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Grand Opening Party


(Brightcove link)

Nice fireworks! What's the occasion? It's the grand opening of The Atlantis, a luxury resort on the man-made Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. To get a scale of the fireworks, keep in mind that the "trunk" of the palm island is five kilometers long!
One million fireworks – almost 10 times the scale of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony – lit up the Palm, with the organisers claiming the display was visible from space.

Even in Dubai, a part of the world renowned for excess, there had never been a party like it.

"We built something that's quite extraordinary. We've got to tell the world about it," said Sol Kerzner, the South African billionaire hotelier and casino tycoon.

The 1,539-room Atlantis took two years to build and cost £1 billion. Mr Kerzner admitted that the global economic downturn would have an effect on business.

The launch party cost £15 million ($30 million). Link

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Impressive in sheer volume, but utterly lacking when it comes to eliciting any emotion other than disgust. This is the mindless opulence that is now Dubai, great.
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Yeah look at how spectacular Dubai is, it's great until you realize you are not in a free country. Don't accidentally track an illegal seed on your shoe through customs or get drunk and have sex on a beach because all the cool fireworks will get you is prison time. From the Wikipedia entry: Human rights in Dubai - Zero tolerance drug policy

Drugs found in urine or blood testing count as "possession" under UAE law. BBC DJ Grooverider (real name: Raymond Bingham) was sentenced to four years in prison after a pair of jeans in his luggage was found to contain just over 2 grams of marijuana.[19] The Dubai authorities have been known to stop tourists on layovers the airport and are now using extremely sensitive electronic detection equipment, including urine and blood screening, to search for traces of illegal substances. Keith Brown, a British national and father of three, was arrested on September 17, 2007 after authorities claim to have discovered a speck of cannabis on the bottom of one of his shoes. According to an article in the Daily Mail,[20] the alleged illegal substance was smaller than a grain of sugar - weighing approximately .003 grams. He has also been sentenced to four years in prison. Another UK citizen, Tracy Wilkinson, was arrested and accused of being a "drugs baroness" in 2005 after authorities found codeine in her blood.[21] Wilkinson has a bad back and received an injection of codeine at a Dubai hospital. She ended up spending two months in a cell where she contracted dysentery, head lice and an infestation of fleas before she was eventually released on bail. German television producer Cat Le-Huy was arrested in January 2008 for possessing a bottle of the over-the-counter hormone sleep aid Melatonin.[22] Authorities claimed that some dirt in Mr. Le-Huy's luggage was hashish. A Vancouver resident named Bert Tatham was arrested at Dubai International Airport returning home from Afghanistan (where he was ironically working with farmers to try and convince them not to grow poppies). The anti-narcotics officer was found to have two dead poppy bulbs and a tiny amount of hashish melted into the seams of one of his trouser pockets.[23] After spending more than 10 months in prison, he was eventually pardoned by U.A.E. President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
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What about pollution? That must have caused an amazing amount of smoke over that part of the world. That is one place I have no desire to visit - give me a sleepy Greek island any time (Heth from the UK)
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