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« on: Nov 22, 2008 04:41 AM »


I saw all these pictures of bollywood stars at the opening of this Atlantis and was like ?? a who's who of bollywood I wonder what this Atlantis is... now I know... wow............just wow.  Shocked :wow: -- J.

===========================
Timesonline.co.uk

The maddest hotel in Dubai

Dubai is good at extravagance, but this one really takes the gold-plated biscuit: a mega-resort based on the Lost City of Atlantis



Artist Images







Reality

There’s something fishy going on here. I’m standing in the Lost Chambers of Atlantis, staring at what, I have been gravely assured, are the submerged ruins of Plato’s ancient, doomed civilisation.

The last time I saw daylight, however, I could have sworn I was on the Palm, an island off the coast of Dubai that I don’t think Plato had heard of, being as they started building it only seven years ago. You don’t have to be a Time Team presenter to know it doesn’t quite add up.

The Lost Chambers are the star attraction of the Atlantis, a new, 1,539-room mega-resort that will open to the public on September 24. Last week, I was the first British journalist to take a look around the near-finished article, and I was gobsmacked. It’s one of the most impressive and ambitious resorts I’ve seen. It’s certainly the most ludicrous.

So ludicrous, in fact, it’s almost heroic. It takes a certain damn-the-torpedoes guts to spend £750m on a premise this self-evidently daft: the “discovery” of a 10,000-year-old civilisation that never existed, on an island that’s still being finished. But we’ll get to that in a minute. For now, the impressive stuff.
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You approach Atlantis up the “trunk” of the Palm Jumeirah, as it’s formally known. In sheer engineering terms, it’s a boggling thing. Where there was nothing but sea five years ago, they’ve built a three-mile-long island with fronds radiating from the centre. Right at the crest, in prime position, the 395ft towers of Atlantis emerge slowly through the heat haze.

From the outside, the architecture is a bit odd. It’s supposed to look “Atlantean”, which seems to mean a lot of fish motifs, but they couldn’t resist throwing in a few other elements: they’ve ended up with Peter Jackson fantasy meets arabesque meets Hilton high-rise, all painted a slightly queasy frozen-prawn pink. I’m not sure it’s what Plato had in mind.

Go in and it gets odder still. The vast lobby is dominated by Dale Chihuly’s 35ft-high glass sculpture, which looks like cascading multicoloured spaghetti. There are garish “mythical” murals, and they’ve covered a good deal of the acres of floor with a turquoise-and-yellow swirly carpet – sea and shells, I think, though it’s hard to tell.

Step off that carpet and you’re in the serene and genuinely stylish spa, or David Rockwell’s sensational bamboo and wood design for the Nobu restaurant. It’s like that all over. The avenues and halls go on and on, mid1980s Dallas styling around this corner, cutting-edge contemporary around that – the most expensive design identity crisis in history.

The food is as ambitious as the rest of it. There are 17 places to eat: Giorgio Locatelli, the best Italian chef in London, has a trattoria here, and they’ve drafted in Michel Rostang from Paris and Santi Santamaria from Spain. That’s seven Michelin stars right there.

What about the rooms? The standard ones are a good size, high-spec and pretty bland, which is something of a relief. For more drama, you can always go for the Lost Chambers suites: the bedrooms look out through huge underwater picture windows into the resort’s 11m-litre lagoon, stocked with sharks, rays,angel-fish, trevallies and more, in dense, multicoloured shoals.

Fine for romantics, as long as you don’t mind a fishy audience – though the sight of the rays gliding past is so mesmerising, you might not get round to anything energetic.

If money’s no object, you’ll want the Bridge Suite, which spans the archway between the two towers. A British family are the first bookers, paying £45,000 for three nights: for that, they get three bedrooms, four staff and a gold-leafed dining table seating 18. Not the food to go on it, though – that price is B&B.

Back down to earth, the beach is fine, though don’t expect much from the scenery. It faces back to Palm island, which may look great on a map, but is surprisingly ugly close up, with its densely packed, colourless villas and miles of strangely arid, unwelcoming beachfront. Nature does islands rather better than man.

Still, you get free access to Atlantis’s 42-acre Aquaventure waterpark. It’s a cracker, with a 1½mile river to float in, a fantastic children’s playground and cutting-edge rides topped off by the Leap of Faith, a near-vertical 90ft slide that shoots you through a shark-filled lagoon like a bullet out of a gun.

There’s buckets more here: two kids’ clubs, a nightclub, posh shops (Tiffany, Graff, Cartier); oh, yes, and a dolphin “conservation centre”. Yeah, right.

The mammals were caught in the Solomon Islands and shipped here to live in tanks so we could pay to swim with them. I didn’t.

