Check out the new and upcoming attractions on Dubai's Palm Island
Palm Jumeirah is once again a hive of activity. A series of new homes have now been completed by developer Nakheel, while hotels such as The Fairmont are launching new restaurants and establishing a loyal following, joining outdoor terraces at the more established Atlantis The Palm. There are also several new medical centres and boutiques, to name but a few openings in the past three months. And it looks as though the coming season is set to be just as exciting: we reveal what’s coming up on one of the city’s most iconic developments.
NEW! Frevo This is the latest addition to Dubai’s growing Brazilian barbecue army. The restaurant serves a carnivore’s delight of grilled lamb, beef and chicken skewers carved at the table, complete with live music and sea views. The restaurant has introduced a Friday brunch, where diners are also served a selection of barbecued seafood. Fairmont The Palm (04 457 3457). NEW! L’Olivo Decorated in olive tones and wood, the hotel’s new restaurant specialises in classic Italian cooking, prepared in a simple, rustic style, alongside great views of the sea. The menu was put together by a native Italian chef. Rixos The Palm (04 457 5555). NEW! Mashrabiya Lounge Open 24 hours, this lobby-lounge café stands out from the usual suspects thanks to its afternoon tea, served daily between noon and 6pm. Guests can enjoy a classically British affair with fresh scones and Devonshire cream, Eccles cakes, Welsh bara brith and Battenburg cakes. Tea drinkers will appreciate the lengthy menu and the help of a dedicated tea sommelier. Fairmont The Palm (04 457 3457).
NEW! Plaj The existing Plaj restaurant has recently undergone a revamp, with changes including renovated interiors and an extended terrace space, which now stretches down to the beach. The menu has been updated too, with the inclusion of a new lobster tank and a pizza oven, churning out well-made Italian classics. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray (04 453 0444).
NEW! Salt Another new option from the Turkish-operated Rixos hotel is Salt, a seafood restaurant, where the menu is fused with Turkish and Mediterranean know-how and simplicity. Thanks to the white Balearic-style setting and seaside views, Salt also offers a laid-back dining option. Rixos The Palm (04 457 5555). NEW! Seagrill on 25° More barbecue meets sea views at the Fairmont, but this time the menu focuses on grilled seafood, prepared in classic Lebanese style. Signature options on the menu include the triple-decker fresh seafood platter, and a creative take on a Canadian lobster poutine. Fairmont The Palm (04 457 3457). Coming soon! Chinese at Atlantis The Palm Details as to concept, opening dates and even name are still very much in the pipeline, but the hotel is scheduled to open a casual-dining Chinese eatery in the summer, alongside the existing pan-Asian venture Asia Republic. Atlantis The Palm (04 426 2626). Coming soon! Bã Restaurant & Lounge The Fairmont will complete its dining options with this final new eatery. Scheduled to launch after Ramadan, the Chinese venue will offer cooking from across the region, including Szechuan and Hong Kong. Fairmont the Palm (04 457 3457).
NEW! MusicHall While it’s just a few months old, MusicHall has already made waves across the emirate by offering an entirely novel experience. It’s based on the Beirut original, which celebrated its tenth birthday earlier this year, and is renowned for its lively atmosphere and range of musical performers. The theatre-style setup, with all tables facing the grand stage, recalls the golden age of supper clubs, while the range of musicians from around the globe is unpredictable and top class. Minimum spend Dhs300 per person for a stool in the bar, Dhs450 per person for tables. Open Friday 9pm-3am. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray (056 270 8670).
Coming soon! Supperclub Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is set to position itself as a premier player in the city’s nightlife scene with the opening of a second major nightlife brand. Amsterdam’s Supperclub is expected to bring a range of unique VIP rooms, coupled with a late-night dining concept where guests are presented with food without seeing a menu. Early hype has featured the phrase ‘Dubai’s most expensive club’, so expect something pretty memorable when it opens in early May. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, www.supperclub dubai.com (no number).
Wellbeing & leisure
NEW! Al Das Medical Clinic Following its opening last month, this centre has brought a number of services to the Palm that had previously been absent from the community. Doctors at the centre specialise in paediatrics, cardiology, obstetrics and gynaecology, internal medicine, orthopaedics, vaccinations and clinical nutrition, while general surgery and antenatal classes are also available. Open Sat-Thu 8am-9pm. Building 10, Shoreline Apartments (04 452 9998).
NEW! Al Ittihad Park Opened in celebration of the 41st UAE National Day at the end of 2012, this 102,000 sq m area houses more than 60 different types of trees and plants indigenous to the UAE – many of which have medicinal uses. One of the most well-used parts of the project is the 3.2km jogging track, and the 700 parking spots in the adjacent car park make it just as accessible for visitors as nearby residents. Open 24 hours. Golden Mile (no number).
NEW! Willow Stream Spa The Fairmont hotel group’s signature spa chain has a number of interesting features, including purpose-built facial and grooming suites, a rasul suite for body detox treatments, an aroma steam, sauna and ice fountains, and an inhalation room with low-temperature steam for guests with high blood pressure or pregnant women. Naturally, there is also an extensive list of indulgent treatments for both men and women, including several Arabian-inspired options. Fairmont The Palm (04 457 3388).
