The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai

The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai will be awash with the mega-rich on Thursday night, as its newest resort hotel The Atlantis, The Palm, hosts its lavish opening party, expected to be the most expensive private party ever.

The Atlantis, The Palm (as it is officially known) is just one of 30 luxury and boutique hotels planned for this fantasy island. Another will be the famous ocean liner, the QE2, which is currently making its final journey across the world to its new (permanent) home on the Palm to take on the role of hotel and conference center. American entrepreneur, Donald Trump is also in the process of building the Trump International Hotel and Tower, which will straddle the center of the island.

The Palm Jumeirah

The Palm Jumeirah is also host to approximately 1,500 luxury villas sitting amongst this 17-frond palm tree shaped island. It is an amazing feat of engineering – a man made island rising from the warm buoyant blue waters of the Persian Gulf. Attractions will include leisure facilities and a “golden mile” of restaurants and exclusive shops, including an outpost of New York’s famous Barney’s department store.

Many of the villas are owned by celebrities such as David and Victoria Beckham and Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher. Dubai’s strict privacy laws guarantee the rich and famous some peace and quiet; an escape from the prying eyes of the paparazzi.

The Palm is situated around 20 kilometers from downtown Dubai, near the Royal Mirage Hotel. It has a series of 5 kilometer-long branches, all extending from the central trunk. It is connected to the mainland by a bridge and has a monorail system.

The Palm Trilogy

The Palm Jumeirah is belongs to a development known as The Palm Trilogy. The development, led by Dubai government-owned Nakheel, (operating under the umbrella of Dubai World) involves the construction of three massive palm-shaped islands; Palm Jumeriah, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira. The Palm Jumeirah is the smallest of the 3. Other countries within the Middle Eastern region such as Qatar and Oman intend to develop similar models, although on a less dramatic scale.

Tourism in Dubai

Over recent years Dubai has become the number 1 tourist destination in the Middle East. The modern, opulent emirate (part of 7 semi-independent emirates which make up The UAE) is one of superlatives. It is home to the world’s tallest building (the Burj Dubai), the world’s first 7-star hotel (the Burj Al Arab) and the world’s largest shopping mall outside of the U.S.A. It also has plans for the world’s largest leisure park.

The emirate aims to attract 10 million international hotel visitors in 2010, according to the Associate Press (September 24, 2008). Approximately 4 million eager shoppers come to Dubai every year to experience the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). This month-long festival held around January offers a huge selection of discounts and promotions. Dubai’s tax free status makes it one of the best shopping destinations in the world, especially for gold and jewelry.

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