Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Whale Shark Freed from Dubai Hotel

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I did mention that The Atlantis would be holding an opening ceremony that may cost up to US$35 million. So, I decided to get a friend of mine to sneak near to the area and she managed to climb on board a yacht and took this pictures.

The largest hotel built on the Palm Jumeirah artificial island development is called The Atlantis. This hotel was built at a cost of US$1.5 billion.

The large hotel has 1,539 rooms that will come with a designer shopping centre of about 27,000 square feet.

The most expensive suite with three-bedroom, three-bathroom suite complete with gold-leaf and 18-seat dining table is about US$25,000 per night stay.

It comes with a water park, Aquaventure. One could slide into (via a tube) or take the water ride in a shark-infested lagoon.

It has an open tank aquarium that houses 65,000 fish, stingrays and a large whale shark that goes by the name of Sammy.

Besides that, it has a dolphinarium, a bay around the size of 11 acre, became a home to more than two dozen bottlenose dolphins that were bought from the Solomon Islands.

It is here that has drawn the irk of environmentalists who have criticised the use of an aquarium in keeping a large whale shark and the torturing aspect of flying in the dolphins via a 30 hours flight. The large whale shark was 'captured' by the hotel and kept in the aquarium for rehabilitation purpose, as claimed. Environmentalists believed that the hotel was using it as a drawing card instead.

To the extent that Facebook (Set The Whale Shark Free From The Atlantis Aquarium Dubai group with 15,000 members to date) was used to gather people to pressure the hotel in releasing Sammy. Pressures from various groups has forced the hotel to release Sammy now due to official orders from the government of the United Arab Emirates at end October 2008. One never knows how strong is such Facebook group.

On the other side of the world, the sister resort located in Bahamas, called The Atlantis Resort ............. is facing bleak time. It has to retrench 800 staff from their payroll in order to surive due to the downturn of USA's economy. Will Dubai's heavy travel traffic help stave off the recession?

Just when they are retrenching 800 staff from the other resort of the same group, The Atlantis at Dubai will be launching an extravaganza official opening ceremony on 20 Nov 2008 that may cost up to US$35 million in total. The opening ceremony will see fireworks that will cost up to US$6.5 million and guests will get to see Kylie Minogue, invited at a rate of US$4.4 million, singing a few songs.

Before it even opens officially (soft opening somewhere around end Sept 2008), the hotel has to go through so many complicated situations ............. bad omen?

Reading: Dubai hotel urged to free shark - BBC News/Science & Environment
Tags: United Arab Emirates, The Atlantis, The Atlantis Resort, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Sammy The Whale Shark, Bottlenose Dolphins, Dolphinarium, Aquaventure, Kylie Minogue, Solomon Islands, Environmentalists



Blogger eiling lim said...

hey you beat me to it posting on atlantis. I was so busy that I don't have time to upload the videos yet. Anyways great info you gave.

18 November, 2008 09:43  
Blogger foongpc said...

Impressive hotel! Wish can afford to stay there! : )

19 November, 2008 03:32  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

eiling - u got videos on atlantis? show it whow it

foong - just save enough for one night will do hehe

19 November, 2008 22:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thisss the lifeeee..

06 December, 2008 22:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh dear. are humans that bored enough to get one of the biggest fish in a tank for pure entertainment?? gosh...

06 December, 2008 22:31  
Blogger Ashley Two Fish said...

great thing they finally freed it. i must say the aquarium looks gorgeous

08 December, 2008 22:03  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

little tea - yeah, stayin at that hotel wld be great

renaye - overdid it i supposed

ashley - that captivity was bad for the whale shark as the aquarium, tho its nice, is still too small for it

10 December, 2008 06:33  

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