The Palm Jumeirah is undoubtedly a Dubai icon, but what exactly is it, and what can you do there?
This man-made archipelago is an impressive feat of engineering, offering waterfront luxury living, lavish hotels, and some of the best that Dubai has to offer. The developer is Nakheel Properties, which is very appropriate since nakheel means date palm in Arabic.
The Palm was created using land reclamation, and construction started in 2001, with the majority of the development completed in 2007. Many are surprised at the sheer scale. Today, the Palm is home to over 10,000 residents, covering an area of around 5.6 km2, and yes, it can be seen from space!
The Different Neighbourhoods of Palm Jumeirah
The Palm can be split into three main areas; The trunk or the spine, the fronds (palm leaves), and the crescent, the circle around the tree.
Starting at the base in Al Sufouh, the trunk is more than 3 miles long, ending at the top by Atlantis, the Palm resort. It is home to fantastic shopping and dining options as well as several residential developments including Nahkell Mall and Palm West Beach.
Halfway down the spine, roads lead off unto the 16 fronds, the leaves of the palm. The fronds are residential gated areas and home to some of the most exclusive villas in Dubai, with coveted private beach access.
At the tip of the spine, a tunnel takes you onto the Crescent going east or west, forming the circle around the Palm. The Crescent runs for almost 17 kilometres in total and is lined with luxury resorts.
There are a number of transport options to help you navigate the Palm. The size and outside temperature mean that walking is often not an option.
The Palm Monorail is a popular mode of transport as it travels the length of the Palm and also connects to the wider Metro Network. With five stations, you are able to reach all the main attractions on the Monorail. The fares are separate from the Metro fares, though you are now able to use the NOL travel card to pay for your Monorail trips.
If your destination isn’t close to a monorail station, we recommend getting an RTA or private taxi if you’re not driving or do not have your own car for your trip to Dubai.
There is also the option of travelling by water taxi or water bus, which is a wonderful way to see the Palm, but do check timings in advance.
There are a plethora of things to do on Palm Jumeirah, and here are our top 10 choices for visitors to Dubai:
Hit the beach and soak up the sun
Being ever close to the water, the Palm is of course, a prime spot for a day at the beach. Whether you are getting a day pass or staying at one of the many resorts, there are an abundance of opportunities to enjoy the beach.
We love the White Beach at Atlantis the Palm as well as the recently opened The Club at Palm West Beach, with a choice of differently themed beach clubs. Please call to make a reservation, especially if you plan to visit on a weekend.
Shop ’til you drop at Nakheel Mall
Nakheel Mall opened in 2019 and offers a wide range of shops, restaurants and entertainment. You will find something for every taste and budget. So, whether you are shopping for luxury items or doing the daily groceries, you will be able to find them here.
There is also a cinema and a trampoline park, perfect for indoor entertainment during the hot Dubai summers. Free entry
Be amazed at The Pointe
At the very tip of the spine of the Palm, before the bridge to the Crescents, you find the Pointe. A newly opened shopping and restaurant district across the water from Atlantis Resort. Enjoy a meal and watch the beautiful fountain display. The largest fountain in the world, it covers 14,000 m2, and reaches 105 metres high. Free entry.
Dine all day at fabulous restaurants
The Palm has a delectable selection of restaurants, and whether you are looking for chilled vibes, a party atmosphere or gourmet experiences, you can find it on the Palm. Here are a couple of our favourites to get you started.
Jones the Grocer – Best Breakfast in town! Australian cafe vibes with an excellent breakfast menu and great coffee.
SushiSamba – Best business lunch; Brazilian, Peruvian and Japanese fusion and ambience with unparalleled ambience and vista from the 51st floor.
Tresind Studio – Best dinner. Fine-dining modern Indian cuisine. Awarded one star in the recent Michelin Guide Dubai. Tasting menu that pushes the boundaries.
It is worth noting that when the Michelin Guide recently came to the Middle East for the first time, five out of 11 Dubai restaurants receiving the coveted stars, were on the Palm.
Learn some water sports at Monty’s Rowing & Paddle Sports
Want to get active on the water, what better place to perfect or learn a water sport than at Monty’s Rowing Club at The Palm, Club Vista Mare. Here you can row, kayak, stand-up paddle board, and even hire a giant pedalo.
Splash into Aquaventure and The Lost Chambers Aquarium
If you are after water-based fun, you cannot go wrong with Aquaventure. The world’s largest waterpark allows you can access 105 rides and slides. Please be aware that height restrictions apply to some of the rides.
