Palm Islands, Dubai.

As Dubai became synonymous with opulence and luxury, ambitious plans were laid to create a man-made archipelago of three islands destined to become a playground of spas, resorts, up-market residences, villas, and swanky shopping malls. This project, the brainchild of the Crown Prince of Dubai, captured the world’s imagination and although the economic recession has proved to be a set-back, Palm Jumeriah (pictured) is already in place. It consists of a ‘tree trunk’, a crown with 17 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island which is 5 kilometers by 5 kilometers.

Just over two years ago, Sol Kerzner's Atlantis resort opened, complete with its Aquaventure water-park, where you can swim with dolphins and dive in the Lost Chambers, home to 65.000 marine animals. Everything is on a grand scale and the hotel has 1500 huge rooms and seventeen restaurants, including four with celebrity chefs. The specialty restaurants are found on ‘The Avenues’, a promenade with shops and nightclub.

Check their website (www.atlantisthepalm.com) for offers in March and April. With prices for Deluxe rooms starting from around £200 per night, including unlimited free entrance to the water-park and Lost Chambers, it seems that the price of luxury is becoming more accessible.

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