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Dubai's Eye-Popping Resort Debuts Despite Crisis

Globe in a growing financial meltdown?

Great time to throw a $20 million party to open a $1.5 billion resort!

Last night in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates -- the Vegas of the Arab world -- the Atlantis Resort opened with a massive party that laughed at the current economic crisis.

Guests included Robert de Niro, Michael Jordan, Charlize Theron and an all-star cast of crisis-deniers.

(CNBC's Erin Burnett revealed on-air today that she got an invitation but didn't go. That's just crazy talk, girlfriend.)

The party concluded with a fireworks display that was supposed to be able to have been seen from space.

That makes sense because the man-made, palm-shaped island on which the Atlantis sits, definitely can be seen from space.

What's Atlantis got? Everything.

The rooms go for as much as $35,000 per night and come with their own butler and chef. Many have a glass wall view of the massive aquarium (sharks!) at the heart of the hotel.

Pretty much all you need to know about the resort is that it has a full-sized ziggurat inspired by the pre-Colombian peoples of Central America that doubles as ... a water slide.

The massive terra-forming project has been called "pharonic," but even the ancient Egyptian pharaohs didn't imagine a water slide down the side of the Great Pyramid at Giza.

But it's never too late. That is, if Egypt hopes to compete with Dubai for tourism dollars.

--Frank Ahrens

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 21, 2008; 4:54 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: What financial crisis?  
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