27 September 2008

Atlantis Palm Hotel and Water Park Opens in Dubai

Sent to you by Shashi Kumar Aansoo via Google Reader:

Atlantis Palm Hotel and Water Park Opens in Dubai

Like everything else done to excess in Dubai, a hotel themed around the ancient myth of the lost ruins of Atlantis complete with flown-in dolphins from the South Pacific, a massive water park, and a top floor that houses a £13,000-a-night suite complete with gold-leaf 18-seat dining table is set to open today.


Photo EPA


Photo Daily Mail

The sprawling 113-acre Atlantis Palm Hotel with 1,373 rooms and 166 suites is hoping to defy the credit crisis and play a part in sustaining Dubai's tourist industry after regional oil profits have run dry.

Modeled on a sister site in the Bahamas, the £800million resort on the Palm Island is ocean-themed family entertainment with an enormous open-air tank with 65,000 fish, stingrays and other sea creatures. The resort uses a staggering 15 million gallons of water.

A featured dolphinarium with over 20 bottlenose dolphins flown in from the Solomon Islands was developed despite controversy from environmental groups and some residents of the islands that protested the decision to sell the dolphins, and the 30-hour plane flight to transport them to Dubai.


One of the dolphins flown in from the far-off Pacific. Photo Daily Mail


Guests can wander around a maze of tunnels beneath a lagoon stocked with over 250
species of fish including sharks, eels, rays and piranhas. Photo EPA


Photo EPA

The hotel also boasts a massive water park called Aquaventure with a 3,280 foot (700 meter) long beach and a river ride of over 1.25 miles (2 kilometers).


Aquaventure water park. Photo EPA


Aquaventure water park. Photo EPA


Photo Reuters

But developers seem undaunted by criticism from environmental activists, who claim the construction of artificial islands damages coral reefs and even shifts water currents, pointing at growing water and power consumption.


A swirling glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly graces one of the lobbies. Photo Daily Mail


Photo EPA


Even the corridors are lavish. Photo Daily Mail

The resort shares the island with rows of high-end houses and construction sites, but other international names are set to move in, including Donald Trump for the storied QE2 ocean liner which will become a hotel in the center of the palm and a tourist attraction docked alongside the island tree's 'trunk.'


A bedroom looks onto the giant aquarium. Photo Daily Mail


Bath with water cascading from high up in the ceiling. Photo Daily Mail


Or soak up the grandeur of the aquarium while you bathe. Photo Daily Mail

According to the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu firm, the Middle East had the highest hotel occupancy rates in the world during the first half of the year, with Dubai leading the area at 85.3%.

Dubai had the highest room rates in the region, but Deloitte noted that revenue growth is slowing.


Diners can watch the stunning sea life in the giant aquarium. Photo Daily Mail


A massive oven is the centerpiece of this restaurant area. Photo Daily Mail


A quiet, secluded dining room. Photo Daily Mail


Another dining area provides a dark ambiance. Photo Daily Mail


Entrance of Italian celebrity chef Giorgio Locatelli's restaurant at the hotel. Photo Daily Mail


Tourist photographs her husband sliding down the Leap of Faith chute.
Photo AFP / Getty Images


Atlantis is the brainchild of Sol Kerzner, the man behind Sun City. Photo EPA

Post a Comment