Caption DUBAI-JULY 1,2008 - A visitors  enjoys watching sea creatures during tour at Atlantis Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. ( Paulo Vecina/The National )?
A visitor watches marine life during a tour of Atlantis.

Atlantis rises from the palm

DUBAI // Atlantis, massive and majestic, dominates the skyline at Palm Jumeirah. It towers over the new beach-houses and apartment blocks that feather out along the "palm leaves", offering sweeping views of Dubai. Residents have watched the pink structure, visible from the mainland, grow up from the ground into the magnificent building which yesterday opened its doors for a sneak preview. It was an event not to be missed.

The hotel, with stunning architecture inside and out, boasts 1,539 rooms in its two towers and wings. The opulent Bridge Suite, measuring 924 sq metres, joins the two towers together at the top and, priced at approximately Dh91,830 (US$25,000) a night, is said to be one of the most expensive hotel suites in Dubai. Four beaches complement the overall concept, but the main attraction is the Ambassador Lagoon.

Holding 11 million litres of water and about 65,000 fish caught from the surrounding waters of the Gulf, the aquarium dominates the hotel. "Atlantis is about the ocean, and this hotel depicts all of that through the fish, the sea and the water park," said Sol Kerzner, the chairman and chief executive officer of Kerzner International Holdings Limited, the firm behind the project. Mr Kerzner was also the man behind the first Atlantis resort, in the Bahamas, and brought the concept to Dubai to globalise the brand.

A staff of 100 have been assigned to take care of the aquarium and its fish. Ranging from stingrays and groupers to the golden trevally, a swirling mixture of colours, species and sizes fill the tank. "We wanted to display some of what the Emirates has to offer as marine life," said Alan Leibman, president and managing director for Kerzner International. In the centre of the lobby a sculpture by Dale Chihuly demands attention. The American artist was commissioned to work for Atlantis and this marks his first installation in the Middle East.

The lobby's walls are covered in murals, designed and created by Albino Gonzales. Wandering through the spacious halls, one is struck by the amount of colour and light that has been used by the design team throughout the hotel. There are 17 food and beverage outlets, four of which were created by celebrity chefs from around the world. Giorgio Locatelli, Nobu Matsuhisa, Michel Rostang and Santi Santamaria will each work in the kitchens, bringing to the Middle East their unique flavours and dishes.

"This is important for me, because I want to bring a little bit of Italy here," Mr Locatelli said when describing the food he will present. The menu is dominated by pizzas. It was the simplicity of the dishes that would attract clients to the restaurant, he said. The Atlantis team are keen to promote a family-friendly environment and have created two children's clubs for youth of different ages.

One is geared for children aged three to 12 years and the other for those aged 12 to 17 years. An estimated 100 nannies from around the world have been hired to care for visiting children. "We are very serious about catering for children," said Amadeo Zarzosa, senior vice president and general manager of hotel operations for Atlantis. "Our clubs are very age-specific in order to create activities that they can enjoy."

Outside the hotel is AquaVenture, a water park that includes slides that pass under a shark tank holding black-tip and nurse sharks. AquaVenture's main attraction will be Dolphin Bay, home to 28 dolphins. "Having people come and visit and swim with the dolphins is enhancing the spiritual side of such a unique experience," said Heidi Perez, the director of marine mammal operations. "Dolphins are a charismatic species and having that opportunity to be close to them gives people a greater appreciation of who they are."

Atlantis is scheduled to open on Sept 24 this year, with an official launch set for November.


Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Company profile

Name: Fruitful Day

Founders: Marie-Christine Luijckx, Lyla Dalal AlRawi, Lindsey Fournie

Based: Dubai, UAE

Founded: 2015

Number of employees: 30

Sector: F&B

Funding so far: Dh3 million

Future funding plans: None at present

Future markets: Saudi Arabia, potentially Kuwait and other GCC countries

Pakistan v New Zealand Test series

Pakistan: Sarfraz (c), Hafeez, Imam, Azhar, Sohail, Shafiq, Azam, Saad, Yasir, Asif, Abbas, Hassan, Afridi, Ashraf, Hamza

New Zealand: Williamson (c), Blundell, Boult, De Grandhomme, Henry, Latham, Nicholls, Ajaz, Raval, Sodhi, Somerville, Southee, Taylor, Wagner

Umpires: Bruce Oxerford (AUS) and Ian Gould (ENG); TV umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS); Match referee: David Boon (AUS)

Tickets and schedule: Entry is free for all spectators. Gates open at 9am. Play commences at 10am


Director: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Tim Blake Nelson, Sebastian Roche, Elpidia Carrillo
Rating: 4/5

Country-size land deals

US interest in purchasing territory is not as outlandish as it sounds. Here's a look at some big land transactions between nations:

Louisiana Purchase

If Donald Trump is one who aims to broker "a deal of the century", then this was the "deal of the 19th Century". In 1803, the US nearly doubled in size when it bought 2,140,000 square kilometres from France for $15 million.

