The concept for Palm Jumeirah began with a simple sketch: HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was looking to solve the problem of Dubai’s limited coastline, and his inspired drawing of a palm tree-shaped island appeared to be the perfect answer.
The Palm has evolved into a premier destination for leisure, entertainment, retail and real estate, and in the process has more than doubled Dubai’s existing coastline. Where else in the world could you dine in a choice of Michelin-starred restaurants, browse exclusive designer boutiques, cool off at a water park, or unwind with a sundowner overlooking the splendor of the Arabian Gulf?
Dominating the centre of the breakwater, the Atlantis, a palatial aquatic-themed resort, has reached new heights of luxury and world-class amenities. There is something here to appeal to every age, taste and energy level, including water adventures, luxury shopping, indulgent spa therapies, and a profusion of dining options.
One of the most popular attractions is Dolphin Bay, a 45,000-square-metertropical setting where guests are invited to enjoy the unique chance of swimming and playing with dolphins. The Dolphin Adventure is a one-of-a-kind opportunity in which guests swim with the dolphins in the deeper waters of the lagoon and enjoy a belly-ride back to shore.
Continuing the water theme, the Atlantis also has a massive water park, Aquaventure. The park covers 420,000 square meters and features winding rivers, white-water rapids, and crazy slides, such as the Leap of Faith, a 60-foot vertical drop.
The Lost Chambers
A favorite with both kids and adults is the Lost Chambers, a complex web of underground tunnels and passageways, presented as an imaginary reconstruction of the lost city of Atlantis. Inside, there is a vast aquarium, where over 65,000 marine animals swim in 42 million liters of saltwater. The Ultimate Dive Experience allows guests to swim among sharks, stingrays and more in the Ambassador Lagoon. In addition, some of the hotel’s suites have glass walls looking into the aquarium.
Many travel to Dubai for the shopping alone, and visitors certainly find ample opportunity at the resort from this point of view. ‘The Avenues’ at the Atlantis features luxury boutiques such as Ermenegildo Zegna and Roberto Cavalli, and specialty stores including the chocolaterie Bateel, jeweler Levant, or swimwear label Ondademar.
Taking up two luxurious floors, the Spa at the Atlantis offers a variety of beauty, wellness, and fitness services. For the ultimate spa experience, guests should book the Royal Spa Suite, complete with pedestal tub, cascading water, private Jacuzzi, and personal butler. Those planning on a night out-and-about in Dubai should book the Dubai Glamour Ritual for a perfectly rejuvenated look.
The dining options at the Atlantis are exceptional for quality and variety. There are 17 restaurants, bars and lounges in total, including four international award-winning restaurants. Indulge in delectable seafood at the three Michelin-starred Ossiano, traditional French cuisine with a modern twist at Rostang, mouthwatering Japanese at Nobu, or sophisticated Italian at Ronda Locatelli. Beachside bars and indoor lounges offer more casual dining options as well. After dinner, guests can sip cocktails at the Levantine Bar, taste champagne at Barazuran, or go dancing at the Sanctuary Nightclub.
The Palm’s development plans have been strongly affected by the economic crisis, yet many new projects are in the pipeline. We can only wait and see what other entertainment delights they will bring.