The Palms -- the future eighth wonder of the world.
Imagine. A cluster of man-made islands, better yet, in the shape of a palm tree. Behold. The Palm Islands. Extending Dubai's shoreline by a total of 520 kilometers the palm islands scatter themselves in a beautiful palm shape extending into the Arabian Gulf. Built on the coastal area of the emirate of Dubai, in the UAE, the Palm Islands are nothing less of a breathtaking wonder. The Palm Islands are man-made peninsulas constructed of sand dredged from the bottom of the Arabian Gulf. The Palm Jumeirah consists of a tree trunk, a crown with 16 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that forms an 11 kilometer-long breakwater. The island itself is 5 kilometers by 5 kilometers. It will add 78 kilometers to the Dubai coastline. Self-declared 'Eighth Wonder of the World', it offers Signature Villas, Garden Homes and Canal Cove Town Homes, apartment buildings, beaches, marinas, restaurants, and a variety of retail outlets as well. Like a palm tree, the island is broadened with a trunk, a crown with 16 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that forms an 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) long breakwater. The crown is connected to the mainland by a 300-meter (980 ft) bridge and the crescent is connected to the top of the palm by a sub sea tunnel. The island's total area is larger than 800 football pitches. Palm Jumeirah has everything you need to enjoy a magnificent break. World famous hotel names, interesting sightseeing, high-end fashion and shopping centers are starting to launch. The Palm gives you the opportunity to just want to relax or immerse yourself in an exciting world of freedom and entertainment; this is a truly inspirational holiday destination. It is the finest destination to indulge your senses in panoramic views. You can enjoy the magnificent sunsets; unwind in the neighboring spas, pools, parks and gardens. You can enjoy aquariums, theme parks, and water sports, fine dining restaurants along the striking coastline. Atlantis: Lost and Found Oxymoronic in its conception, the Atlantis is a bewildering show of contrasts. Historically the "Lost City," it has found its way to Palm Island in Dubai. The sheer scale of the building and concept is huge and bold, and very characteristically Dubai. Only seeing is believing. As to the opportunities it offers inside the sprawling complex, where else in the world could a guest lie in bed, watch the theatre of undersea life through an aquarium wall where a window would normally be and then slip into a nearby luxury restaurant and eat the cast? Alternatively you could tempt the cast to eat you; jump into a clear polycarbonate tubular water slide and plummet through a shark filled lagoon! The possibilities seem endless: you can swim with the dolphins or gaze at the unusual sea life in bed if you splash out on the luxury of the Lost Chamber Suite. Anything is possible. Some say the Lost City of Atlantis had perished when the island sank into the sea, under the waves as a result of cataclysmic earthquakes and floods. Others believe that Atlantis only existed in people's imagination. In his book "The Atlantis Secret," Alan Alford wrote: "Nearly twenty-four hundred years ago, the Athenian philosopher Plato penned one of the most controversial and tantalizing stories ever written. Once upon a time, he said, there had existed a magnificent seafaring civilization, which had attempted to take over the world, but had perished. This civilization had been called Atlantis." In Dubai, the myth of ancient times has come back to life. The massive presence, of the Atlantis stood before my eyes, with a larger than life magnificence, facing the Palm Jumeirah Island. The fortress like structure has it breathes dynastic power as it overlooks the city, much like an Emperor's fort and converts myth into reality. And it is huge. Atlantis sprawls over 47 hectares (116 acres) and contains1539 rooms. The overwhelming lobby is highlighted by the 19-meter high arched ceilings featuring eight hand painted murals on canvas by Spanish artist Gonzalez who is also one of the world's foremost interpreters of ancient mythology. The murals are a depiction of the solar calendar and depict the interplay of seasons, Arab myths and legends, retelling the story of the Lost City. Dubai is known for its passion for the biggest and the tallest. The Atlantis adds one more to the list: phenomenalist. Enter Aquaventure. Straight out of central casting for "ancient pyramids," a towering "Ziggurat" forms the center point of Aquaventure with multiple waterslides, including Leap of Faith, a near-vertical waterslide ending in an acrylic tunnel in a shark-filled lagoon. Reminiscent of Egyptian structure with emphasis on Arabic influence, every facet of the hotel seems more mystical and fun to explore. The Lost Chambers maze of underground passageways leads through marine exhibits. You can feed Cownose Ray or enjoy The Dolphin Bay lagoon, which has seven interconnected pools for dolphins and even lets you play with them. Kids programs are offered throughout with facilities for children like The Zone games room with state-of-the-art Sega games for kids and adults. Outside the monolithic building, the 1.4-km of beach area boasts water sports such as windsurfing, kayaking and floating climbing walls. Seventeen restaurants and lounges including four with celebrity chefs, occupy "The Avenues," a promenade with shops and night-life activities. The Atlantis suites are a regal and unique collection of Super Suites presenting the ultimate in luxury, with a combination of indulgent spaces and lavishly designed interiors. Each of the Super Suites reflects the grandeur of the resort with beautifully planned bathrooms, supreme dining areas and in-room amenities. Their suite range is vast- they offer Presidential Suites to Regal Suites which are all magnanimous in their own rights. The Lost Chambers Suites, namely Poseidon and Neptune, each offer an opportunity to act out your own Atlantean adventure in your room. Accessible by dedicated private stairways, they offer unique insights into the underwater world of the Ambassador Lagoon, with its staggering 65,000 marine species on view. It is a mesmerizing backdrop for any special occasion. The elegant aquatic-themed accommodation of the suites, which includes lounges and dining areas as well as intimate Majlis seating, culminates in a sumptuous bedroom and bathroom which looks directly out into the lagoon through floor to ceiling windows. Either side of the grand Royal Towers arch, the Regal Suites have breathtaking views directly down the center of Palm Jumeirah and beyond. The structure of the room much like the hotel itself is mind blowing, they even had a jacuzzi a few steps away from the bed. The sumptuous comfort and the attention to detail that satisfy every need of a family member was remarkable, yet less exuberant than the public areas. A separate private kitchen, changing rooms, dressing room and a walk in closet were simply standard conveniences for guests and family members at this level of accommodation. From the terrace windows, the clear blue sky above the incoming waves is deeply resonant of the magnificence of the fabled the empire itself. The common thread that runs through the scenic outdoors and the magnificent clear-glass halls and aquariums is that time stands still. The Atlantis is undoubtedly a tale of more than one city. Historians have been puzzled by the myth of the Lost City because Plato was determined that the island had sunk in the Atlantic Ocean. Riddle solved; it stands now on Palm Island in Dubai. King Chronos, the city's original ruler, would be entirely happy with the city's reincarnation, I am sure.
Copyright: Arab News 2012 All rights reserved.
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