Palm Jumeirah

Stretching several kilometres out to sea between Marsa Dubai and Al Sufouh is the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai’s original, mind-boggling man-made island built in the shape of a palm tree. Stretching out along the exclusive ‘fronds’ are countless luxury villas, while the ‘trunk’ is lined with desirable apartments along the Golden Mile (accessed by the left fork onto the Palm) and the Shoreline.

Leisure
Standing boldly at the seaward-most point of the island is the Disney-esque Atlantis hotel, which has become an icon in itself. Dotted along the east and west ‘crescents’, are a raft of deluxe hotels including One&Only The Palm, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, the Kempinski, and gorgeous new offerings from Sofitel and Anantara. Aquaventure is Atlantis’ thrilling water park, and you can get up close to the marine life at Dolphin Bay and The Lost Chambers aquarium. The Trunk is home to Fairmont The Palm and RIVA Beach Club, both offer day access to their private beaches.

Dining
The Palm is also home to several top restaurants, including Nobu at Atlantis and West 14th at Oceana, as well as more relaxed hangouts such as Aussie surf shack-inspired BidiBondi and Riva Beach Club housed in the Shoreline Apartments buildings.

Getting Around
You can drive the length of the Palm and around its perimeter for great views back to the shore, and the sea wall here has a pleasant sidewalk for a stroll. Plans are afoot to widen this into a boardwalk that will be dotted with kiosks, and for two piers to be built out into the water.

If you want to avoid having to drive, you can take a ride on the monorail for a more interesting trip up the Palm, and for an elevated view of the luxury-villa-lined fronds. The picturesque Al Ittihad Park, which stretches beneath the monorail, may not have the open lawns and acres of space found elsewhere, but it bustles with dog walkers, joggers making use of the springy, 2.9km running track and kids enjoying the play areas dotted throughout.

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