Behind the scenes at the Fish Hospital at Atlantis Dubai

At the end of Dubai ‘s Palm Jumeirah, famed for its five-star hotels and luxury villas. Anyone who has gone further than their front door knows the world is full of beauty, but not as many know how many incredible views are right below their feet.

But this facility isn’t for human patients.

Atlantis Dubai

Looking after everything from tiny anthia fish to two-meter black-tipped reef sharks. “We aim to focus on preventative medicine rather than treatment,”

On an average day, Salbany and her team may find themselves conducting health assessments and ultrasound for pregnancies.

The facility is housed in the depths of Atlantis in a spotless back-of-house area featuring tanks of all sizes.

Breeding programs

Sickness is rare among the aquatic population here, but that doesn’t mean the hospital has quiet days. And in the heat of the summer months it houses turtles from local rescue organizations, providing a safe, temperature-controlled environment.

It’s also where the aquarium’s breeding programs of moon jellies, corals and Arabian carpet sharks take place.

A major part of the work conducted by the aquarium and Fish Hospital team focuses on education.  Guests of Atlantis can visit the facility and see what goes on behind the scenes. “We try our best to explain the richness of marine life in the Gulf to guests because there’s a lack of knowledge about our waters. 

But it’s not just about what lives locally. Broadening awareness of sharks in general and reducing the fear factor of this misunderstood species is a major focus for Bennett and his team.

“A key part of protecting sharks is dispelling that myth, and this is an important part of the role we play here.”