Coming soon! Surf School UAE This watersports school is set to open at Riva Beach Club – its second location in the city. Expect paddleboarding lessons, rentals and much more. Keep an eye on the company’s Facebook page for the latest updates on when you can expect to get your board fix at the beach, or drop in to the Jumeirah store to check out the merchandise. Building 1, Al Manara Road East, www.facebook.com/surfshoparabia (04 379 1998).
NEW! Talise Retail Boutique Jumeirah Zabeel Saray’s stately Ottoman-inspired spa may not be new, but its venture into retail is. The new boutique stocks high-end spa products and brands such as Ila and Hommage, along with music and gift sets – all designed to help guests to recreate the luxury spa setting for themselves at home. Trained spa staff are on hand to recommend which products will best suit your desired home-care routine. Open daily, 9am-9.30pm. Talise Ottoman Spa, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray (04 453 0455).
Coming soon! Laundrybox Gone are the days of washing your own clothes – these new high-tech laundry locker kiosks are set to pop up all over Dubai. Already a favourite at Burj Residences in Downtown, Laundrybox is expected to arrive on the Palm soon. The system requires an online log-in and a locker, so whether you’re super-busy or oh-so-lazy, your dirty gear is one less thing to worry about with this 24-7 service. After leaving your load in the locker for pick-up, simply collect your laundry the next day or, for minimum-input laundering, give them a call and have it home-delivered. From Dhs9 per shirt for dry cleaning. www.laundrybox.com.
Coming soon! The Pointe If the current array of eateries in the area isn’t extensive enough for you, you’re in luck. The Pointe, which will take its place at the tip of the Palm, is set to house an additional 120 restaurants and cafés. It will also feature 75 shops, a floating marina and a promenade with sea and city views. If that’s not enough, take a boat trip to Atlantis The Palm for more restaurants and a day out at Aquaventure waterpark. The Trunk, opp. Atlantis, www.nakheel.com.
Coming soon! Nakheel Mall Yet another shopping destination to add to Dubai’s ever-growing list of malls, Nakheel Mall will be the first to call Palm Jumeirah its home when it opens in 2016. With its proposed 200 shops, five floors, nine-screen cinema, two department stores and a 4,200 sq m supermarket, this mall should go far to cater for the needs of residents and tourists alike. There will be plenty of parking available, plus a connection to the monorail for easy access, and a brand new 200-room five-star hotel to boot. The Trunk, www.nakheel.com.
Villas and apartments
If you’re looking to make the Palm your home, there are soon to be even more options. Nakheel has been busy in the past year with three new additions to the residential market: on the eastern side of the trunk, 104 residences have been completed at The Palma Residences, while Palm View Residences along the east and west marinas will add 192 homes in 2014, followed by 170 with the completion of Azura Residences in 2015. IFA’s estimated 2014 addition to the family is the Balqis Residences on the Palm Crescent, with 389 luxury units – and you can be sure they’ll come with price tags to match.
‘My favourite place on the Palm is Riva Beach Club. It’s a beautiful setting, especially during the evening: it has a relaxed atmosphere and great food. If you’re there in the day, the tunes are fab and you can relax in the pool or the sea.’ Claire Deacon, British
‘101 at One&Only The Palm is still one of my favourite places in Dubai. We love to walk there at the weekend, but you can also catch a boat from the Royal Mirage – perfect when you have visitors in town. It has some great fresh seafood and a very tempting tapas menu, although STAY, in the same hotel, is also worth a visit if you’re out to impress.’ Katie Fielder, Australian
When Dubai Marina’s new Al Sufouh tram line comes into service in 2014, Nakheel has confirmed there are plans to link it with the Palm, making access to the man-made island via public transport much smoother. Fans of the regular concerts and events held at Atlantis will also be hoping that gig organisers opt to take the developer up on later monorail operating hours on event days. Such a move could significantly reduce congestion on the way in, and lengthy taxi and shuttle-bus queues on the way out. Nakheel has suggested that event organisers buy monorail tickets in bulk, and include them as part of their package for guests. Watch this space.
Palm hotel openings
Anantara Palm Jumeirah Resort & Spa Anticipated to open in the final quarter of 2013, this complex near the Rixos will have 293 rooms, including a number of water bungalows and more than 450 apartments. www.seventides.com.
Auris Hotel Located near the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Dubai’s seventh Auris hotel now looks complete, with flags outside declaring it will be ‘opening soon’, though no precise date has been given. www.auris-hotels.com. Fairmont Kingdom of Sheba As the single largest IFA Hotels & Resorts complex anywhere in the world, it’s little wonder the project has taken so long to progress. Though no opening date has yet been set, once complete the complex will house at least 380 residences and 550 hotel suites. www.ifahotelsresorts.com.
Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa Scheduled to welcome guests from July of this year, this hotel on the East Crescent will bring 14 new restaurants and lounges to the Palm. www.sofitel.com.
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Dubai This 232-room hotel, modelled on the styles of Rajasthani palaces, was due to open at the end of 2012 but is currently still awaiting a launch date. www.etaascon.com.
Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah Dubai’s Al Habtoor Group is currently ploughing on with this hotly anticipated launch, with the hotel expected to open in 2014, hot on the heels of Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, which is scheduled to open in August later this year. www.waldorfastoria3.hilton.com.
W Hotel First announced in 2006, this hotel project was revived after a period of dormancy in 2012 and is now expected to open in 2016. Another is set to open sooner in Festival City. www.starwoodhotels.com.