great park, the latest technology, very friendly staff, highly recommended.  Get there before everyone else does!


This park is aimed at families with children between 2 and 12. Having three children myself, I would probably say that 11 and 12-year olds would likely feel that the park is a bit young for them unless are huge Lego fans. The MINILAND is indoors, air-conditioned and has the tallest Lego structure in the world. Unsurprisingly, it’s of the tallest building in the world – The Burj Khalifa, Dubai.


Burj Khalifa LEGOLAND Dubai


The rest of the five themed lands, with 40 LEGO themed rides, shows and building activities, are outdoors and whilst there is a lot of cover and fans spraying water, I would expect children would get fairly hot in the summer months.  You can always retreat to MINILAND though!  There are all the old favourites that families will recognise at LEGOLAND parks around the world such as Driving School, Merlin’s Challenge and Submarine Adventure.

LEGOLAND Water Park, Dubai


LEGOLAND Dubai waterpark


This park was closed when I visited. Although the water park is aimed at families with children aged between two and twelve, there is no reason why adult only groups wouldn’t go in to cool off after visiting MOTIONGATE

Bollywood Parks, Dubai

There is no point in writing a blog for customers unless it’s honest. So, I’ll be honest…this park is only really suitable for people who love Bollywood or at least know something about the Indian film market. 

The rides and technology are excellent, and I was particularly impressed by The Bollywood Film Studios Hall of Heroes which is a 4D multi-sensory ride similar to Soarin’ at Disney. However, unless you follow Bollywood, you won’t know any of the characters or understand the theming. Personally, I would leave this park for the Indian market that it was probably designed for.


6. Is there anything else at Dubai Parks & Resorts? 

Yes – there is a resort hotel and a large area with shops, restaurants and bars (which serve alcohol) similar to CityWalk at Universal Orlando. 

7. How long do I need?

You can comfortably do two parks in a day at the moment since the queues are so short.

8. Which ticket do I need?

The One Day / Two Park Anytime gate-ready ticket is currently £55 per person.  I would recommend MOTIONGATE + LEGOLAND Dubai or LEGOLAND Water Park Dubai depending on whether you have children or not and how hot you are! You don’t need to pick the parks in advance, the tickets are open-dated and flexible.  (I expect my park recommendations will change once Six Flags Dubai open next year.)





1. Where is it?  It’s located within the Atlantis the Palm hotel

2. Is it open all year?  Yes – it’s open throughout the year from 10am until sunset

3. How do I get there?  Taxis are fairly cheap in Dubai and The Atlantis is only about 15 – 20 minutes from the popular Jumeriah beach hotels.  Alternatively, the Dubai mono-rail goes straight into the hotel and is quick, clean and air-conditioned.

4. Is it any good?  Yes – really good.  Water parks generally have a lazy river, a wave pool and some slides.  Aquaventure manages to connect all these three aspects with 2km of inter-connected waterways.  Once you grab a tube, you can float away around the park via uphill water coasters and dramatic wave surges.  It’s definitely suitable for all ages with a large water play area for younger children and sheer drop water slides for thrill seekers plus a lot in-between, including two excellent slides where the whole family can ride together.

5. Which ticket do I need?  The One Day Admission ticket currently sells at £53 for adults.  Children under 1.2m are slightly cheaper.  This does seem quite expensive for a water park but it’s definitely cheaper to pre-purchase and Aquaventure is no ordinary water park!

6. Based on all this info, it feels like a really good ticket would be a MOTIONGATE + Aquaventure combo ticket.  Why don’t sell that?  What a good idea.  Watch this space!

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Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark , LEGOLAND® Water Park , Orlando , Olly's Blog