P – Palm Islands | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z
When I was a kid, I used to read a lot that the only man-made thing visible from the moon is the Great Wall of China. It was truly an engineering marvel in that era. Dubai has taken the definition of an engineering marvel to an all different level. Till now we have discussed the world’s tallest building, largest parks, largest gardens and so on. Today I will take you to an engineering project of astounding proportions – the Palm Islands.
The Palm Islands is a collection of three manmade islands; Palm Jumeirah, Deira Island and Palm Jebel Ali. Though the work has been stopped on Deira Island and Palm Jebel Ali since 2013 after the crashing of markets, Palm Jumeirah is completely sold out.
The vision of Dubai’s Sheikh is truly amazing. He knows that the oil in the region is not going to last forever and hence he wants to create avenues that will continue to reap monetary benefits for Dubai. The only way to do was to increase the coastline. Once completed the Palm Jumeirah island alone has added a staggering 78 km to Dubai coastline.
Till 2001, there was only shallow gulf water then Nakheel, a local real estate conglomerate came up with a plan to make an island in the shape of a 17-fronded palm tree. For this, it dredged 3 billion cubic feet of sand from the seafloor. A crescent-shaped backwater was also made on the top of the tree to save the newly born island from the lashes of the sea. It required seven million tons of mountain rock to make it seven miles long.
It is technically not an island as a six-lane undersea tunnel connects the island to the beaches on the crescent. It is also been gifted with Middle East’s first monorail that runs the length of the island, which is connected with the Dubai tram that covers the Dubai Marina.
The trunk is converted into an array of luxury retail outlets and each of the fronds has residential spaces that have been bought by the likes of Beckham and Cruise. The island took more than a decade to complete and is the home to one of the most renowned hotels, The Atlantis.
The Atlantis Palm Hotel
It is a luxury resort at the apex of the crescent of the palm that is loosely named after the ancient underwater city of Atlantis. It has about 1500 rooms and is a popular place to spot Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities. There are fireworks on display almost every day. It is not as expensive as Burj Al Arab but is still quite capable of causing a serious dent to your wallet.
The complex also has an exemplary Aquaventure water park and the Nasimi Beach, which I have discussed in a previous post.
Aquaventure Water Park
It is the largest of all the waterparks in Dubai with some jaw-dropping record-breaking slides. You can definitely skip a heartbeat at the ‘Leap of faith’ slide, which has a 27.5 m plunge. One can try various marine activities along with relaxing at the beaches that have a separate children’s play area.
Access is free for in-house guests of Atlantis the Palm, while daily passes are available for visitors.
Timing: starts at 10 am.
Ticket: 330 AED onwards.
If you are staying close to Palm Jumeirah and aren’t able to find time to travel to Dolphinarium, don’t worry you can still play and swim with the dolphins at the Dolphin bay which is in the same complex of Atlantis. The dolphins are well trained and will perform some wonderful stunts. When you buy passes to the Dolphin bay you get complimentary entry to Aquaventure Water Park & the Lost Chambers Aquarium on the same day.
Timings: 9:30AM – 5:30PM
Ticket: AED 325 onwards.
The Lost Chambers
If you are a marine lover then UAE’s largest aquarium, The Lost Chambers, will definitely entice you. This Atlantis-themed aquarium has a seductive feel to it. You will be completely immersed in the architecture along with 65000 marine lives.
I will forever be in debt of my sister who took me to it as a gift on my first international birthday. If you want to get up-close and personal then there is a touch tank also where you can feed and touch some of the species.
Timing: 10AM – 10PM
Ticket: 135 AED
If you really want to experience something that literally is equivalent to the opulence at the display and want to get mesmerized by the sheer magnificence of the Palm Jumeirah then go for a skydive at Skydive Dubai. It’s really simple, hop on a small plane, it will take you to a certain height, feel the adrenaline rush, jump off the plane and drop at 120 mph. Try to enjoy the view of the Palm…if you can!
For all the other moderate adventure lovers they can definitely go on a yacht ride at the Dubai Marina. You can also try out a paddle boarding session or a kayak tour or a windsurfing lesson at the SeeYou, the only service provider in that area.
The area has some of the most renowned restaurants from celebrity chefs. Take out time to enjoy a brunch. You can visit and enjoy all the attractions of the adjacent Dubai Marina and Jumeirah.
These islands are causing ecosystem and environmental changes, but do you think that the Sheikhs are worried about that. Go and experience something truly unique.
For all those who are lovers of opulence,
For all those who think Sheikhs are too much,
For all those who have been to palm islands,
For all those who are in love with the Atlantis…
It’s not a goodbye,
But it’s a GOOD BYE.
Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul
This is the 16th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.
Read the Previous post here: Dubai – City of Gold
Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with the letter ‘Q’
I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.