Sunday, May 11, 2008

Atlantis: Lost continent found in Dubai

Lost continent

In 370 BC, Greek philosopher Plato recounted the legendary tale of Atlantis, the lost civilization, in his writings.

He described how a mysterious continent had existed more than 10,000 years earlier and it was located near the Straits of Gibraltar.

Described as a highly evolved society, the great civilization apparently met the end of its rule over Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa when natural calamities such as floods and earthquakes destroyed a continent that has never been confirmed as ever having existed.

Ancient lore says Atlantis sank below the seas never to be seen again, while others have speculated that volcanic eruptions could have wiped out such a civilization in islands off ancient Greece.
After 2,500 years, the legend of Atlantis lives on.

The lost continent is being resurrected in the form of Dubai’s Dh5.50 billion ($1.5 billion) tribute to the ancient Greek civilization.

According to world-renowned resort firm Kerzner International, its masterpiece development on the outer reaches of The Palm Jumeirah, called Atlantis, will throw open its gates to the public in September, one month earlier than planned.

Atlantis, The Palm will be the largest destination resort of its kind in the Middle East, according to the firm, and is modelled after the first Atlantis built in the Bahamas in the early 1990s.

Entertainment galore

After almost four years of planning and construction, Atlantis, The Palm has culminated in a 46-hectare manmade island marvel, crowned by the imposing Royal Towers Hotel, a 1,539-room oasis resort that is surrounded by open-air marine lagoons and stocked with 65,000 marine animals from the Gulf and beyond.

Water world

Nearby, in the 17-hectare Aquaventure water park, seven water slides reach down from a 30-metre high Mesopotamian temple dubbed Ziggurat. A 2.3-kilometre whitewater river wends its way around the island while dozens of underwater tubes and hidden passageways lead to sunken Atlantis ruins guarded by creatures of the deep.
Connected to the apex of the Palm by an oversea monorail and an undersea car tunnel, 5,000 people are expected to visit the desert-island paradise daily.

Paying customers won’t just comprise jet-setting tourists only. Dubai residents can spend Dh220 for a day pass to take in the underwater sunken Greek columns, shop at 17 retail outlets, sample fare served by the world’s top chefs and enjoy the solitude of a beach that is as exclusive as one can find in the city.

" The Lost Chambers features a "maze of underground tunnels offering underwater views into the boulevards of the ruins of Atlantis". There are 18 underwater exhibits.

Slide down

Water slides will challenge even the most seasoned theme-park patron.
The Atlantis water adventure system uses 18 million litres of desalinated freshwater to propel tube riders and solo artists through cascades and tidal waves and whitewater rapids, to sheer vertical drops.

At the Ziggurat temple, for example, a 27.5 metre near-vertical drop called the "Leap of Faith" plunges sliders down the face of the structure and into a freshwater tube that descends into a salt water lagoon filled with sharks. Water-sliders never come in contact with the sharks, however, as the tube carries riders straight through the lagoon into a large wading pool beyond.

And then there is the Torrent, a ride through rapids fed by a wave generator that "simulates a wave surge that is capable of swells reaching almost two metres high at over 94,000 litres per minute".

Room rates of Dh1,666 ($454) a night will help pay their salaries.

Fishy business at the lagoons

The Atlantis lagoons will feature more than 250 species of sea creatures, some of which will include native Gulf fish which have not been publicly displayed anywhere outside of the Middle East.

42 million litres of salt water will house many exotic local fish.

1 comment:

chase / chubz said...

oh my. that much? that is very expensive.
so its bigger than wild wadi huh?