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'Villas in the clouds': Dubai’s newest mega-resort takes luxury to new heights

Atlantis The Royal, Hero Building
Atlantis The Royal, Hero Building   -   Copyright  Atlantis The Royal
By Emma Pearson

For visitors to Dubai, Atlantis, The Palm has always been top of the to-do list. With its iconic pink hues commanding attention from its position at the helm of the Palm Jumeirah. Now though, there’s a new kid on the block, and it’s taking the Dubai experience to extraordinary new heights.

Atlantis The Royal will open its doors at the end of 2022 during a star-studded spectacular, bringing 17 new bars and restaurants, a wealth of entertainment venues and even 4,000 jellyfish to the region.

“Atlantis The Royal is designed for a different type of customer,” says Managing Director and Executive Vice President of Atlantis Dubai, Tim Kelly, speaking at Arabian Travel Market, the leading international travel and tourism event in the Middle East.

“It will have its own identity and personality with 44 villas in the clouds, each with their own infinity pool providing the next level of luxury and service in Dubai.”

What makes the design so spectacular?

Atlantis The Royal
Atlantis The Royal, Skycourt PoolAtlantis The Royal

Atlantis The Royal is a behemoth, spanning 17 hectares and housing 795 rooms, dozens of hospitality venues and 92 swimming pools – including a 90-metre-long sky pool that glistens almost 100 metres above Palm Jumeirah.

The $1.6 billion (€1.5 billion) building is 43 storeys high and features a jaw-dropping 1,100 square metre Royal Mansion suite costing up to $50,000 (€47,000) per night.

“It’s designed to be experienced from the inside looking out and that’s what’s very special,” says Kelly. “So regardless of where you are, whether it’s a room, a restaurant, a public space, or on the beach, you have this beautiful view of the Arabian Gulf or the Dubai skyline.”

However, there is more to Atlantis The Royal than just sheer size. The resort boasts 150,000 square metres of marble and 90,000 square metres of glass – the equivalent of ten football pitches.

The resort boasts 150,000 square metres of marble and 90,000 square metres of glass – the equivalent of ten football pitches.

Fire-breathing fountains greet visitors at the entrance, swirling crystal lava trees lure them inside and mesmerising deluge elevators transport you to the magic within.

Where should you eat at Atlantis The Royal?

Atlantis The Royal
Atlantis The Royal, Meeting and EventsAtlantis The Royal

With eight celebrity chef-backed restaurants, a list of unique culinary experiences and four bars and lounges, Atlantis The Royal will be a foodie destination in its own right.

Combined with the 33 offerings at Atlantis, The Palm, the sister hotels will jointly create the most resort-operated food and beverage outlets in the region, with tantalising effect.

Leading the charge is culinary heavyweight Heston Blumenthal, who will be plating up contemporary British fare at his aptly-named Dinner by Heston Blumenthal restaurant. He’ll be joined by culinary legend José Andrés, local favourite Ariana Bundy and modern Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio.

Highlights also include Nobu by the Beach for black cod served straight to the private cabanas and Little Venice Cake Company by Mich Turner for baked goods fit for royalty.

Meanwhile, the all-day dining restaurant Gastronomy will seat a mighty 960 guests. Diners can take their pick from 13 food stations including a seafood station, a butcher’s shop and a fresh pasta counter.

What are the resort’s top party spots?

Atlantis The Royal
Atlantis The Royal, Hero building at nightAtlantis The Royal

There are five entertainment venues on offer at the resort including Cloud 22, Elements, Ling Ling by Tao Group Hospitality, Nobu by the Beach and Resonance by Heston Blumenthal.

Heston Blumenthal’s bar concept, Resonance, is a first of its kind cocktail bar that will offer a nightly DJ and live music, with revellers able to sashay their way around the world’s largest jellyfish tank.

By the shore, beachside spot Seascapes will be home to a live DJ, firepits and an incredible boardwalk entrance, though it is Cloud 22 that really steals the show, according to Kelly.

It is such a special space with an infinity pool that’s 22 storeys high, overlooking the Dubai skyline. It has the ultimate in exclusivity and uniqueness.
Tim Kelly
Managing Director and Executive Vice President of Atlantis Dubai

“It is such a special space with an infinity pool that’s 22 storeys high, overlooking the Dubai skyline. It has the ultimate in exclusivity and uniqueness,” he says.

“We’re also building up White Beach beach club and we’ll be flying in the top DJs in the world from Ibiza.”

What unique experiences are on offer?

Atlantis The Royal
Atlantis The Royal, Spa and Wellness CentreAtlantis The Royal

All guests at Atlantis The Royal will get unlimited access to the world's largest waterpark, Aquaventure. The 22.5-hectare site is home to 26 marine experiences and water sports and 105 slides, including the Leap of Faith, a death-defying drop that shoots thrill seekers through a clear tube surrounded by sharks.

Visitors will also be able to experience the huge marine exhibits that span both resorts, including The Lost Chambers Aquarium, the largest open-air aquarium in the region. The oceanic park is home to 65,000 marine animals, as well as scuba diving, snorkelling and marine biology programmes.

If that all sounds a bit exhausting, the resort’s 5,045 square metre AWAKEN spa offers everything from traditional holistic treatments to regenerative medicine and wellness therapies.

“There’s nothing else like this on offer in the Dubai market currently,” says Kelly. “We have everything from a traditional hammam sensorium to meditation sessions with dolphins.

“Everything is 100 per cent vegan and aimed at total relaxation and rejuvenation.”