Unlimited Moët champagne, food created by the world’s finest chefs including Caviar for breakfast, and Beyoncé playing live for the first time in four years, no wonder the launch of the new Atlantis The Royal hotel in Dubai was billed the showbiz event of the year so far.
I was one of the lucky few to be invited to the grand opening of the Emirate city’s latest plush resort, joining A-listers from across the globe for a weekend of VIP treatment that was quite simply lavish to the extreme.
US model Kendall Jenner, Australian actress Rebel Wilson and One Direction singer Liam Payne were some of the stars on the guest list and it’s easy to see why they made room in their packed diaries to fly across the world for three-nights of luxury inside the new opulent hotel.
There was no expense spared for the launch, Beyoncé was paid a reported £24million to perform her hour-long set, which finished with a monumental firework display that lit up the Dubai skyline.
The launch of the new Atlantis The Royal hotel in Dubai was billed the showbiz event of the year so far after Beyoncé performed for the first time in four years
I was one of the lucky few to be invited to the grand opening of the Emirate city’s latest plush resort, joining A-listers from across the globe for a weekend of VIP treatment
There was no expense spared for the launch, Beyoncé was paid a reported £24million to perform her hour-long set, which finished with a firework display that lit up the Dubai skyline
And sheer expenditure was certainly the theme of the weekend, as guests quickly discovered as soon as they stepped foot off the plane.
Atlantis The Royal, which is the sister hotel to Atlantis The Palm, has taken eight years to construct so New York designers Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates clearly wanted the launch to be like no other.
I was greeted by a chaperone as I arrived in Dubai, and was whisked through airport security, my luggage had been collected for me, and I was given a goodie bag, which included a peppermint infused towel to freshen up, essential oils, and some delicious dates, which are a delicacy in the city.
It was easy to spot the hotel as I was chauffeured towards the grand entrance.
The exterior of the building is a sight to behold, located on Dubai’s the Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis The Royal is shaped like a game of Jenga on steroids, with each block flawlessly resting upon the next, piling up 43 storeys high.
Kendall Jenner and Rebel Wilson were some of the stars on the guest list and it’s easy to see why they made room in their packed diaries to fly across the world for three-nights of luxury
Liam Payne and new girlfriend Kate Cassidy were also in attendance at the star-studded extravaganza
Atlantis The Royal, the sister hotel to Atlantis The Palm, has taken eight years to construct so New York designers Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates wanted the launch to be like no other
Walking into the hotel for the first time, you’re surrounded by walls of flowing water and every other second fire flames ignited from the ground, creating both a feeling of serene relaxation and intense drama as you entered the marble-floored reception.
In front of you is a grand metal display of droplets towering up to the ceiling, two aquariums with tropical fish, and a building block of designer Louis Vuitton suitcases delicately placed in a pool of water, not to mention several arrangements of beautiful pink peonies.
The grand event was christened by a 5ft6 handcrafted cake that was adorned with iced flowers, birds, butterflies, and 900 edible pearls that took 2,000 hours to make by luxury confectionary company Little Venice Cake.
My first port of call was The Royal Pool, naturally, which is just one of 90 property-wide, and I instantly knew how special the weekend was going to be as I saw the array of celebrities sunning themselves, cocktail in hand, beside the water.
Beyoncé posed for photos wearing a custom Dolce & Gabbana gold sequin and sheer gown with bodice and column skirt
The hotel reception features a grand metal display of droplets towering up to the ceiling, two aquariums with tropical fish, and a building block of designer Louis Vuitton suitcases
Droplet shaped lights adorn the reception ceiling and echo the water theme at the ultra-luxury hotel, which opens to the public in February
Stainless-steel jumping water spheres set in a pool, lit from beneath in The Royal Galleria at Dubai’s newest luxury resort became a focal point for celebrity Instagram photos
Supermodel Jodie Kidd, former Made In Chelsea couple Millie Mackintosh and Hugo Taylor, TV presenter Mark Wright and his actress wife Michelle Keegan, and This Morning host Rochelle Humes alongside husband Marvin were just some of the stars basking in the Dubai sunshine.
British Vogue Editor Edward Enninful, PrettyLittleThing CEO Umar Kamani, Idris Elba’s model wife Sabrina, and Emily In Paris actress Ashley Park, who sobbed as Beyoncé performed, were also in attendance at the star-studded extravaganza.
The food and drink flowed 24 hours a day from the 17 restaurants and bars created by the world’s top chefs including Heston Blumenthal, Jose Andres, and Nobu Matsuhisa, who also opened their first ever beach club at the billion pound resort.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and with over 960 individual pieces to choose from including poached eggs topped with caviar, hundreds of carefully crafted croissants laced with caramel or infused with pistachio, and mango flavoured brioche, you won’t tire of options at the buffet.
I had been offered my first glass of champagne, which was also accessible via a Moët vending machine, if you so wished, situated poolside, before spotting none other than Jay-Z playing backgammon with two friends by the pool bar.
Former Made In Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh looked beautiful in a sequin Magda Butrym gown as she celebrated the hotel launch with husband Hugo Taylor
Michelle Keegan stunned alongside husband Mark Wright as the two took to the red carpet on Saturday night in Dubai ahead of Beyoncé’s epic return to the stage
British Vogue Editor Edward Enninful and PrettyLittleThing CEO Umar Kamani were among the A-list guests at Atlantis The Royal this weekend
The uniqueness of the event was summed up by the fact Jay-Z, the world’s most famous rapper and husband of Beyoncé, was mingling among star-struck guests.
He would usually have his own area or several layers of security around him — but not at Atlantis The Royal.
And it wasn’t just Jay-Z who had jetted in to support Beyoncé as she took to the stage for her first live performance since 2018.
The superstar, whose latest album Renaissance was released in July and is the first part of a three-act project, announced to the invite-only crowd that her parents, Tina Knowles-Lawson and Mathew Knowles, daughter Blue Ivy, 11, and five-year-old twins Rumi and Carter, were also with her in Dubai to celebrate the historic launch.
Watching Beyoncé in such an intimate setting, with the singer in touching distance, was an unforgettable moment.
She was elevated onto the stage by a rising platform and the audience shrieked with excitement as finally Queen B herself had arrived after keeping a low profile and —according to staff members — taken hidden entrances and exits as she made her way around the resort prior to the big performance.
Beyoncé was supported in Dubai by rapper husband Jay-Z, her parents, Tina Knowles-Lawson and Mathew Knowles, daughter Blue Ivy, 11, and five-year-old twins Rumi and Carter
Beyoncé sung the likes of Halo, XO, I Care, and Bigger, as well as Crazy In Love, Beautiful Liar, and Naughty Girl, before concluding with Drunk In Love
Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy joined her on stage, the pair holding hands, as they came together for Grammy Award winning Brown Skin Girl
A monumental firework display marked the end of Beyoncé’s show before Swedish House Mafia took to the stage