Dubai- a place where the best architects compete to create the most impressive buildings. Atlantis, The Palm cost $1.5bn and is the latest expression of the emirate's desire to attract tourists and to maintain the flow of foreign currency.
There are 1,539 rooms, including the Bridge Suite, which unites the two wings of the complex above an arch and will cost £14,000 a night. There is almost a mile of beach, 2 huge pools and a large aquarium featuring stingray, dolphins and sharks. By early next year the hotel will have its own monorail stop, linking it to the Palm Jumeirah and downtown Dubai. You can sign up for an "interactive experience" with the cetaceans at Dolphin Bay (flown in from the South Pacific and unlikely to survive), or book an "Amazon deep forest aqua cure" at one of 27 treatment rooms in the spa.
How sustainable is it? If the 20 million pound firework display yesterday is anything to go by, not very. Already, pressure is growing to release the 4m Whale Shark from its aquarium. See the story here