Stars gather at Atlantis The Royal for grand preview weekend

Beyonce and Jay-Z enjoy hotel ahead of her opening show on Saturday

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Dubai’s long-awaited Atlantis The Royal has welcomed its first guests.

The 795-room mega-hotel on Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, has opened its doors to a select group of celebrities, VIP guests and press for its grand preview weekend.

The event will reach its crescendo on Saturday night with a performance by Beyonce, her first since 2018. The musician is already in situ at the hotel, along with husband Jay-Z, who was spotted enjoying a cigar and drinks at the property’s beachside Food Marquet on Friday afternoon.

A host of other celebrities are also in attendance, including British TV stars Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan, Rochelle and Marvin Humes, celebrity chef Isaac Carew, Storm and Ronan Keating, Amir Khan and local influencers such as Real Housewives of Dubai personality Chanel Ayan.

Finishing touches to the sea-facing, outdoor stage where Beyonce will perform were being put in place as the Sun set on Friday. On Wednesday, residents of The Palm shared videos on social media where the singer could be heard practising some of her most famous hits, including Drunk in Love and Crazy in Love. The sound check happened a little after midnight, with residents also reporting hearing renditions of Halo, Naughty Girl and Freedom.

This weekend’s guests were also treated to a first view of the hotel’s Skyblaze fountains in action. The 28-metre-high feature combines water, fire bursts, lights and performative music. It is the brainchild of KPF, the firm responsible for some of the most recognisable destinations and buildings in the world, including New York’s Hudson Yards, the largest private development in US history; London’s Covent Garden neighbourhood; and six of the 12 tallest towers in the world, including the Shanghai World Financial Centre, the Ping An Finance Centre in Shenzhen, China, and Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea.

Skyblaze, which is expected to be seen in full effect during the performance on Saturday, is one of a series of dramatic water features in the hotel. An 11.5-metre-tall lobby sculpture, Droplets, represents the first drop of rain in a dry desert, while the Deluge water elevators invite guests to walk through water to reach other parts of the property.

Eye-catching light fixtures in the form of cloud bursts hover overhead in the hotel’s elevator banks, while hundreds of raindrop-shaped light pendants stud the ceilings of the lobby.

Spanning more than 40 hectares, Atlantis The Royal is 500 metres long, extends 43 storeys and 178 metres upwards. Its distinctive form consists of six towers shaped like a stack of individual blocks, connected from above by a 90-metre by 33-metre sky bridge. It is home to 795 rooms and suites, countless hospitality venues and no fewer than 90 swimming pools.

Updated: January 21, 2023, 4:00 AM
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