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A spectacular light show was put on at the unveiling of the new $1.5bn marine-themed Atlantis resort built off the Gulf Coast of Dubai on Palm Jumeirah, an artificial island in the shape of a palm tree.

A host of international stars including pop diva Kylie Minogue, who was paid a reported $US4 million for her performance, and Hollywood stars Robert de Niro, Charlize Theron, and Chris Tucker joined celebrations marking the opening of the resort.  Organisers claimed that the fireworks display for the $20m party could be seen from space. You can watch directly from your desktop by pressing play on the image below.

Created by Kerzner International Holdings Limited, the stunning new 1,539-room resort first welcomed guests in September 2008. Nested atop the crescent of The Palm Jumeirah, the opening of Atlantis, The Palm the resort encompasses a 46 hectare site with 17 hectares of water themed amusement at AQUAVENTURE, extensive fresh and salt-water pools and lagoon exhibits, an open-air marine habitat, a seemingly endless stretch of beach, luxury boutiques, numerous dining choices including four celebrity chef restaurants, an exciting nightclub, a Spa and Fitness Club, and 5,600m2 of meeting and function space.

The Atlantis wouldn’t be complete without its amazing underwater world. The Lost Chambers Suites, with both bedroom and bath views directly into the mesmerising underwater world of the Ambassador Lagoon, are quite unique.

Stretching over three floors, the Neptune and Poseidon Suites welcome guests with a grand foyer leading down a sweeping staircase into an elegant aquatic-themed dining and living area, with butler’s pantry. Then, of course, there are the sumptuous bed and bathrooms with their underwater views. If guests are unable to tear themselves away from watching the 65,000 marine animals, a 24-hour dedicated private butler is available to serve refreshments.  Simon Turner

FYI: Related articles on Dubai; the Rich & Famous; and the World’s Most Expensive

More information: The Atlantis Palm

This innovative eco friendly home in the Cotswold nature reserve, UK has just sold for approx $14.5million

The ‘thoroughly modern manor house’, named Orchid House and modelled on a bee orchid found on the reserve, was sold offthe plan recently to an anonymous buyer who is believed to be in the entertainment industry. They will get a lakeside home complete with a glass-sided badger set in the garden.

It is said that Brad Pitt has looked at the plans for Orchid House, while Kylie Minogue had stayed at the estate.

The house will be one of those that will produce more energy than it uses with an underground pump and geothermal heating. The house is designed by Sarah Featherstone, whose practice in East London is designing part of the London 2012 Olympic athletes’ village. It is said the house will take three years to be built as the structure is complicated.

Simon Turner

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