Thursday, 25 September 2008

adventures of the Atlantis

Last week, lots of people from Amman were in Dubai, fortunate enough to have friends working here from Amman too, and since all of us are relatively new we were off for some discoveryyy in the city of sand-berg

Palm Jumeirah is a man made palm shaped island and looks like this;

This is an old picture before all the construction took place, so imagine it with roads and stuff, [dubai is more of like playing real monopoly,, turn your money to hotels and more and more buildings and towers, il muhim, nerja3 la solafeh ] while driving in the car, you can access the central roads of the palm, the wider downward area has buildings with apartments on both sides for those who like to rent or buy, while the palm branches require access cards and include villas with private beaches for each villa, the crescent surrounding the palm will have 28 hotels and whats amazing in these places is that you can access the sea from both sides, the crescent is not quite wide by the way.

now exactly in the middle of the crescent area opposing the palm comes the fascinating part, this is where Atlantis The Palm Hotel is, it looks awesome, I was so excited the moment I saw it from far away,really, like my eyes widening and sticking my head towards the window in disbelief, it reminded me of the Castle in Aladdin, The Castle in the Little Mermaid, it is really coool, the nearest we could get to it is the tip of the palm which has a U turn covered with high wooden walls so you can't get a full front view of the Atlantis..

the thing is we couldn't see more of it, it was in the morning time, so last week when we were getting out of the festival city (something new too) , it was around 1:00 AM we decided to go see the Atlantis at night...

ok, we drove there and we got to the U-turn and one of the wooden blocks was left open, so I asked my friend to park.. and I went down, I got a quick shot of it but the security was behind our car so I had to make it quick fa ma zabtat it sooora (down there) ,, you know the scene when Aladdin shows Jasmine the Castle from his rooftop, the exact breath-taking scene, yeah that was like it,, it looks beeautiful, its so huge, far, and the sea is infront of you..

we didn't quit, so we decided to take our chances and take the tunnel, the hotel was not open yet but we saw trucks taking under sea tunnel linking from the palm to the crescent (check upper picture and picture the tunnel), the speed limit is 50km/hour and its quite long, and the thought that water is over you is scary,, it was 1:30 AM and we didn't really know whats on the otherside,, so as we got out of the tunnel the view we saw was the profile of the Atlantis, and a road leads to the back of the Atlantis and that was the closest we could make it,

when we parked we looked towards the sea from the real wide wild sea side infront of us, it was dark, seeing the big rocks that were used for making the palm and then a big fish jumped and you hear the waves, and then you realize that its not a shore... its the sea... and probably those people ruined many things with tooo much money, its like people here have too much money they don't know where to spend it, only thinking of making more money, the opening price for villas would be around 4 millions Dhs and now its valued at 20 millions.. its crazy!

we thought today they will do the fireworks ,, since its promised to be a Beijing olympics style but it turned out that today is a soft opening and the grand opening will be on Nov 20th, the Aqua park is open but we got there past 7 when it closes, so a friend of a friend of a friend has a villa in the second branch from top, left side ( see up ) and at the last villa at the tip of this branch is Michael Shumacher villa worth 50 millions, I was standing infront of it, the Villa next door is vacant if anyone has this kind of money ;) so we accessed the shore and had a nice bare foot walk with workers fixing villas here and there,,, but its so empty and I agreed with my friend, that if we had this kind of money, we won't live on this place because is so so artificial and lifeless and its made for business and summer vacations of the richy rich, Michael Owen and David Beckham too have places in this branch

money in Dubai has no value, a JD in Jordan is worth 1 Thousand here. I am serious.


The Observer said...

I WANT to be there! :(

neyyalek :)

Asal said...

you know what ,
i don't want to be living there,
I've never been to dubai, but from which i read and saw,you just have thus feeling that it is so artificial , nothing is really natural ,you can feel no spiritual relief the way you feel it as you are moving between the nice and live streets and buildings of Amman.

Money just can't get you everything.

Tala said...


you will love it next time you visit Dubai :)


see the differences are huge between Amman and Dubai, there is a key idea in this place that they have and we don't;

they have enough money as government from their own budgets to turn plain words or fantasy ideas to large scale implemented projects that can bring in more revenues, and the government is experienced in such projects, we always need someone to invest and finance in Jordan that's why here growth is faster and capacity is constantly up scaling, artificial? yes. they are running out of ideas that they become quite artistic for us humans to believe the figures that cost them to do anything that simply the place can do without,, unreal? no. there is an illusion of money too.

another thing is that there is a shift in the lifestyle as a citizen, like when you read the papers (there are so many printed papers here) its mostly about economy, international news, Britain, India, on going activities and there are various communities here, you don't see any local politics in papers, you spend a lot of time driving for long distances, this place is an attraction because its "TAX FREE", you live in small apartments, the city is busy 24/7 and you meet people from all places, so its a good place to work on "your" plan because infrastructure is excellent and large scale work gives you a better learning environment and experience, plus money is good, but do i enjoy myself when I walk to the supermarket between building? no. lately they are focusing on walking areas and open spaces but when you go to the compounds and neighborhoods, their streets are poor because it doesn't have a history.

when there is nothing in a place, its just sand that falls easily between your fingers, then you remember keef " trab " beitna is significant

Osama Romoh said...

I can't wait till Amman announces the opening of it's first 2 towers (the twin or whatever), just to see how people will react. :p

Tala said...

hehe, when it comes to us, you cannot predict.. il media 3ala shwaiet facebook 3ala shu fee bil towers, who knows lol ...welcome here Osama

Zait o Za3tar said...

It is amazing how throwing a money at their city can bring in tourists and success. It should have happened a long time ago, but I guess better late than never :).

I think everything when it is built looks artificial. In 10, 20 30 years, the center of the city will have run out of space. They will destroy some buildings, build new ones, you will have older newer, and crazy buildings. It is the New New York :).

The only problem I see hindering the city having a "soul" is that everyone who works there is there on a temporary basis. If you cannot immigrate there and settle there, then you will not be part of the "soul" of the city.

Tala said...

"It is amazing how throwing a money at their city can bring in tourists and success"

very true, and everything took its time to start paying off.

"They will destroy some buildings, build new ones, you will have older newer, and crazy buildings"

its already happening!

"If you cannot immigrate there and settle there, then you will not be part of the "soul" of the city."

well what I felt is that people don't stay home here, home is defined as the place I end my day in and where I sleep so the attachment to the city is about what you do around the day there, so the definition of "my place/space" differ from home, I agree about the settling part you said though.