Stars mingle as Atlantis rises

$1.5 billion resort attracts De Niro, Theron

DUBAI — A man-made island, a fireworks display visible from outer space, and a guest-list of 2000 A-listers is how Dubai turned a hotel launch gig into the world’s most expensive private party.

Robert de Niro, Charlize Theron and Wesley Snipes were among other celebs who flew into the Gulf Emirate on Nov. 20 to mingle at the $20 million opening of Atlantis, the Palm.

The resort — a $1.5 billion fantasyland of 1,500 rooms, massive aquariums and a dolphin bay — was a joint venture by government-operated developer Nakheel and global hotel operator Kerzner Intl.

South African hotel and gambling tycoon Sol Kerzner organized the bash, bringing in Michelin-starred Nobu Matsuhisa and Giorgio Locatelli to cater dinner.

Kerzner operates a sister Atlantis hotel in the Bahamas, which has reported a drop in occupancy and employee layoffs.

Dubai’s Atlantis is safe for now, lying on the manmade oasis of Palm Jumeirah — one of three palm-shaped islands. Its 43-km (26.7 miles) shoreline was lit up entirely by a Grucci fireworks display.

Bollywood thesp Priyanka Chopra donned a crown as Goddess of Atlantis to open the fireworks feast. Kylie Minogue performed a 10-minute, according to local reports. Sam Ronson, accompanying Lindsay Lohan, spun music for the rest of the night.

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