When Dubai is mentioned, many people think of the iconic Burj Al Arab - the hotel built out on a spit in the Gulf, that looks like a giant sail. The Burj claims to be "The Best Hotel in the World", and has given itself 7 stars. It is the world's tallest dedicated hotel, and all 202 of its suites and two-storey, with unbeatable views.
If you think the outside looks impressive, wait till you get inside - the "ostentatious opulence will leave you reeling" (to steal a quote from my Guide book). The lower lobby area has a dancing fountain, and two massive tropical fish-tank-walls. Ride up the escalator into the main lobby area, looking up as you do into the soaring atrium, with its over-the-top gold and blue décor. Then look down at the garish carpet that clashes terribly, but somehow works amongst the other gaudy appointments.
To get up close to the Burj Al Arab, you need to either be staying there, or have an advance reservation to dine in one of the restaurants, or to have a drink in one of the bars. As you can imagine, dining doesn't come cheap here, so one of the more economical options is to go for afternoon tea. Booking a few weeks in advance, the only afternoon tea slot available was at 5.30pm in the Sahn Eddar Atrium Bar, located off the hotel's lobby.
We arrived by taxi, and as we came to the hotel gates, on the mainland, the guard requested to see our booking confirmation. We were then waved through, drove along the spit, and were dropped off at the front door. We arrived early, which gave us plenty of time for taking photos outside, and then inside the lobby area. Photos are allowed in the lobby area, but not in any of the bars or restaurants to protect the privacy of the exclusive guests.
Although the afternoon tea was not at the standard one would imagine from a 7 star hotel, it was well worth it to gain admittance to this architectural marvel.
Burj Al Arab is a part of The Jumeirah Beach Resort, situated 17km south of the city of Dubai. It is designed to resemble a billowing sail; the hotel soars to a height of 321 metres, dominating the Dubai coastline. At night, it offers an unforgettable sight, surrounded by choreographed color sculptures of water and fire. This all-suite hotel reflects the finest that the world has to offer.
This is a hotel, but for most people it cannot be an accomodation tip as the cost of a room starts from 1.300 euro per night.
It is known to be the only 7 stars hotel in the world, but I am still wondering who decided it has 7 starts as, as far as I know, the maximum is still 5.
Officially you can visit the hotel booking a table for an evening tea(about 80 euros) or a dinner at their beach restaurant(about 70 euro), we couldn't do that as everything was booked and got to enter tipping a taxi driver(50 euro for 3 persons) with some contacts inside.
Definitly beautiful and spectacular inside but somehow kitsch for my tastes.
The Burj Al Arab with its 321 m is the second tallest building in the world used exclusively as a hotel. The Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 m out from Jumeirah beach, and is connected to the mainland by a curving bridge. It is an iconic structure, designed to symbolize Dubai's urban transformation and to mimic the sail of a boat.
Construction of Burj Al Arab began in 1994. It was built to resemble the sail of a dhow, a type of Arabian vessel. Two "wings" spread in a V to form a vast "mast", while the space between them is enclosed in a massive atrium.
You can watch my 1 min 32 sec HD Video Dubai Burj Al Arab out of my Youtube channel with Dalida – Salma Ya Salama.
Burj Al Arab has luxurious interiors inside. The atrium is 180 m tall.
Burj Al Arab promotes itself as the world's only "7-star" property. All major travel guides and hotel rating systems have a 5-star maximum. Yet according to the Burj Al Arab's official site, the hotel is a "5-star deluxe hotel".
Despite its size, the Burj Al Arab holds only 28 double-storey floors which accommodate 202 bedroom suites. The smallest suite occupies an area of 169 m2, the largest covers 780 m2. It is one of the most expensive hotels in the world. The cost of staying in a suite begins at US$1,000 per night; the Royal Suite is the most expensive, starting at US$28,000 per night.
Luckily we didn’t live in the hotel, haha! We bought a tour to visit it inside and have a dinner in its restaurant on its top. It cost us $180 for a person with the transfer from and back Sharjah.
