If the city that defined the last century was New York City, the 21st Century looks set to belong to Dubai. The second city of the United Arab Emirates is already an iconic visual landscape, with many of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced buildings.

As a city experiencing rapid modernisation, Dubai is one of the world’s most coveted destinations for the rich and famous, who frequent the city’s palatial hotels and bid for space on the futuristic new developments, and holidaymakers looking for a taste of luxury.

One of the Emirate’s most desirable locations is the Palm Jumeirah, just off the coast of Dubai in the Persian Gulf. Built from reclaimed land, the islands that make up the Palm have been made to look like a palm tree when viewed from above, which you can see from one of Dubai’s many helicopter and seaplane tours.

While at the forefront of contemporary landscaping, many of the Palm’s landmark resorts and hotels have been designed to replicate traditional architecture. With its iconic twin towers and immaculate Arabian design, Atlantis, The Palm is the kind of resort you can imagine forming the backdrop to movies in the same way as Manhattan, Los Angeles and Las Vegas do currently.

Future Island

What is perhaps most amazing is that relative to its surroundings, the Atlantis resort – which opened in 2008 – is a historical landmark, for the Palm Jumeirah, at least. It exudes the charisma of Dubai’s classical monuments, and is clearly built to last.

But while resorts such as the Atlantis currently have the benefit of being historical by default, it is not hard to imagine the current batch of hotels attaining heritage status in the near future, such is their place at the forefront of 21st century innovation.