x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Atlantis party pleases residents

Palm Jumeirah residents said yesterday they had been pleasantly surprised by the Atlantis, The Palm's opening spectacular.

The climax of the grand opening.
The climax of the grand opening.

DUBAI // Palm Jumeirah residents said yesterday they had been pleasantly surprised by the Atlantis, The Palm's opening spectacular. Fighting traffic and crowded beaches, hundreds of Dubai residents watched the world's largest firework display on Thursday night on what Atlantis organisers called a "perfect evening". Residents of Palm Jumeirah, who were asked to get home by 4pm, were stuck in traffic for a while but said it was worth it, as many held private parties through the night and saw the pyrotechnics.

"It was an amazing, spectacular show. Many of us stood on the beachside and watched the fireworks," said Junaid Moosa, a resident of Palm Jumeirah. The residents had been asked to stay off the beach and were given passes for entry into the development that evening, but they said apart from traffic and minor delays, everything was under control. "We had our lease copy in hand and we were given passes, but no one really asked for it or bothered us," Mr Moosa said.

Nakheel, the developer of Palm Jumeirah, described the opening of the hotel as a tremendous success. A spokesman said: "It is yet another proof point of Palm Jumeirah's success and outstanding progress, and marks the island's transition in becoming a world-class tourist destination." Organisers of the show at Atlantis said the evening went to plan. "This was a big event and there were hundreds of complicated elements," said Jerry Inzerillo, the president of entertainment at Kerzner International.

"It was important that all had to go perfectly. We got lucky that this was a perfect evening in terms of the protocol, guests, celebrities and, most importantly, the technical aspect." Organisers hoped the firework display had made it into Guinness World Records, Mr Inzerillo said. "The fireworks were substantially bigger than anything seen in the world," he said. Mr Inzerillo said many of the 2,000 invited celebrities stayed for the weekend. Many went to souks, visited the dunes or explored the city before leaving.

People outside the Palm also found spots to enjoy the fireworks. Residents of Jumeirah Beach Residence gathered at the beach. "The fireworks were expected to be big, but not this big. It was a fantastic display," one resident said. Restaurants and cafes facing the beach were also packed on Thursday night. pmenon@thenational.ae