How do you throw the priciest party the world has ever seen? It’s simple. You build a billion-dollar hotel on a man-made island, invite a slew of celebrities and billionaires, fly in world-renown chefs and designers, and create a fireworks display so huge it can be seen from outer space.
And drop a cool $20 mil.
The economic crisis was nowhere to be found in Dubai this week, as the Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the Executive Chairman of Nakeel, celebrated the grand opening of his $1.5 billion luxury hotel, Atlantis – The Palm, with a party rumored to be the biggest bash history.
“I’m thrilled and proud,” beamed the Sultan. “Five years ago where I am standing now was water.”
There was enough pomp and security for a royal wedding, as the 2,000 guests had to go through several check points to gain entrance to the soiree. The entire artificial palm-shaped island where the hotel is located was locked down several hours before the festivities began, and a special “exclusion zone” was established along the coastline, which banned boats from coming within two nautical miles of the shore.
Glittering guests included Lindsay Lohan in a gorgeous diamond and onyx Y neck with matching drop earrings, the always-stunning Charlize Theron in gold chandelier drops, uber-model, Agyness Deyn, in a unique diamond statement necklace, and designer Jade Jagger in a layered series of pearl strands.
Other A-list attendees included Denzel Washington, Robert DeNiro, Sir Richard Branson, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, Janet Jackson and fashion moppets Mary Kate and Ashley Olson. Notable no-shows were Oprah Winfrey and Ben Affleck.
The guests were treated to a banquet prepared by several Michelin-rated chefs, a private performance by Kylie Minogue, and an after party at the nearby Royal Afterglow bar, where DJs, including Samantha Ronson, played live sets.