x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Atlantis opening sparks party fever

The view of the Atlantis Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah from the 52nd floor of the Harbour Hotel & Residence in Dubai.
The view of the Atlantis Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah from the 52nd floor of the Harbour Hotel & Residence in Dubai.

Thousands of people are expected to watch the firework display marking tomorrow's opening of The Atlantis, The Palm. Bars along the coastline are likely to be brimming with people watching the pyrotechnics. The waters around the Palm Jumeirah are forecast to be filled with boats and yachts for parties, while residents host house gatherings. The firework display, which will begin at about midnight, was planned by Grucci, an American firm that has promised to light up 43km of the palm-shaped shoreline.

The Atlantis would not give details on the length or grandeur of the planned fireworks, but promised "the entire Palm will be illuminated". Dubai Police are anticipating heavy traffic along Jumeirah Beach Road. "We will make arrangements with all the police departments to help with the traffic," a police spokesman said. Extra patrols on the beaches along the city's coastline and additional traffic police will be in place to alleviate any bottlenecks that may occur along the 20km stretch of road.

Le Meridien Mina Seyahi said it expected 4,000 customers on Thursday at its Barasti Bar, almost double the usual number. It is offering 100 tickets, costing Dh950 each, for access to a "viewing area" with its own bar. No tickets have been sold so far. The hotel will also have extra security in place to deal with the large numbers expected. The Hilton Hotel in Dubai Marina is taking table reservations and close to 200 people have booked places.

The Radisson SAS Media City is predicting increased business because of its roof-top Tamanya bar. "We are expecting it to be very busy. New Year's Eve is one of busiest nights and I expect it to be the same," a spokeswoman for the hotel said. "Thursday nights are always busy on the terrace but we still expect large crowds to watch the fireworks." There is no cover charge to enter Tamanya bar, but that policy was being reviewed, a spokesman said.

House parties are planned around Dubai Marina by those lucky enough to have views of Palm Jumeirah. One resident in Jumeirah Beach Residence said he was expecting all his friends around to watch the fireworks. "I've been thinking of doing this for the last few weeks and the list of people coming around is getting longer," said Matt McMinn, who has uninterrupted views of the Palm Jumeirah from his apartment.

"I held a New Year's Eve party and the views were amazing. We could see fireworks all along the coastline from every hotel and I can see the entire Palm Jumeirah from my balcony. I am not going to try and go anywhere else." At the Atlantis, Kylie Minogue will be performing her debut concert in the Middle East to 2,000 guests including Lindsay Lohan, the US actress, who will be there with her friend, Sam Ronson, who is to be the DJ for the after-party.

Robert De Niro, the Hollywood actor, will also be attending the star-studded event. Also confirmed to attend are the talk show host Oprah Winfrey, the Hollywood actors Denzel Washington and Gerard Butler, the model Petra Nemcova, the British singer Lily Allen, the Lebanese singer Nawal Zoghbi, the Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, the American singer Janet Jackson and Michael Jordan, the basketball player.

Elaborately boxed invitations were sent to celebrities by Sol Kerzner, chairman of Kerzner International, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman of Nakheel, the developers and operators of the Atlantis. The guest list of 2,000 people will also include business leaders, politicians, actors and musicians and members of the Dubai Royal Family. eharnan@thenational.ae