The Atlantis Palm Opens In Dubai


Lindsay Lohan, Mischa Barton, Mary-Kate Olsen and about 1,997 other celebs made their way out to Dubai, United Arab Emirates for the official launch extravaganza for the new £1 billion luxury resort the Atlantis Palm on Palm Jumeirah Island earlier this week. The party itself cost £20 million and it really showed. Here are a few pics of some of the red carpet arrivals from the Atlantis Palm launch party and some deets on the party itself:

The credit crunch may be biting … but there was little sign of parsimony in Dubai [Thursday] night. The world’s rich and famous gathered for the most expensive private party ever thrown – costing some £20 million – to open Atlantis Palm Jumeirah, a £1 billion resort on a man-made island shaped like a palm tree in the Persian Gulf. Two thousand film stars, popstars, supermodels and billionaires were flown in from around the world for the all-expenses paid one-night party with many of them staying for four days. The highlight last night was a one-off gig by Kylie Minogue and her 113-strong dance troupe on the beach. Apart from getting a free holiday, Miss Minogue was also paid £1.5million for a 10-song 45-minute medley of her hits – which works out at some £33,333 a minute …

The gig was followed at midnight local time by a 1million-rocket firework display with 100 computer-guided rockets costing £7million which was seven times bigger than the largest display to date – for the Beijing Olympics …

They were no ordinary fireworks of course – each one being a radio-controlled 27-inch shell with an on-board microcomputer to direct its flight. The display, which was visible from space, was also filmed by a squadron of helicopters hovering at 12,000ft and beamed on giant TV HD screens on the beach. Miss Minogue, 40, arrived at the lavish party dressed in a pink and black floral chiffon gown with flowing train and her blonde hair in a curly short hairdo. Speaking on Sky News, just two hours before she was due to go on stage, an excited Kylie said: “It’s staggering. I guess more is more here and they have done a great job. My room’s very nice. It’s a different set list to the tour I’m doing at the moment. It’s an edited show especially for tonight.” The 40-year-old star remained tight-lipped about how much she was earning for her set, she said: “I can’t tell you how much pocket money I get, it goes straight in my piggy bank.” Speaking about the hotel’s potential, she added: “I think there’s a lot of people who love this kind of thing you get sun and everything you could wish for. My crew and dancers have been having a great time.” Guests included filmstars such as Robert De Niro, Charlize Theron, Denzil Washington, Mischa Barton and Lindsay Lohan, supermodels Agyness Deyn, Petra Nemcova and Yasmin Le Bon, musicans Janet Jackson, Lily Allen and Shirley Bassey, sports legends like Michael Jordan and Boris Becker and some local royalty – the Royal Family of Dubai … Oprah Winfrey bagged the most exclusive £25,000-a-night suite high up on a bridge suspended between the resort’s two towers. Yet when she pulled out, the scramble for the suite was eventually won a man many Britons may have never heard of – Shahrukh Khan – who is apparently the ‘Tom Cruise of Bollywood’ and as such the most famous filmstar in Middle East. Robert De Niro – a partner in the Nobu restaurant chain which has a site in the resort – had to make do with a £15,000 presidential suite. That left filmstars Lindsay Lohan and Charlize Theron with £10,000 a night Lost Chambers suites submerged alongside one of the world’s largest aquariums in the depths of the Atlantis resort, each with a truly jaw-dropping bedroom view of 65,000 sharks, rays and fish. No one paid for an air ticket to get there. The travel bill alone was estimated to be £3 million. Yesterday, the starry crowd spent the day riding camels, stroking dolphins and trying out the resort’s giant waterpark. A cocktail reception last night was followed by dinner on the beach, Miss Minogue’s show and they the fireworks. Though Dubai is mainly a ‘dry’ country, there was not much evidence of that at the soiree with some 1,000 bottles of Veuvre Cliquot champagne being thrown back. All of that drink was presumably needed to wash down the 1.7 metric tonnes of lobster that was eaten, 4,000 oysters, 3,000 kilos of smoked salmon and 5,000 portions of the best sushi – all prepared by 500 chefs and served by 1,000 waiters.

Ye gods! Talk about excess. It never ceases to amaze me how economic strain can take its toll on so many people thruout the world and, yet, celebs never seem to feel the pinch. Forget the millions of starving and dying people suffering each and every day, the rich and powerful live extravagant lives that most people can’t even dream of. It really sounds like a spectacular event but the amount of excess is pretty staggering. I’m not hating, I’m just … boggled. Yeah.


  • angie

    Amen, Trent.

