Jutting into the Persian Gulf from southern Dubai, the Palm Jumeirah is an artificial island in the shape of a palm tree and ringed by a crescent-shaped breakwater. The world’s biggest artificial island, it draws visitors to its palatial hotels, theme parks, and shopping malls.
The Palm Jumeirah offers some of Dubai’s most opulent 5-star hotels—including Atlantis, The Palm—all of them rising from its Crescent breakwater or trunk. The island’s 17 fronds are home to 1,730 private villas. Visitors come to enjoy the hotels’ beaches and dining options, as well as attractions, such as Atlantis’ Aquaventure Water Park and Lost Chambers Aquarium. Also popular are shopping malls, such as The Pointe and Golden Mile Galleria.
Nearly all Dubai tours include photo ops outside the Atlantis, arriving via road or the island’s monorail system. Some hop-on hop-off bus routes, meanwhile, let you alight at the Atlantis to explore at leisure, while boat and Jet Ski tours afford fabulous views of the Palm and Atlantis from the sea. However, the best option to admire the palm-shaped island design is to take a helicopter or seaplane trip that flies over the island.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Palm Jumeirah is a must-see for first-time Dubai visitors, shoppers, families, and theme park lovers.
- If time is short, take a half-day tour that covers Dubai’s highlights and an Atlantis photo stop.
- If you can’t manage a flightseeing experience, the monorail is the next-best way to see the Palm’s fronds and palm shape.
- Bring your hat and sunscreen; there’s little shade anywhere on the island.
How to Get There
The Palm extends into the Gulf from Dubai’s Al Sufouh area, midway between the Burj Al Arab and Dubai Marina. To visit, catch the monorail from the Gateway station on the trunk to Atlantis, The Palm on the Crescent breakwater. Alternatively, take a taxi to the island.
When to Get There
The Palm Monorail runs every 15 minutes, every day, from about 9am until 10pm. Check timetables before traveling, however. If you have a ticket for the Atlantis Aquaventure Water Park, aim to arrive early during the peak season (November-April) and on Friday and Saturday, to avoid the biggest crowds.
Visiting the Atlantis, The Palm
Though Atlantis’ main lobby is usually open to nonresidents, access may be restricted from time to time. Your best bet is to reserve a table at one of Atlantis’ on-site restaurants to ensure entry.