The Palm Jumeirah Dubai and the opening of Atlantis The Palm
The Palm Jumeirah is a Palm-shaped artificial island situated off the Jumeirah coast of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. It was entirely created using land reclaimation which will artificially create a total of 520km of beachline. It is also currently the world’s largest man-made island.
The Palm Jumeirah development started in 2001, and since then the concept has been duplicated with another two larger Palm Islands currently under development nearby – The Palm Jebel Ali and The Palm Deira.
The Palm Jumeirah consists of a trunk, a crown with 17 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that forms an 11 kilometre long breakwater. The palm island’s total area is larger than 800 football pitches.
The crown is connected to the mainland by a 300-metre bridge and the crescent is connected to the top of the palm by a sub-sea tunnel.
Over the next few years, as the tourism phases develop, The Palm Jumeirah itself is touted to be one of the world’s premier holiday destination. It has also self-declared as the ’8th Wonder of the World’.
The Palm Jumeirah will feature themed boutique hotels, villa homes, resort-themed apartments, beaches, marinas, restaurants, cafés and a variety of retail outlets. Over 30 beachfront hotels will be opened as early as the end of 2009, including:
The Trump International Hotel & Tower – 62-storey iconic tower [www.trumpdubai.com];
Tiara Resort & Residence (to be known as Essque Hotel);
The Taj Exotica Resort & Taj Grandeur Residences;
Rixos’ Ottoman Palace Resort;
Oceana Hotel & Luxury Apartments;
Kempinski Emerald Palace & Residences;
Radisson SAS Palm Jumeirah;
The Kingdom of Sheba & The Fairmont Palm Residence;
The Royal Amwaj & Movenpick Palm Jumeirah Resort;
Dusit Thani Devarana Resort & Spa –> 7-star resort!;
W Hotel Palm Jumeirah; etc.
Other attractions include:
Two F-100 Sabre fighter jets have been stripped and sunk within The Palm Jumeirah to create an artificial reef, intended to encourage marine life.
The world’s famous cruise liner Queen Elizabeth II will be rested here and transformed into a floating hotel beginning 2009. The cruise liner is due to arrive at The Palm Jumeirah on 26 November 2008.
The Palm Jumeirah Monorail is a 5.45km public transportation system currently being built to connect the Palm Jumeirah to the mainland, with a planned connection to Dubai Metro in the future. When open next year, it will be the first monorail in the region.
The No.1 landmark on The Palm Jumeirah is Atlantis, The Palm. The resort is managed by world renowned Kerzner International and modelled after its flagship resort – Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas. The resort consists of two towers linked by a bridge, with a total of approximately 1,540 rooms. The 630-acre land taken up by this resort alone is equivalent to 64 Wembley football pitches.
And the cost of one night in the Bridge Suite was reported to be USD$35,000.
The Atlantis on Palm Jumeirah also includes a large water theme park called “Aquaventure”, a dolphin bay and one of the world’s largest aquarium with 65,000 marine creatures (the world’s largest aquarium tank is in the recently opened The Dubai Mall). The water theme park major attraction is a waterslide called Leap of Faith that spits you out from the top of a faux-Mesopotamian temple called the Ziggurat!
*** *** ***
Finally, the Atlantis Palm Jumeirah was officially opened yesterday – 20 November 2008 with a big bang!
*** *** ***
Financial crisis? What crisis?
There was no evidence of the global financial crisis as tycoons and celebrities streamed into Dubai on the night of 20 November for the world’s most expensive private party of 2,500 invited guests.
Having spent £1 billion, the owners of the Atlantis hotel, which they hope will become the new symbol of excess in a region already replete with towering statements of wealth, splashed out £13.5 million on its debut.
The opening party was incredibly spectacular. It has been said to have been the world’s biggest firework display, a milion rocket firework display with 100 computer-guided rockets makes it 7 times bigger than the opening of Beijing Olympics, which is the largest firework display till last night.
See it for yourself below:
1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7740887.stm [must watch]
It was also celebrated in the grandest fashion with the presence of Western celebrities, including:
Kylie Minogue, Lindsay Lohan, Michael Jordan, Bob Geldof, Robert De Niro, Janet Jackson, Charlize Theron, Denzil Washington, Chris Tucker, Mary Kate Olsen, Wesley Snipes, Quincy Jones, Natalie Imbruglia, Gerald Butler, Stuart Townsend, Agyness Deyn, Petra Nemcova, Yasmin Le Bon, Lilly Allen, Mischa Barton, Shirley Bassey, Samantha Ronson, Jermaine Dupri, Daisy Lowe, Jade Jagger amongst others.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was the luckiest person at the party when he bagged the most exclusive suite stay, while Bollywood girl and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra was named the “Goddess of Atlantis”.
Also present at the party was HRH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and the royal family of Dubai, Sarah Ferguson – the Duchess of York, local politicians, local celebrities, billion-dollar tycoons Sol Kerzner and Richard Branson, celebrity chefs and fashion designers.
The greatest fireworks ever was reported to be visible from space. How cool is that?