Lohan & DeNiro in Dubai as Palm Jumeirah Opens Atlantis With Priciest Bash Ever


A constellation of stars is on hand in the UAE this week to launch the world’s most expensive holiday resort. The lavish Palm Jumeirah man-made island in Dubai is throwing the most expensive private party ever staged-at a cost of more than $20 million-to celebrate the opening of the piggy bank-busting $1.5bn hotel Atlantis on the center of the island. More than 2,000 celebrities from all over the world are dueto watch Kylie Minogue make her Middle East debut; the party will include a 60 minute set by Kylie-for which she is reportedly being paid an astonishing £2million-and what has been billed as the world’s largest ever fireworks display reported to cost another £3million. The display will have five times more fireworks than the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics. It will light up the entire 43 kilometers of coastline of the Palm, an island whose beachside homes have already been bought up at a terrific rate by celebrities across the world. Singer Lily Allen and actor pal Rhys Ifans were among the first to arrive, followed close behind by former The O.C. actress Mischa Barton, who arrived on the arm of British designer Matthew Williamson. The High Society contingent is well-represented, with Sarah Ferguson, Tamara Beckwith, and Sir Richard and Lady Joan Branson brought their children Holly and Sam and singer friend Natalie Imbruglia. There was also no shortage of Oscar winners at the star-studded party, with legendary Robert De Niro arriving with his wife Grace Hightower, and Charlize Theron looking stunning in a Grecian white gown with her beau Stuart Townsend. Others: Mary-Kate Olsen, Jade Jagger, Boris Becker, Wesley Snipes, Gerard Butler, Yasmin LeBon, and Lindsay Lohan. Even as star-studded the bash is, it can’t stop Dubai from feeling the pain of the global financial crisis, as prices of real estate on the Palm Jumeirah are plummeting. The spectacular bash-dubbed Birth of an Icon – The Celebration-is being put on by Sol Kerzner, the South African billionaire owner of the Atlantis. Atlantis shoots skyward from the outer ring of the Palm and is an ocean-themed resort with 1,539 rooms. It has 17 hectares of water park amusement, further marine and entertainment attractions, and a collection of some of the most renowned world-class chefs; the main launch dinner was designed by Four Michelin-starred chefs, including Giorgio Locatelli and Nobu Matsuhisa. The stellar guest list also includes politicians, musicians and royalty who will be accommodated free at the resort-costing some £5,000 per head. The hotel caused controversy last month when environmentalists campaigned for it to release a whale shark from its aquarium. The 13ft whale shark, nicknamed Sammy, was the star attraction in a huge tank in the lobby.

Via Wall Street Journal