Hail, Caesar! in Dubai

In some ways, Dubai is a cleaner, grander Las Vegas (without the heavy drinking and the gambling, and with more skyscrapers and signature architecture). Indeed, the designers of Vegas’ Bellagio fountains also designed the world famous (and world’s largest) Dubai Mall fountains, and the mega shopping/entertainment venue Global Village rivals the Vegas strip for its over the top glitz and its renditions of world landmarks.

Now a Vegas icon has come to Dubai in a grand way – enter Caesar’s Palace and Resort. This magnificent property is on the new Bluewaters Island, a manmade island in the ocean across from the popular JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residences) beachfront, accessible via the island’s own vehicular bridge or separate pedestrian walkway over the Dubai Marina channel.

At some point here in Dubai I will stop saying “WOW”, but it will not be anytime soon. Every week I seem to discover something new and amazing. This week it was Caesar’s Palace, and I was blown away.

We drove onto Bluewaters Island and headed straight to Caesar’s Palace. There’s an amazing light sculpture in front with shows set to music that is absolutely mesmerizing. From the moment we walked in the door, we were treated like royalty. A personal tour of the lobby. Then on to Laurel Bar, which overlooks the multi acre swimming pool area and the ocean beyond. Laurel Bar is itself an experience. The signature cocktails are described by color. I chose “AQUA” (a nonalcoholic option) and Jimmy chose “FLORA” (which we did not know was a color, but we played along). So get this: my drink had edible blue paint in it. The signature cocktails are mixes of exotic liquids and unique ingredients (like blue paint!), but Caesar’s also offers more traditional fare. Oh, and the ice, yes the ICE, takes eight days to make. Eight days ice we called it. The most beautiful ice in the world. It was explained to us that most ice is not perfectly pure and might (gasp) have air bubbles. But eight day ice is water boiled, frozen, boiled, frozen (however many times). No air bubbles. Perfect ice.

This might give you an idea about the attention to detail at this property. We felt like royalty. I have never seen a better display of service anywhere. And the property itself is stunning, the artwork unique and beautiful. There are multiple restaurants including Gordon Ramsey’s “Hell’s Kitchen” which we will have to try on our next visit.

Bluewaters Island also features the world’s largest ferris wheel, the Dubai Ain, set to open in March of 2019. Its gigantic skeletal presence looms over you as you walk around the island and gives the island an other-wordly, surreal feeling. The architecture is modern and unique – even the mosque here is a unique architectural specimen, with a modern interpretation of the traditional minaret (the spires from which the call to prayer is broadcast). At the base of Dubai Ain is a shopping/entertainment center and a boardwalk along the water, which currently features holiday activities (including a BLUE Santa for “Bluewaters” Island). The walkway across to JBR is romantic (and windy, so “swept away” comes to mind) at night, with lowered seating areas to watch the water (these have a metal grill for a floor, through which you can see the water – which is exhilarating and scary at the same time).

PARTICULARS: you can walk to Bluewaters from the very far end of Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR) – the Abu Dhabi end – where you can cross over the channel to the island by walking on the long pedestrian bridge. You can drive onto the Island, but if this is your plan, be sure you have directions before you go. Google Maps got us a little bit lost. It’s also not as easy as seeing the huge Ferris wheel and driving towards it, as I was to learn. Once you do get on the road leading to Bluewater Island, the road will bring you straight into the parking garage; if you want to drive around the island, follow the signs towards Caesar’s Palace instead. In fact, I highly recommend you just head straight to Caesar’s Palace – it’s truly an experience.

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