Palm Jumeirah is without doubt one of the most iconic places in Dubai. When one thinks of Dubai the first things that come to mind are Burj Khalifa (the tallest skyscraper in the world), Burj Al Arab (the most luxurious hotel in the world) and Palm Jumeirah (the palm-shaped island with the world-famous Atlantis The Palm hotel, which has become one of the symbols of Dubai).
This extraordinary engineering work is today one of the most exclusive and most visited places in the city. Between high-end hotels, luxurious private villas and dreamy sandy beaches Palm Jumeirah is undoubtedly one of the top places to see in Dubai.
Palm Jumeirah Island: 3 facts to know before visiting
1. Palm Jumeirah was built in less than 6 years
Palm Jumeirah is an artificial coastal island built between 2001 and 2006.
The archipelago has a characteristic shape that has become famous all over the world: from above it represents a palm tree within a circle.
2. In Dubai there are other islands similar to Palm Jumeirah
Palm Jumeirah is part of the Palm Islands, a complex of three palm-shaped islands that should have been built in Dubai in the first decade of the 2000s.
The second island is called Palm Jebel Ali and is located in a peripheral area of Dubai. This too is a palm-shaped archipelago, very similar to Palm Jumeirah but almost 50% larger. The works were interrupted by the 2008 financial crisis and so far they are still in standby.
The third island should have been called Palm Deira, should have been built off the coast of Deira and should have been the largest of all. The Palm Deira project was canceled due to the 2008 financial crisis and scaled back to what is now called Deira Island.
3. Palm Jumeirah is an archipelago of islands connected by bridges and tunnels
In reality Palm Jumeirah is an archipelago formed by a main island that constitutes the trunk and which is connected to the mainland through two road bridges and one for the monorail, the branches that originate from the trunk and a crescent that surrounds the palm.
The fronds are arranged symmetrically on the sides of the trunk and each frond is crossed by a road on whose sides there is a row of private luxury villas, each of which with a private beach. These parts of the island are like a residence: access is closed by a bar and surveillance allows entry only to residents and their guests.
The trunk is connected to the crescent through an underwater road tunnel and a bridge for the monorail. Along the crescent are luxury resorts and hotels (including the iconic Atlantis The Palm).
Top Things to Do in Palm Jumeirah
Atlantis The Palm
Unmistakable, iconic, majestic. The Atlantis The Palm Hotel dominates the Palm Jumeirah scene and is one of the must-sees of your trip to Dubai.
With its award-winning restaurants, the lounges where the best DJs and the best bartenders perform, the white sandy beaches where you can sunbathe while sipping your favorite cocktail, the Atlantis The Palm is this and much more.
Admission to the Atlantis The Palm beaches are free for hotel guests. The rooms are of the highest standard: modern and spacious (the smallest is 45 sqm!). The suites are worthy of a king (there is even an underwater suite with crystal walls overlooking the underwater world!).
The same can be said of its award-winning restaurants: if you want an unforgettable dining experience, book a table at the eclectic and glamorous Nobu Restaurant at Atlantis The Palm, or at the world renowned Hakkasan.
The Saffron Buffet Restaurant, one of the most popular restaurants in Palm Jumeirah, is also worth a try.
Aquaventure Waterpark & The Lost Chambers Aquarium: a day full of relaxation and fun!
Aquaventure Waterpark is an incredible water park that is part of the Atlantis The Palm and offers a wide choice of attractions that will surely make both adults and children happy.
If you are traveling with your family this is an unmissable stop: you will spend a day full of fun, among over 30 different water slides, splashers and wave pools where you can learn to surf. Then go see The Lost Chambers Aquarium and meet over 65,000 species of marine animals, including dolphins, sea lions and sharks.
To make the experience unforgettable, go for a swim with the dolphins in Dolphin Bay!
With the entrance ticket to Aquaventure Waterpark you can also spend the day on the exclusive private beach: 500 meters of white sand and crystal clear water in the most beautiful place in Palm Jumeirah.