The keynote attraction, however, is the Lost Chambers. In a dimly lit stone labyrinth full of startled fish are great bits of fallen masonry covered with mysterious runes (though, presumably, they’re not that mysterious to the guy who made them up). You wouldn’t think you’re supposed to take all this stuff seriously, but they do, they really do.

From the top down, Atlantis’s staff treat their newly constructed ruins with po-faced reverence. Their eyes take on a spooky, glazed look when they talk about it, like freshly indoctrinated members of a Californian UFO cult.

“This is the Abyss,” my guide says. “It was here the Atlanteans mined their minerals – they lowered their miners down this well. Fascinating, isn’t it?”

“But... it’s not real, is it?” I mumble. My words simply don’t register. “We expect a lot of school parties,” he says. “Education is a big part of our work.”

Schools? Education? They’re kidding, aren’t they? Yes, kids will love Atlantis, and yes, it’s certainly worth seeing – a phenomenon, a bonkers colossus – but, really, a few days will do it. Any longer and you might end up getting that spooky-eyed look yourself.

Kuoni (01306 747002, www.kuoni.co.uk) has three nights at Atlantis in October from £879pp, B&B. That’s good value, but expect prices to rocket in winter – Destinology (0800 072 2227, www.destinology.co.uk) has seven nights in February for £3,829pp, B&B. Both prices include flights from London

ATLANTIS IN BIG NUMBERS

The cost: £750m

The size: 114 acres – or 64 Wembley football pitches

The rooms: 1,539, with prices starting at £228 per night for a standard double and rising to £15,000 for the Bridge Suite

The water: 60m litres, including the rides and aquariums – enough to fill 24 Olympic-size pools

The rides: 8, including the 1½mile river ride

The restaurants: 17, three from Michelin-starred chefs

The fish: 65,000 specimens, twice as many as the London Aquarium
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 22, 2008 06:30 PM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro


As the article says, mad just mad!!!


My standard response when anyone asks me about Dubai: "Crazy"

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 22, 2008 07:56 PM »

wsalam,

definitely mad but it looks stunning. and for muslims the appeal of going somewhere where they are not regarded as aliens and is kid friendly (?) is very appealing. maybe someone could save up and go for their honeymoon?

ws
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 23, 2008 04:27 AM »

assalamualaikum

it is not mad.  it is totally obscene.

these people prey on the poor (who are so dependent on the price of petrol).  they prey on the middle class because they they need to get to work....

it would be fine if they were a bit circumspect.  but NO! they have to flaunt their wealth in a time when muslims and nonmuslims are suffering all over the world because of high commodity prices.  they are shameless....

but maybe the joke's on them.  commodity prices have just collapsed and their spanking new hotel, casinos, and whatnot will now stand empty, and their oil income will be halved.

allah gives...and allah takes away....too
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 23, 2008 07:51 AM »

wsalam,

To be fair the owner is a South African billionaire but many of the investors of course are the rich khaleejis there, inlcluding nakheel which is dubai's company?Huh? i think.

And to be fair they also built a huge over the top Mosque in Dubai just recently as well.

So I guess they never do anything by halves!

But they paid $20 million for this star studded opening. Definitely extravagant and way over the top. I think one of the PR people said they regretted it in this economic climate but they went ahead anyway.

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« Reply #5 on: Nov 23, 2008 08:04 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro
 

Indeed, just to clarify this party was more Sol Kerzner's idea rather than anyone in Dubai and he also had a hand in inviting the over 2000 VIPs who also attended.


The concert performer reputedly received $2mn for a 45mins worth of work??


That said, the hotel is *amazing* especially the swimming with dolphins experience which is already booked up months in advance.


My advice to the single brothers: Certainly save up if you want to honeymoon here!!!  bro

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #6 on: Nov 23, 2008 11:36 AM »

ws Smiley

how many years would it take ppl to save up to take the kids there? :p poor average uae folk would probably never be able to afford a night there even! i wonder if people can just go see the aquarium. i hope they're open to kids/tourists. as for the dolphins i'm sure it's an amazing experience. i think they do the same sort of thing at disney world.

in the meantime, we always have the backyard, the blow up pool and the plastic fish to hang out with Wink

 island

ps tip for the getting the honeymoon...invite all the rich doc uncles to ur wedding!
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« Reply #7 on: Nov 23, 2008 12:00 PM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro


Quote
i wonder if people can just go see the aquarium. i hope they're open to kids/tourists


Yes, you don't have to stay at the hotel to visit the Aquarium.


For all those coming to the UAE soon (yes you know who you are Wink) I would definately recommend a trip to Palm Island to visit it.

