The city of Dubai has a penchant for pursuing the impossible and converting it into not just a possibility, but a reality. What started out as a small pearl fishing village among the desert sands has, in the span of a few short decades, blossomed into one of the world’s foremost cities in terms of design, architecture and luxury. A fine example of all three, and a testament to Dubai’s pursuit of the impossible, is the Palm Jumeirah. Often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World, this beautiful man-made island is one of the most-sought after communities of the city and a masterwork of architectural landscaping.
The Palm began construction back in 2001, using over 100 million cubic meters of sand from the sea bed that were formed into the shape of a palm tree comprising a trunk and 17 palm fronds. While it took almost a decade for it to finally be completed, in no small part due to the sheer scale and complexity of the design, by 2007 it was already known as the largest artificial island in the world. Palm Jumeirah is divided primarily among five-star beach resorts and lavish oceanfront villas, making it one of the cornerstones of luxury in Dubai and a perfect emblem of the city’s vibrant lifestyle.
The main trunk of the Palm and the sweeping crescent that tops it off are some of the key leisure destinations on the island, dotted with five-star beach resorts such as the Kempinski Palm Hotel, The One & Only The Palm and Anantara The Palm. The Atlantis, which sits on the very apex of the crescent, has long been considered the island’s crowning jewel. In its aim to evoke the lost city of legend, the hotel offers a very regal sense of design, exceptional levels of service, the most spectacular ocean views and a variety of water-themed activities including an underwater aquarium and waterpark.
The Atlantis has also been seen as the main architectural highlight of the Palm, though a new contender is in the process of being built – The Royal Atlantis. Scheduled for completion in 2019, The Royal Atlantis is already making waves thanks to a bold architectural design that will be unlike anything else seen in the city. The stunning resort and residential project will also easily dwarf the Atlantis, standing twice as high at its peak.
Some of the most lavish residences in Dubai are also housed on Palm Jumeirah. From exclusive villa enclaves to incredible penthouses (including the most expensive penthouse sold in Dubai at just shy of $28 million), Palm Jumeirah has it all. It’s difficult to narrow down the best properties when you have such an excellent selection to choose from, but some of our top picks would have to be:
A gorgeous residential building with a design inspired in part by a cruise ship and by the shape of rocks eroded by the ocean, Alef Residences offers 104 residences with individualized layouts, spread across eight wings known as ‘mansions.’ Each apartment and penthouse features flowing open interiors that combine with floor-to-ceiling windows so you can take in beautiful panoramic views of the sea and the city from the comfort of your living room, or even on your private terrace. The adjoining W Hotel grants residents of the Alef access to all of its five-star facilities, along with dedicated concierge service in each mansion.
Mediterranean Signature Villa
One of the most luxurious villa enclaves on the Palm is the Signature Villas. Many of the villas have been extensively upgraded and refurbished by their current owners, such as this magnificent Mediterranean-style home on Frond C. Spread over 9,000 square feet, the six-bedroom villa is immaculate in its design. The piece de resistance is a nearly 20-foot long custom-built aquarium that has been specially imported from the UK and installed in the main living room.
Palm Tip Villa
The villas located on Palm Jumeirah’s frond tips are the very height of exclusivity, accessible only by private roads branching off the main trunk of the island. This villa on the D tip boasts 46,000 square feet of internal space that includes 11 bedrooms, a 16-seater private theater, an industrial kitchen and a basement nightclub able to accommodate 200 people.
Contemporary Beachfront Mansion
This gorgeous seven-bedroom villa is on Frond J and has been custom-built. Spread over a built-up area of 18,000 square feet, the villa is set across three floors and is framed by floor-to-ceiling glass paneling. Each level opens out to landscaped terraces and the exterior space includes a lovely garden and an infinity pool that leads to a private beach.
This is but a small sampling of what you can expect on Palm Jumeirah, and several new projects are underway that will only add to the island’s beauty and to its status as the definitive home of luxury living in the UAE.
Andrew Cummings is the exclusive agent representing the Dubai, United Arab Emirates market as a part of the Haute Residence real estate network. View all his listings at LuxuryProperty.com.
Images courtesy of Andrew Cummings, LuxuryProperty.com