Celebs and TikTok influencers repeatedly fall into 'black ice' ponds at £1billion hotel in Dubai

Celebs and TikTok influencers repeatedly fall into ‘black ice’ ponds at £1billion hotel in Dubai


By Charlotte Griffith Editor At Large For The Mail On Sunday

22:00 04 Mar 2023, updated 23:19 04 Mar 2023

  •  The hotel , has been designed to capture the attention of TikTok influencers 
  • During the opening weekend alone, 18 guests tripped into the water 



Bosses at a £1 billion hotel are rethinking its bold interior design concept after a succession of stars and influencers fell into its indoor ponds.

Dubai’s Atlantis The Royal, which opened last month with a launch party headlined by singer Beyoncé, has been designed to capture the attention of social-media influencers, with lavish features including pools peppered throughout its lobbies and corridors.

But the water features, which are set into black marble, have been dubbed ‘black ice’ by guests, who have mistaken them for part of the floor. A succession of TikTokers, celebrities and Instagram-users have slipped into the ponds since the hotel opened on February 20.

During the opening weekend alone, 18 guests tripped into the water.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the hotel’s management have been forced to install safety measures in an effort to avoid further accidents.

Dubai¿s Atlantis The Royal, which opened last month with a launch party headlined by singer Beyoncé, has been designed to capture the attention of social-media influencers, with lavish features including pools peppered throughout its lobbies and corridors
But the water features, which are set into black marble, have been dubbed ¿black ice¿ by guests, who have mistaken them for part of the floor. A succession of TikTokers, celebrities and Instagram-users have slipped into the ponds since the hotel, picture,  opened on February 20

One guest who took a tumble was TV news anchor Andrea Crothers, who fell into one of the black-marble ponds during a live broadcast for Australia’s Today Show.

She wrote afterwards: ‘What a bloody night… I should also mention I fell off the red carpet into a full pond of water, soaking me up to my waist. Thank goodness sequins hide all manner of sins.’

One TikTok influencer’s video of her experience has gone viral, with 984,000 views showing her walking into a pond while admiring the lobby’s famous ‘droplets’ sculpture.

More than 14,000 comments were posted under the video, with one person writing ‘That water is too calm, they need to get it moving’, and another exclaiming: ‘Honestly, that’s a safety hazard.’

A source at the hotel said: ‘People have been stepping on the ponds thinking they are marble, not water. There has been a face-plant video going round. On the walkway there are black-marble troughs of water and we’ve had members of staff placed around them to help people see where they’re going and signalling the edge.’

Pictures obtained by the MoS show that velvet ropes have since been put up around one water display to stop people falling in and damaging its centrepiece sculpture of Louis Vuitton suitcases stacked up to look like building blocks.

A source at the hotel said: ¿People have been stepping on the ponds thinking they are marble, not water. There has been a face-plant video going round. On the walkway there are black-marble troughs of water and we¿ve had members of staff placed around them to help people see where they¿re going and signalling the edge.¿

Hotel insiders say a more permanent solution is being sought and that management meetings have taken place to work out what to do next. A source said: ‘There is a major design flaw, which is ironic given how much the project cost to build and the fact that it was designed to encourage influencers to experience the building through the lens of the iPhone.

‘It is in need of a major redesign to take influencers into account because so many don’t look where they are going.’

The five-star resort, built on Dubai’s famous tree-shaped artificial island the Jumeirah Palm, was designed by renowned architect Kohn Pedersen Fox.

The 43-storey hotel has become an instant attraction for British tourists, who are visiting in droves to marvel at the building’s gravity-defying structure and swanky amenities including 20ft-tall Lasvit crystal lava trees, 90 swimming pools and the ‘world’s largest’ jellyfish tank.

More than 1,000 journalists and influencers were invited to enjoy the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opening weekend, joined by celebrities including Jodie Kidd, Made In Chelsea couple Millie Mackintosh and Hugo Taylor, TV presenter Mark Wright and This Morning host Rochelle Humes.

The weekend culminated in a fireworks display that lit up the Dubai skyline and a Beyoncé performance that moved Vogue editor Edward Enninful and Idris Elba’s model wife Sabrina to tears.

A spokesman for the hotel said: ‘It’s a new hotel, just opened – once people are in it and using it, things will change to make sure it’s fit for purpose and it’s seamless.

‘The aesthetic of the hotel, in line with how it’s used by consumers, is always under review – as it should be at any hotel.’

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