Whether you want it or not, you'll see it anyway because in Dubai all roads lead to Burj - at least until other architectural wonders like Palm Island, Hydropolis, Burj Dubai or World are completed :)
On the out side it looks really amazing, whether you are looking at it on bright, sunny day or at night, because colorful lights are very nice. But, inside, it's totally different story.
I know that we all have different taste and style, and I'm sorry I have to say this but, inside Burj Al Arab looks like it was designed by schizoid. Where ever you look, you can see all colors in spectrum at once, which is a bit tiring. My advice is - stay outside and stay amazed!
The Burj al Arab is the world's only 7* hotel.
Being slightly beyond my budget, and with a strict dress code even to visit the hotel bar, I had to settle for a glimpse from the outside.
It is certainly an impressive structure, shaped like the sail of a dhow, and currently the world's tallest hotel.
The hotel has its own fleet of Rolls Royces to transfer guests to and from the airport, and all guests benefit from the services of their own 24-hour on-call service staff.
The Burj al Arab is perhaps Dubai's most recognisable landmark - for the time being at least, before it is surpassed by forthcoming developments.
This is the first seven-star hotel in the world. Having all the first class facilities, Burj Al Arab becomes one of the famous landmark of Dubai. In the evening (usually starts at 7 PM), Burj Al Arab starts to display a beautiful colorful lights.
Burj Al Arab in Arabic means "Tower of Arabs". Its Dubai's most expensive and luxurious hotel where minimum per night rates start from $1000. If you are in Dubai then do try to see this hotel. They would charge you AED 120 ( $35 appox) per person as entry fee. This fee is refundable at any of restaurants in the hotel . You are supposed to wear formal clothes and no entry is allowed to any one wearing shorts, sneakers, sandals or other casual clothes. You would need to deposit your cameras at reception as photography inside hotel is not allowed.
The hotel has sail shaped structure which is 321 meters above Arabian gulf. It has been built on man made island 280 meters off shore. There are 202 suites in the hotel. Jumeirah beach hotel and Wild Wadi water park are located just next to it.
Each suite has its own reception, living area , dinning area and office desk. with laptop, scanners, printers, multimedia systems, fax and copier. Guests have their own dedicated butlers available 24 hours. Each suite has 14 telephones for use of guests. Bath rooms are on ground floor of each suite. They are not less then a wonderland.
The sail structure outside gives rainbow colors at night. 22K Gold is used alot in walls, pillars and domes throughout. Hotel's helipad is located on the 28th floor. The central fountain, called The Volcano, is centre stage for stunning displays. You can enjoy dancing water works there.
People of Dubai are very proud of Burj Al Arab. That is why you would see all cars number plates in Dubai with Burj Al Arab logo. Let me tell you that money you pay at Burj Al Arab is worth what you see and experience. This hotel is also said to be world's only seven star hotel. So plan for Burj Al Arab when you are in Dubai next time!
After having lived in Dubai for almost a year we finally did visit the Burj al Arab in May 07 to celebrate my wife's birthday.
I had booked the Afternoon tea package for both of us. That is by the way the most "economical way" of visiting the Burj and a very nice one too.
First of all you have a choice of many different kinds of teas. Once you've selected yours, they serve the tea, along with some small, but very good sandwiches. After that you get a tray full of small cakes and sweets.
All in all it was a very nice experience.
If you want to book an Afternoon tea package for yourself, make sure that you do that at least a month in advance. To do so, send an e-mail to email@example.com
I didn't stay there - just entered for a drink and a brief visit, and I hesitated between posting this here or in he "Things to do" section. I decided... both.
Everything in Dubai is being built with the objective of getting the top in luxury, comfort and beauty. That's why hotels, malls and office buildings are assuming the role of Dubai tourist attractions.
This hotel easily hits the goal. Each room, each corridor, each corner, each lake or pool was thought to please. And it does. The integration with the shopping center and the sea works fine.
Even if you don't stay there, when visiting Madinat Jumeirah you should enter and look around. It's a privileged place to see the Burj al Arab hotel, and a cocktail in one of its many bars is a fresh relief in the torrid heat of the beach and pool.
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