Jumeirah Palm Island Development

It seems that the Palm Jumeirah is making a comeback, with the latest announcement confirming that a Waldorf Astoria will open in 2013.

The huge, manmade Palm-shaped development in the sea has been viewed alternately as a symbol of Dubai’s unbridled ambition or of its abject failure, when construction all but ground to a halt as the country ran out of money in 2010.

The Palm Jumeirah’s hotel scene, once dominated by the Atlantis, now includes Kempinski and the Jumeirah Zabeel Sarah, both of which opened this year.

The new 324-room Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah will feature stunning views of the coastline and a luxury health club and spa, Hilton said in a statement.

Guests will also be able to relax on a private beach, sip cocktails in two bars, or dine in one of four signature restaurants.

It will be the brand’s second UAE hotel, following the expected fall 2012 debut of the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, some 40 minutes from Dubai’s airport.

By the time Waldorf Astoria‘s new property opens on the Palm Jumeirah, though, it will likely have considerably more competition than today (both the Rixos Residences Palm Jumeirah and the Movenpick Royal Amwaj are set to open over the coming months, although it’s still a far cry from the 30 hotels which were originally planned).

Perhaps, however, that’s a good thing — analysts estimate that more than 2.5 million extra tourists will have to arrive every year over the next five years to fill the 60 percent increase in room numbers planned by the ambitious country.