Palm Jumeirah juts out from the Dubai shoreline into the Persian Gulf, resembling from above a palm tree sprouting from the beach. Construction on the manmade island began in 2001, and it remains the world’s largest artificial island, with its 1.2-mile (2-kilometer) trunk and 17 fronds, all surrounded by a crescent. It is the smallest of three planned artificial islands collectively called the Palm Islands.
Since the opening of the Palm Jumeirah’s first residences in 2006, numerous luxury hotels and resorts have opened up on the islands, including the Fairmont Palm Hotel & Resort, Kempinski Hotel, Atlantis The Palm, One & Only The Palm and a Waldorf Astoria. Designer shops line the island’s Golden Mile, while an ever-expanding array of restaurants and bars keep visitors sated.
Most of the island’s visitor-centric attractions can be found in and around the Atlantis, where Aquaventure Waterpark, the Lost Chambers Aquarium, Dolphin Bay and Sea Lion Point cater to the family travel crowd.
The Palm Jumeirah is best viewed from above, which you can do on a helicopter tour of the city.