The long-awaited $1.5 billion (Dh5.5 billion) Atlantis, The Palm,
located at the head of The Palm Jumeirah, with sweeping views both out to the Gulf and down the spine of the Palm back to Dubai, is right on schedule to open doors on September 24, officials said.
The entire Atlantis, The Palm development has a value of around $1.5 billion, including Aquaventure waterpark and Dolphin Bay.
The hotel alone has a development value of around $1 billion, Jim Boocher, president of development at Kerzner International, managers of Atlantis, told the media during a guided tour yesterday.
Boocher said the difference between Atlantis and other hotels was that it was a “destination hotel”, not simply a holiday hotel.
Atlantis has 1,539 rooms spread between the East and West towers. There are a total of 150 suites, including two presidential suites and 35 regal suites. Average prices start at around $454 per night. The connecting bridge between the two towers is the 924-square metre Bridge Suite, which costs an impressive $25,000 per night and is still under construction.
A total of 58,000 kilometres of steel bars were used in the construction of Atlantis, over nine times the length of the Great Wall of China. Around 500,000 cubic metres of concrete, 100,000 lights and one kilometer of pipes are all involved in the 46-hectare site.
There are also 17 food and beverage outlets and around 23 boutique shops. The hotel also features the Ambassador Lagoon, one of the biggest tanks in the world, according to Sol Kerzner, chairman and chief executive officer of Kerzner International.
The Lagoon will eventually house 65,000 fish and holds 11 million litres of water.
Kerzner said Atlantis is “all about the ocean”, so the Aquaventure waterpark will be 17 hectares and will feature the tallest freefall slide in the Middle East, which falls nine storeys.
Aquaventure will also have a 2.7-kilometre tube river. Within the development is Dolphin Bay, which houses 28 dolphins brought to Dubai from the Solomon Islands.
This is Kerzner’s second Atlantis project, the first being Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas, which includes a mini resort called Cove Atlantis.
“There won’t to be 50 Atlantis projects. They are too big to do that. I like them to be seen as more unique. But Atlantis here in Dubai has a feel and a sense of place,” Kerzner told Gulf News.
However, development will not stop once Atlantis opens in September, as Kerzner International still has land left to fill on the Palm.
“We have land that still has not been developed, beyond the waterpark and I’m hopeful that we will develop a Cove Atlantis there,” said Kerzner.
Kerzner has overseen both Atlantis projects and the launch of the One & Only brand in Europe. He said Dubai has continued the growth pattern since he developed the Royal Mirage back in 1998.
“I’ve seen it all, since the Royal Mirage was in the desert. It’s phenomenal how this place has grown. I thought when we got to early 2000, it couldn’t continue and it just continues and everyone is doing pretty well in the industry,” Kerzner said.
Perhaps a first in Dubai, Atlantis is due to open on schedule on September 24 and the official opening ceremony is on November 20.
“There’s a lot of building [in Dubai] and it’s very tough to keep schedules and even tougher to keep budgets, but this will open on schedule,” Sol Kerzner told the media.