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #8 on: Nov 23, 2008 12:54 PM »

It's crazy...I hear they charge $25,000 per night?  The figures in this are different.  The news reporter on TV said, "there is no shortage of dumb rich people on the planet."  He's right.

Btw Jannah...there are plenty of other muslim-friendly resorts in the world.  We went to the Maldives on our honeymoon.... and it was simply .... spectacular.  They boast a 100% Sunni Muslim population, and there was no shortage of hijaabi honeymooners.
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« Reply #9 on: Nov 23, 2008 05:32 PM »

salam

This is amazing...Sol Kerzner is known for his amazing hotels and resorts, including the Lost City here in SA.

There wer eopening specials to stay there for 5 nights and it was really really cheap for such a resort.  Unfortunately, they were only for a specific time:(

Definitely worth the visit...we grew up hearing stories of Atlantis, it must be so cool to visit, inshaAllah.

One of the thing si really wanna do is swim with the dolphins!! man oh man Wink

Salam
S.
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« Reply #10 on: Nov 24, 2008 06:42 PM »

assalamualaikum

i am an idiot.  let me say that again.  mahbub is an idiot.

so it is very difficult for me to understand why y'all are so excited about the monumental excess in dubai.

it may be true that this thing is being paid for by a south african.  but every other bit of excess is being paid for by loser muslims.

for example, the abu dhabi group, recently bought manchester city football team.  now some of the people involved are flaunting their wealth by gloating and telling everybody that they are going to buy superstar football players at astronomical prices.  they are saying that money is no object.

apparently they want to buy gigi buffon (the 35 year goalkeeper of juventus) for something like 100 million euros.

can you imagine 100 million euros for an old football player?!! and for a goalkeeper? 

these people are not mad.  they are obscene. 

innal mubazzireen al-ikhwan is-shayateen

(the wasters are satan's brethren)
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« Reply #11 on: Nov 27, 2008 12:20 PM »

Assalam Alaikum,

I have a better idea for spending some time in that hotel. What a cheap desi like me would do is, try to find a job of an IT admin, computer operator or whatever there (heck i'll become a waiter if I have to), and work there for a month, then come back to pakland and work on the same position that I currently do.

Datz madd ay?

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« Reply #12 on: Nov 27, 2008 02:37 PM »

http://www.atlantis.com/accommodations/specials.aspx?icid=scrap_homepage_specials

deals on at the moment....
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« Reply #13 on: Nov 27, 2008 06:44 PM »

wsalam,

interesting... lets look at the other side... why do you think they're wasting their money? they're not stupid. they're investing in a billion dollar project and with every other industry kaput right now, tourism is still a booming industry in dubai. they invited all those rich stars and had that huge party because those will be their future customers. i'm sure they'll get their return on their money. there's enough rich people in the world who will remain rich despite the economic climate.

many indians (hindus/muslims) when they first came to the US started motels/hotels and did very well at one time. as long as they're not serving alcohol it's a pretty good halal business. in fact in our area, there is one brother who owns a number of hotels and he has donated 10k to our inner city mosque and pledged 100k to our new mosque in development.

so i don't know... if we want to criticize anyone maybe it's the people that go there and drop $45,000 a night on a room and suggest they could use their money elsewhere. but then perhaps they have the money to spend there and it's better there than a casino? everyone goes on a vacation, at least once i think.

it's definitely a double edged sword. they want to attract these high flyers, but to attract them you need alcohol, casinos, nightclubs. it'd be better if dubai's tourism model tried to make it more of a family-oriented touristic place. everyone has families and/or kids. if it were me, i'd design dubai's future on that and target richer muslims around the globe and people who want to bring their families for wholesome interesting vacations. kind of like a middle eastern disney world which is a whole city.
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« Reply #14 on: Nov 28, 2008 02:15 PM »

And if they target families and have alcohol/haraam free environment then there will be less chances of Allah's wrath washing everything away with a tsunami.

May Allah protect us.

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« Reply #15 on: Dec 01, 2008 08:12 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro

Quote
i'd design dubai's future on that and target richer muslims around the globe and people who want to bring their families for wholesome interesting vacations. kind of like a middle eastern disney world which is a whole city.


Well Dubai's own version of Disney Land aka DubaiLand is opening in late 2010 with theme parks from Six Flags, Marvel, Dreamworks and Universal Studios already lined up.


Question: As a Muslim parent would you fly half way around the world to take you kids on rollercoasters in Dubai?

The answer to that question probably will decide how successful these parks will be

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 01, 2008 11:00 AM »

Quote
The answer to that question probably will decide how successful these parks will be

I don't think I would but I'm positive rich khaleeji's would. So I think their success is assured Wink
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