  • Brenda

    This is what happens right before the world as we know it comes to an end.

  • newsgrrl

    Golden rule: He who has the gold [oil] makes the rules and sets the price.

  • Zoinks – that is some kind of craziness alright!
    I wonder why Oprah pulled out?
    How have I not seen any coverage of this event on TV? I have to try to find some more visuals of this party…
    All I can say is that I hope those dolphins are being treated well and cared for with the highest standards of animal husbandry and veterinary care, and I hope their seafood is as good as what all the invitees got ;-)
    And I hope somebody bought carbon offsets to compensate for all the global air travel generated by this colossal lavishness.

  • pooneck

    for all that $, kylie couldn’t have selected a better concert wardrobe? yuck. i guess if you have the $ and want to waste it on lavishness, go ahead. but, there are so many other more worthwhile causes to spend such a large sum of money on. makes me feel sorry for the rich and aimless.

  • AmyM

    rich and aimless indeed. geez Louise.

  • Katt

    good lord- that is just pure ridiculous-ness (is that even a word?). makes me sad that money is being spent like that, when there is a global economy crisis and people are starving, etc etc. and i agree with kent- somebody better have bought some carbon offsets!

  • just like i thought with the Olympics (though i enjoyed them), it’s ridiculous how much money a government will invest in such lavish celebrations when there is still so much abject poverty in the world, and even in their own country. You can’t tell me there aren’t a million infrastructure projects that could benefit the people, instead of this crap that benefits tourists and celebrities. Although tourism IS good for the economy, i wonder how occupancy rates will look now that the world economy has suffered so badly over the last few months, especially since Dubai has yet to really establish itself as a tourist destination. Lawd knows they’re trying, but there’s only so much you can do when the normal folk don’t have the money to spend.

    in other news, Mischa Barton showed up and looked pretty damn good in that dress. You win some, you lose some, i guess, hahahah.

  • Nicole.

    all i gotta sat is that Mischa Barton finally looks good on the red carpet.

  • Maria

    that is disgusting.

  • Elli

    £25,000 to stay in a hotel room for ONE NIGHT… that’s more than a fair few people in the UK get paid in an ENTIRE YEAR.

  • Katie

    I couldn’t agree more with you, Trent. Sounds like an amazing party, but really.. why couldn’t the guests pay for their own plane tickets?? It’s sad that so much money is spent on and for these celebrities (and BILLIONaires) who don’t really need it at all since they themselves have their own fortunes.

    1,000 bottles of Veuvre Cliquot champagne, 1.7 metric tonnes of lobster, 4,000 oysters, 3,000 kilos of smoked salmon and 5,000 portions of the best sushi??


  • Ashley

    It makes me sad. Imagine if that $20 million was donated to a good cause.

  • Lisa

    One night in that hotel room can pay for my first 3 years of university.

  • art

    Oh lisa, you’re so right.

  • Posh

    It seems like all the same people who attend these parties are the same ones who attend the global warming benefits. No one politicians have yet to really take the issue seriously.
    Nowhere else but Dubai would such overblown festivities take place for really no purpose. It really is the Vegas of the Middle East.

  • Jo

    i can’t believe that this event cost $40 million american dollars!
    That money could have been used in so many ways around the world! It makes you sort of sad to think of how people waste their money!

  • allyson

    Behind the scenes in Dubai, are human rights abuses, Shariah law, females being raped, and honor killed, foreigners who work there have their passports held,and they are treated like animals. It is a homophobic, racist country, and they hate Christians and Jews. It is a big facade of money and glitz, but Islamic law lurks behind every large tower built on the sweat of underpaid laborers who live in “labour camps”. Dubai is now what it seems, and all these people shipped in like lobster, seem stupid and useless in this very tense and hard economic time. Shame on them.

  • Fatima

    “It is a homophobic, racist country, and they hate Christians and Jews.”

    Sounds to me like you’re the phobic, racist hater, Allyson. Can’t stand people like you who generalize beyond belief.

    Sorry Trent, I know politics can get ugly… but I had to say something.

  • Zainab

    omggg im going to dubai again in december! have to check out palm jumeirah now!

  • hmmm

    what waiiiiit.



  • nick

    meanwhile you get paid to blog, the biggests waste of time.

  • this makes me lose hope in humanity. a very sad situation indeed.

  • rose

    shahrukh khan should have spent that money on the poor in india instead of in dubai! rich ppl need to stop showing their money and actually put it to good use!

  • kk

    £1 billion dollars?
    i’m guess that means one billion pounds?