Architectural and conceptual planning have started on the resort. Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of 2004 and completion is due in early 2007. Atlantis will comprise a 1,000-room hotel and the Gulf’s largest water park. A further 25 acres of land will be reserved for future expansion to accommodate up to 2,000 people.

Kerzner and Nakheel will each provide $120 million of equity financing for the development, with the remainder to be raised at the project level. Kerzner has entered an agreement to manage the venture on a long-term basis.

Nakheel is the developer for the entire Palm Jumeirah project, which entails the construction of some 2,000 villas as well as luxury hotels and leisure facilities on a man-made island built in the shape of a palm tree. Kerzner already has a presence in Dubai through its operation of the Royal Mirage hotel at Jumeirah beach.