Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Led by the vision of Sol Kerzner, former Chairman of Kerzner International, an esteemed roster of internationally known architects, designers and landscapers joined together to create an entirely original fully-integrated entertainment destination resort, Atlantis, The Palm. Redefining the Dubai resort experience, the September 2008 debut of this unique project showcases the design talents of Jeffrey Beers of Jeffrey Beers International (JBI), David Rockwell of The Rockwell Group and Adam D. Tihany of Tihany Design. The expertise of established interior resort designers Wilson and Associates, design architects Wimberly, Allison, Tong and Goo (WATG), and the innovative landscape architecture of EDSA were all utilized in the design process. The resort also features artwork by world-renowned artists Dale Chihuly and Albino Gonzalez.
As the flagship resort on The Palm Island, the momentous silhouette of Atlantis serves as the new gateway to Dubai. With its enviable position atop the crescent of the island, the resort spans 46 hectares with 17 hectares of water themed amusement at Aquaventure Waterpark, an open-air marine habitat second only to Mother Nature featuring extensive fresh and salt-water pools and lagoon exhibits -all located on the seemingly endless stretch of beach, luxury boutiques, a delectable choice of restaurants including three by world-renowned chefs, an exciting nightclub, ShuiQi Spa & Fitness, and 5600 square metres of meeting and function space. Each dimension of the resort offers a taste of Arabia, as well as a playful nod to the ocean and the myth of Atlantis—from sun-kissing spires and Moorish archways to a sunken city filled with exotic sea creatures and suites with a fish eye’s view into an underwater haven.
THE ROYAL TOWERS – ARRIVAL
Throughout the resort, guests experience an immediate connection to their natural surroundings, travelling on a sensory journey of discovery highlighted by nature, art and moments of wonder. Arrival in the Royal Towers Grand Lobby presents a dazzling interplay of water, light, and sound with a wall of windows offering stunning vistas of the azure waters of The Palm and beaches along the Arabian Gulf. Moving across the lobby’s travertine marble floors, guests enjoy a symphony of sound as a water wall cascades into a pool, a soothing reminder of the surrounding sea.
For Atlantis, The Palm, artist Dale Chihuly was commissioned to create his first installation in the Middle East – a glass sculpture that brings the essence of the sea and its inhabitants to life. The result, which took almost two years to create, is a 10 metre high sculpture with over 3000 pieces of intensely-coloured blown glass ranging from fiery oranges and reds to tranquil blues and greens. The piece is surrounded by a reflection pool. “This is a totally unique idea for us,” comments Chihuly.
No matter where guests direct their gaze, Atlantis delights with moments of unexpected wonder. The lobby’s 19 metre high arched ceilings feature eight hand painted murals on canvas by Spanish artist Albino Gonzalez, one of the world’s foremost interpreters of ancient mythology. Albino painted the murals in his studio near Leon, Spain. Two murals measuring 5 metres by 2.5 metres and six murals measuring 6.5 metres by 2.5 metres depict the development of the solar calendar highlighting various constellations and planets and tell the story of the ancient mythological city of Atlantis. The calendars are distributed throughout the eight murals and represent the seasons of the year including the solstices and the equinox (spring, summer, fall and winter) and the four elements (air, earth, fire, water). Gonzalez’s work captures the major themes of the Arabian mythology, a story that has been passed along throughout time.