Florida Purchase Treaty

The US courted Spain for Florida for years. Spain eventually realised its burden in holding on to the territory and in 1819 effectively ceded it to America in a wider border treaty. 

Alaska purchase

America's spending spree continued in 1867 when it acquired 1,518,800 km2 of  Alaskan land from Russia for $7.2m. Critics panned the government for buying "useless land".

The Philippines

At the end of the Spanish-American War, a provision in the 1898 Treaty of Paris saw Spain surrender the Philippines for a payment of $20 million. 

US Virgin Islands

It's not like a US president has never reached a deal with Denmark before. In 1917 the US purchased the Danish West Indies for $25m and renamed them the US Virgin Islands.


The most recent sovereign land purchase was in 1958 when Pakistan bought the southwestern port of Gwadar from Oman for 5.5bn Pakistan rupees. 

1971: The Year The Music Changed Everything

Director: Asif Kapadia


The Way It Was: My Life with Frank Sinatra by Eliot Weisman and Jennifer Valoppi
Hachette Books


Newcastle United 2 (Willems 25', Shelvey 88')

Manchester City 2 (Sterling 22', De Bruyne 82')






Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

What is the FNC?

The Federal National Council is one of five federal authorities established by the UAE constitution. It held its first session on December 2, 1972, a year to the day after Federation.
It has 40 members, eight of whom are women. The members represent the UAE population through each of the emirates. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have eight members each, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah six, and Ajman, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain have four.
They bring Emirati issues to the council for debate and put those concerns to ministers summoned for questioning. 
The FNC’s main functions include passing, amending or rejecting federal draft laws, discussing international treaties and agreements, and offering recommendations on general subjects raised during sessions.
Federal draft laws must first pass through the FNC for recommendations when members can amend the laws to suit the needs of citizens. The draft laws are then forwarded to the Cabinet for consideration and approval. 
Since 2006, half of the members have been elected by UAE citizens to serve four-year terms and the other half are appointed by the Ruler’s Courts of the seven emirates.
In the 2015 elections, 78 of the 252 candidates were women. Women also represented 48 per cent of all voters and 67 per cent of the voters were under the age of 40.

The specs: 2018 Mazda CX-5

Price, base / as tested: Dh89,000 / Dh130,000
Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder
Power: 188hp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 251Nm @ 4,000rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
​​​​​​​Fuel consumption, combined: 7.1L / 100km

if you go

The flights
Fly direct to Kutaisi with Flydubai from Dh925 return, including taxes. The flight takes 3.5 hours. From there, Svaneti is a four-hour drive. The driving time from Tbilisi is eight hours.
The trip
The cost of the Svaneti trip is US$2,000 (Dh7,345) for 10 days, including food, guiding, accommodation and transfers from and to ­Tbilisi or Kutaisi. This summer the TCT is also offering a 5-day hike in Armenia for $1,200 (Dh4,407) per person. For further information, visit


Thursday (All UAE kick-off times)

Sevilla v Real Betis (midnight)


Granada v Real Betis (9.30pm)

Valencia v Levante (midnight)


Espanyol v Alaves (4pm)

Celta Vigo v Villarreal (7pm)

Leganes v Real Valladolid (9.30pm)

Mallorca v Barcelona (midnight)


Atletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid (4pm)

Real Madrid v Eibar (9.30pm)

Real Sociedad v Osasuna (midnight)

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.


Bangla Tigers 108-5 (10 ovs)

Ingram 37, Rossouw 26, Pretorius 2-10

Deccan Gladiators 109-4 (9.5 ovs)

Watson 41, Devcich 27, Wiese 2-15

Gladiators win by six wickets

Joy Ride

Director: Adele Lim
Stars: Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu, Sabrina Wu
Rating: 4/5

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE


Courses at Istituto Marangoni, Dubai

Undergraduate courses
Interior Design; Product Design; Visual Design; Fashion Design & Accessories; Fashion Styling & Creative Direction; Fashion Business; Foundation in Fashion; Foundation in Design
Professional courses
Fashion e-Commerce & Digital Marketing; Fashion Entrepreneurship; Fashion Luxury Retail and Visual Merchandising
Short courses
Fashion design; Fashion Image & Styling; Fashion Trend Forecasting; Interior Design; Digital Art in Fashion
More information is at

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