Monday, June 08, 2009

On the Palm

With a couple of occasions to celebrate, we joined up with my uncle & his family to do something a bit out of the ordinary over the weekend. We drove onto Dubai's famous Palm Jumeirah island to see the Atlantis resort (pictures uploaded on my photoblog).

Atlantis is the only commercial establishment there open right now; the rest are in varying stages of construction, currently stalled due to recession woes. The residential apartment complexes and villas are up and ready, and its nice to see from the monorail that runs the length of the Palm.

There are many attractions within the Atlantis, including its water park, aquarium and what I think is a dolphin show. I believe they have an area where you can swim with the dolphins and feed sting rays. Someday perhaps, it'd be fun to try, but in this murderously hot weather, none of us was game to be out in the open for too long. So we just rode the monorail and clicked loads of goofy photos with the resort as a backdrop.

Having lived in Bombay and Abu Dhabi, we're no strangers to reclaimed land, but I have to say, the Palm is certainly the most creative of them all and also the most controversial. On the one hand, it is a stupendous engineering feat, but on the other, the project has also drawn intense criticism for the resultant environmental damage.

I fell into the latter category initially, but having actually been there, I'm torn between both viewpoints; I can't decide if its a testament of human ingenuity for mastering a bit of Nature, or of human stupidity for messing too far with Nature.

Either way, it is a sight worth seeing at least once!