Unbelievable wait at the valet parking in Atlantis

If you’re following me on Twitter (if not, why not? he he) you’d know how my Thursday night went. I rarely go out on Thursday nights, when the whole of Dubai comes alive, anticipating the weekend. Traffic on the roads, chaos at the malls. I’d rather be home and watch an episode of Dr. Who.

But last Thursday, I got an invitation to attend the opening and try out Aquaventure’s latest adrenaline pumping water slide – The Tower of Poseidon. We love water parks so I said yes! We brought our daughter who was more excited than us.

What a fun night and I found out how NOT to die from fear of extreme water slides: by closing my eyes. I had an aha moment right there. Horror movie? Close your eyes. Tube going through the dangerous curves in a water slides? Close your eyes.

That actually saved me from losing my voice from screaming too much. In the past, I learned the hard way. Yep, survival skills for you for reading my blog.

So yeah – do check out Aquaventure. Their latest slides will thrill you and make you scream, if you’re into that kind of thing.

We left early, about 10 pm we handed our valet parking slip to the staff at the entrance. And waited.

And waited. 20 minutes has passed and no sign of our car. What is the normal waiting time for valet parking anyway? Five, ten minutes? I am quite sure 20 minutes is long enough.

THIRTY. More and more people who came after us have got on their cars. We looked at each other. For the first time after living in Dubai for almost seven years, we actually thought someone has stolen our car.

But who would want our small and lowly Honda Jazz? The one with cookie crumbs at the back.

FORTY MINUTES. How long was your longest wait for valet parking?

We know their valet parking is located only 5 minutes away and it was a packed night but SERIOUSLY, FORTY FREAKING MINUTES?!

We became really agitated and asked the staff where the hell is our car. They only repeatedly told us: “it’s on our way” but no sight of it.

Photo credit

FIFTY MINUTES. My husband demanded to be taken to the parking area so he can find the car himself. We were hungry and tired from standing outside, necks stretched on the lookout of our car. The staff refused to take him anywhere and asked for more patience from us.

SIXTY MINUTES. Still no sign of the car. I already wanted to cry. We left Benjamin at home with his nanny and I know he is not comfortable sleeping without me (still breastfeeding). I felt so helpless. This is why I don’t go out on Thursday nights!!

They finally agreed to take my husband to the parking area. Five minutes after he was gone, the car appeared. Everyone was ready to jump on the driver – “Where were you all this time??” I asked him, finding it difficult to hide my anger. He said the valet parking was far. Simply, with a grin.

I found it pointless to argue and I need to move the car out as there are others behind me so I left it like that. However, the mystery still looms – what took him so long? EIGHTY MINUTES to be exact!!

I can only think either of the following reasons:

  • the staff didn’t know what a Honda Jazz look like
  • the staff couldn’t find our car in the array of luxury cars – ridiculous, it should be easy as it will stand out against the expensive cars! “Oh look, that small car sandwiched between the Jaguar and the Mercedes!”
  • the staff lost half of the slip and scoured the Palm Jumeirah to find it as it was quite windy that night
  • the staff went for a toilet break and got a call from his mother. They chatted for an hour. Or his girlfriend.
  • the staff met one of the Men in Black and he was flashed and completely forgot he needed to take our car back
  • the valet parking area has been moved to Deira (the other side of Dubai or Abu Dhabi)

I waited for the weekend to pass thinking I can brush this off from my mind but no, I am still pissed. Atlantis is promoting the water park big time and they should be aware they need to improve their service once they open the gates for paying customers.

Atlantis, I know you are great and we really enjoyed our night. However, it is very difficult to be asked to wait for more than an hour and expect to still be cool about it. The word ‘upset’ is not enough to describe how we feel about you until now.

Top photo credit


  1. 80 minutes?! That’s ridiculous! The longest I’ve waited out there was 30 minutes, and I found that to be a very long time, especially when I noticed that some luxury cars owners got their vehicles much quicker…



    1. Our patience and temper peaked after 40 hours of waiting…not knowing the car won’t appear for another 40 minutes more!! The stress was just too much!



  2. Completely unacceptable. Whatever happened to accountability in the service industry? Why can’t anyone ever admit they made a huge mistake, apologize and try to make amends?

    Imagine they made a jaguar, mercedes or range rover family wait that long for their car. Would NEVER happen.



    1. EXACTLY!! I’m trying to think they gave more importance to luxury car owners! I don’t know but there were several people after us who got their cars first!!

      Totally unacceptable. They have apologized in Twitter though. Should not happen again – to anyone!



  3. This kind of reminds me of the movie Ferris Bueller, when the car they parked was taken for a ride by the parking attendant. But seriously, I think you should bring this up with the establishment’s management, so that similar incidents will not happen again–and also for them to give you the due apology. If that was me, i would have eaten their heads off.



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