Speedboat, Jet Ski or Helicopter: the best ways to enjoy Palm Jumeirah to the fullest
When you are on the island of Palm Jumeirah you will hardly be able to realize the beauty and peculiarity of the island, because this is only seen well in two ways: from the sea and from the sky.
It is worth participating in a speedboat excursion to see Dubai and Palm Jumeirah from the sea, or you can rent jet skis and have fun exploring the islands and the coast, from which you can enjoy a fantastic view of the Dubai skyline.
The best way to appreciate the complexity of the Dubai landscape and to see well every single detail of the famous form of Palm Jumeirah is from the sky: take a helicopter (you can do it at an affordable price by taking part in a specific tour) and enjoy the fantastic bird’s eye view over Dubai.
Skydive Dubai: an extreme experience in the skies of Palm Jumeirah
If you want to get your adrenaline pumping and you are looking for a truly unique experience, this is the one for you.
Right in the skies of Palm Jumeirah it is possible to have an experience that has something truly exceptional: experience the thrill of freefall at over 200 km/h in one of the most incredible scenarios in the world.
The experience that Skydive Dubai offers, allows anyone – even those who do it for the first time – to try this adventure in total safety. They provide everything you need, including action cameras to capture your unforgettable performance!
Palm Jumeira Beach
If you are not staying in one of the many 5-star resorts or have not rented one of the dream villas of Palm Jumeirah, the best way to swim in the crystal clear waters of the island is to take advantage of the entrance ticket to the Aquaventure Waterpark of the Atlantis The Palm which allows access to the beautiful beach of the resort.
Or you can go to one of the most exclusive Beach Clubs in Palm Jumeirah, located mainly along the sides of the trunk.
Few people know that there is a nice free beach near Palm Jumeirah: the Al Sufouh Beach. This beach, also known as “Secret Beach” or “Hidden Beach” is an excellent solution for those who want to take a nice bath in the crystal clear waters of the Gulf, staying away from the beach club party life.
The Al Sufouh Beach is a public beach with free access, the rather hidden position in a part little traveled by tourists makes it a hidden gem.
Activities to Do in Palm Jumeirah Pointe
The Pointe is the brand new mall located at the top of the Palm Jumeirah trunk, on the opposite bank from the Atlantis The Palm. The Pointe was thought to be the heart of Palm Jumeirah’s lifestyle and entertainment and offers over 80 restaurants to eat, shopping boutiques, children’s play areas and the curious Reel Cinema Dine-In where you can watch a movie while eating burgers and chips.
Mainly designed to serve Palm Jumeirah residents (for this there are also gyms and hairdressers) The Point offers a very wide choice of places to eat: in addition to international fast-food chains we can find cafes (including Starbucks), pastry shops and restaurants that they offer the best of international cuisine: French, Italian, American, Japanese, Mexican and of course Arabic.
The Best Hotels in Palm Jumeirah
Palm Jumeirah is known for its high concentration of 5-star hotels and dream resorts.
Contrary to popular belief, the prices can be quite affordable for a normal room and they can rise dizzyingly for the luxurious mega suites of over 1000 square meters equipped with every amenity.
We’ve already talked about it enough, this is definitely the most famous and the most iconic hotel in Palm Jumeirah.
It offers large, spacious and clean rooms at affordable prices, as well as luxurious presidential suites. To eat you will have a wide choice of quality restaurants, while for entertainment the Atlantis gives its best: have fun at the Aquaventure Waterpark or explore The Lost Chambers Aquarium, children will appreciate the many play areas dedicated to them while the adults can relax with spa and wellness centers, lounge bars and bowling slopes.
The FIVE Palm Jumeirah Resort is one of the most glamorous resorts in Dubai.
Its location makes it perfect for those who want to enjoy Dubai to the fullest and also for business travelers, because it is close enough to the business district and the Dubai Marina.
Its modern structure characterized by steel and crystal offers ultra-modern rooms and suites equipped with all comforts as well as a spectacular view of the Dubai skyline.
The resort has 6 swimming pools, a wonderful beach of fine sand, spas, and exclusive bars.
The Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort is another top resort in Palm Jumeirah and in addition to good quality rooms it offers the opportunity to stay in spectacular villas located on the water (with floors from which you can see the crystal clear water) or directly on the beach, with jacuzzi in the room, bed overlooking the lagoon, garden and private swimming pool with sea view.
To complete the dream, Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort offers 4 excellent restaurants including the Mekong, which serves Asian dishes and the Dining by Design, which offers candlelit dinners on the beach.
The spa of Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort offers a wide range of Thai-inspired treatments and also has a dedicated kids club for its younger guests. If you are looking for a good place for a regenerating holiday, this is my choice!
This 5-star resort has a unique style and elegance combined with first-class service.
The One & Only The Palm Dubai is located in the West Crescent area of Palm Jumeirah and also deserves to be seen for its exceptional architectural beauty.
Inspired by the architectural style of the Andalusian Moorish palaces, One & Only The Palm offers excellent suites and rooms on the beach, with terraces and patios with panoramic views, as well as spacious and spectacular villas with a private swimming pool.
One & Only The Palm Dubai offers a choice of 7 top restaurants (one of which is run by Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno) that range through the best of international cuisine.
In addition to the private beach, One & Only The Palm also offers a private marina, from which you can directly access the restaurants and the exclusive 101 Dining Lounge with terrace with panoramic views and an excellent seafood menu.
The style of the Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa in Palm Jumeirah closely resembles that of Polynesian resorts.
This is one of Palm Jumeirah’s most popular resorts for couples and families, because it offers excellent service, nice and spacious rooms and a relaxed atmosphere.
The choice of places to eat is incredible: it offers 7 restaurants of excellent international cuisine and 7 lounge bars where you can have fun and sip excellent cocktails.
For relaxation there are 3 swimming pools, a private beach, a kids club, a sports center, a private marina and a fantastic spa.
How to Get to Palm Jumeirah and How to Get Around
Most tourists arrive in Palm Jumeirah by taxi, car, or by water with yacht or speedboat.
There is a monorail that runs the entire trunk of Palm Jumeirah up to the entrance to the Atlantis The Palm and Aquaventure Waterpark.
The Palm Islands are not served by the city bus network.
One of the best ways to visit Palm Jumeirah is with the excellent Hop on Hop off service offered by BigBus: the double-decker tourist buses offer a perfect view of the island and stop in the two most interesting places of Palm Jumeirah, in front of The Pointe and in front of Atlantis The Palm. The ticket allows you to fully experience all the main attractions of the city (some are already included in the ticket).
Palm Jumeirah Monorail
The Palm Jumeirah Monorail is undoubtedly the most exciting way of getting around the island.
The monorail is computer-guided (there is no driver on board) and has large panoramic windows that offer a nice view along the path that runs along the entire trunk of Palm Jumeirah.
The monorail is not connected to the Dubai Metro network, so to get it you need to make several changes.
How to get to the Palm Jumeirah Monorail from the Dubai Metro Red Line
Well, now that you are on the red line of the Dubai Metro you have to reach Damac Properties Metro Station. Once there, follow the signs for Dubai Marina Tram Station, there is a pedestrian overpass that easily connects the stations.
Take the tram to Palm Jumeirah Tram Station. Once there, follow the signs to The Palm Gateway Station which is the station where the Palm Jumeirah Monorail starts. The two stations are connected with a footbridge.
How much does the Palm Jumeirah Monorail ticket cost?
The ticket price for the Palm Jumeirah Monorail is 20 AED per person one way and 30 AED round trip. They only accept cash.
The ticket does not allow you to hop on hop off but only to go from one side to the other. However at the final stop (Atlantis Aquaventure Station) you can get off and spend as much time there as you want. The return ticket will allow you to resume the monorail to return to the mainland when you want, on the same day of course.
The ticket can be purchased directly at the station. Be careful: RTA (Dubai’s public transport network) tickets and Nol Cards are not valid for the monorail. It is necessary to buy a separate ticket.
What are the Palm Jumeirah Monorail operating hours?
The Palm Jumeirah Monorail runs from 9.00 am to 10.00 pm 7 days a week. There is a train every 15 minutes. Last departure from Palm Gateway Station at 9.45 PM.