For some time now the world has been hearing about Dubai's economic progress and how it is building the most expensive, most opulent and tallest hotels. Well, the little sheikdom has done it again. Atlantis, The Palm is mind-blowing.
The seven-star hotels have breathtaking artworks, furniture and excesses never seen before. Even the hand soap comes with flecks of gold.
The legendary city of Atlantis was a fabled civilisation of the ancient world, lost beneath the sea 11,000 years ago. Thought to be lost forever, Atlantis has arisen in Dubai.
It has reappeared as the majestic focal point of Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island in the middle of the desert. Its mammoth scale and ingenuity are dazzling and it took seven years to create. The residential and resort island is made up of 16 fronds ringed by an 11km crescent.
The $2.5 billion Atlantis, The Palm is the centrepiece. The launch party alone cost $30 million with 2000 celebrities being entertained by Kylie Minogue and a fireworks finale seven times the size of the fireworks display at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games opening ceremony.
As you would expect, accommodation is out of this world. There are 1539 guest rooms with views of the Arabian Gulf. Marble and granite have been used everywhere.
Top of the line is the Bridge Suite which costs around $40,000 a night! A private lift takes guests to the suite on the 22nd floor. It has master and king bedrooms with balconies, his-and-her ensuite bathrooms, a library, 24-hour private butler service and a staff of five who will cook meals for you and your guests.
Lost Chambers Suites have bedroom and bathroom views into the Underwater World of the Ambassador Lagoon.
The focal point of Atlantis is the Ambassador Lagoon. It holds around 11 million litres of salt water and accommodates 65,000 sea creatures, including a controversial baby whale shark, all swimming through the ruins of the lost city.
About 3000 members of staff keep the resort running, and 218 lifeguards keep you safe on the beach, at swimming pools and at the water park.
Aquadventure is the signature slide, dropping you nine storeys in five seconds. There are seven slides, a 2.5km river for floating down and a wave machine that cranks waves up to 2m.
Shark Attack propels riders into the dark core of an ancient temple and spits them into a shark-filled lagoon. At Dolphin Bay you can spend time with the friendly dolphins who love a little pat on the back.
The choice of cuisine is extensive. Levantine serves a taste of Arabia, accompanied by live entertainment. Nasimi serves poolside throughout the day, and dinner is a choice of Asian and European food.
Dubai is a shopper's paradise. It has more than 50 shopping centres and many souks, all offering a tempting array of items at attractive, tax-free prices.
Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates.
Atlantis, The Palm deluxe rooms are around $281 a night between May 9 and September 8, 2010. Entry to Aquaventure and The Lost Chambers entry is included.
Lost Chambers suites are around $8930 a night and the Bridge Suite is around $39,050 a night.
Aquaventure costs around $60 for adults and $50 for children for day visits.
Lost Chambers costs around $30 for adults and $21 for children for day visits.
Dolphin Bay shallow water interaction is around $189 per person and $245 for deep water interaction for resort guests. Day visitors pay around $239 for shallow water interaction and $295 for deep water interaction. Observers pay $30.
Emirates has flights to Dubai.
- Perth $1737
- Adelaide and Melbourne $1791
- Sydney $1810
- Brisbane $1813
Prices correct at March 4, 2010.
For further information
Ph: 1300 303 777
Atlantis, The Palm
United Arab Emirates
Ph: +971 4 426 1000
Visas: Visas are not required for entry into Dubai but passports must be valid for at least six months.
Electricity: Plugs are European with two circular metal pins.
Time zone: GMT +4.
Currency: UAE dirham.
International dialling code: +971.
It is recommended travellers to Dubai see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there are specific vaccinations recommended for Dubai. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended and are best discussed with your doctor. For further information, visit www.smartraveller.gov.au.
To find out more about the hot deals mentioned on the show, check out Holidays for Sale.