Adjoined in Atlantis, The Plam, discover the deep and marvel at the 65,000 sea marine animals in the Lost Chambers Aquarium. Access to the waterpark and the aquarium is free if you are a guest at Atlantis the Palm.
Take in the city skyline from The View at The Palm
See the breathtaking views of the Palm from the 52nd floor of the Palm Tower. Enjoy the 360-degree panoramic view of Dubai, the shoreline and the Arabian Gulf. Tickets for The View at The Palm can be booked online in advance.
Take the plunge and skydive over the Palm
Adrenaline junkie? Why not take to the skies and do a tandem jump with Skydive Dubai above the Palm. It is truly a unique way to experience the Palm, and is sure to get your pulse racing.
Relax at Talise Ottoman Spa
Unwind at the tranquil setting of Talise Ottoman Spa at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Hotel. The signature hammam ritual will leave you relaxed and glowing. The spa is a true sanctuary where you can destress and decompress, easily one of the best spas in Dubai.
Stroll the Palm Jumeirah Boardwalk
Enjoy the view of the open sea and walk along the boardwalk on the Crescent. 11 kilometres, the Boardwalk stretches from Rixos to One&Only, and there are plenty of spots to soak up a sunrise or sunset. Free.
There’s also a smaller, perhaps lesser-known park in Dubai, which runs up the trunk, under the Palm Monorail, Al Ittihad Park. This 3.2km path is great for scooters and strollers alongside fitness equipment for exercisers, with shops and cafes along the way.
Where To Stay On Palm Jumeirah
With so many hotels in a relatively small area, it can be hard to choose.
The Crescent is perfect if you are after days by the beach and pool and want those uninterrupted views of the Arabian Gulf. Here you will feel more secluded but be mindful of the added travel time. Traffic on the Palm can be heavy at times, and so inevitably, it will take longer to go elsewhere in Dubai.
The Trunk is for you if you want gorgeous pools and beaches, easy shopping access, and the mall’s amenities. You will feel more in the middle of things on the trunk, but the location is perfect if you want to explore other areas of Dubai.
Hotels in Dubai, on Palm Jumeirah especially, are of a high standard, and so you rarely go very wrong. However, as with anything, it really depends on personal needs and preferences. Below are a few of our favourites:
As the crowning jewel, Atlantis sits majestically at the very top of the Palm. With over 1,500 rooms, this resort is in a league of its own. The facilities are unparalleled, and in addition to complimentary access to Aquaventure Waterpark and Lost Chambers Aquarium, you will find bowling and arcade games at Wavehouse, a spa, numerous casual and fine-dining options, kids’ programmes for different ages, and a boutique shopping area. The resort even has a selection of underwater suites.
It is unbeatable when it comes to Dubai luxury and amenities and is on every traveller’s bucket list, with good reason.
Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort – Best for families
Anantara The Palm continues to be one of the most popular resorts with families. The southeast Asian characteristics shine through the architecture as well as the hospitality. Enjoy the private overwater villas – not seen anywhere else in the UAE.
Aloft Palm Jumeirah – Best for the Budget-Conscious
Part of the Marriott group, Aloft is located on the East Crescent with views of the Burj Al Arab and the Arabian sea. Lovely small resort in a five-star location, but without the five-star price tag.
One&Only The Palm Dubai – Best for a Romantic Getaway
At the very end of the West Crescent, The One&Only Palm is a truly stunning resort. The Andalusian architecture and serene atmosphere make this a perfect place for a romantic getaway. Plenty of space to soak up the sun around the epic 850m2 pool, and a truly gourmet experience awaits at STAY by Yannick Alléno, recently awarded two Michelin Stars in the Dubai Guide.
Just opened, this Hilton boasts 608 rooms, ten restaurants and a 65-meter-long pool. Its location on Palm West Beach means it benefits from access to the beach as well as quick and easy transit off the Palm.
We have a detailed guide here to all our favourite Palm Jumeirah hotels, or check out all the available options here:
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Dubai, a handy guide on what to pack, and top tips for first-timers on the do’s and don’ts, laws, and customs to be aware of.
- Check out this incredible list of 150+ places you should visit when you’re in Dubai.
- Pick up a Dubai Pass from iVenture or a Go City Dubai Pass to save up to 50% on top Dubai attractions.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!!!
- Discover the best areas to stay in Dubai, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
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