The island is linked by a slender, gently curving causeway to the Jumeirah Beach Resort complex on the mainland, 900 feet away, situated on Jumeirah Beach Road, a half hour drive from the Dubai International Airport.
Dramatically lluminated at night by choreographed lighting that represents water and fire, the Burj Al Arab juts out of the surrounding Dubai skyline to declare itself as an unchallenged pinnacle of Middle-Eastern architectural beauty.
Dubai is one of seven sheikhdoms that form the United Arab Emirates. It is located on the Arabian Peninsula at the southern end of the Persian Gulf. With its desert setting, perennial sunshine, and world-class amenities, Dubai has become a popular travel destination. It is home to a culturally diverse, dynamic community of people. It has become a global center for tourism, trade and finance and has one of the world’s highest standards of living. Its economic growth has been driven by its oil industry.
The Burj Al Arab boasts that it offers the very finest accomodations the world has to offer in a luxury hotel. It bills itself with the non-existent rating of a 7-Star hotel. Guests arriving at the Burj Al Arab receive a Marhaba Welcome - which means welcome in Arabic and reflects the warmth and hospitality of the Arab culture. The hotel welcomes its guests with rose water, refreshing cold towels, dates, authentic Arabic coffee and customary bakhoor (incense) is passed around.
Unrivalled personalized service is a signature of Burj Al Arab. The hotel has over 1,600 employees from 75 countries. For the comfort and convenience of guests - discreet in-suite check-in is conducted in the privacy of an individual suite - if you don’t care to be noticed, a private reception desk is available on every floor, and a brigade of highly trained butlers is in attendance 24 hours a day to provide the ultimate in personal service for visitors. You won’t find anything to match this style in Kansas. If all these amenities are still inadequate to meet your needs, you may obtain a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce for transportation to the airport or around Dubai - and who would want to do without this nice touch of convenience. Exclusive helicopter transportion to and from Dubai International Airport can also be arranged. The hotel has a helipad cantilevered off the sail, near the top floor of the hotel. All-in-all, the shimmering opulence and service of the Burj Al Arab offers the ultimate in Arabian hospitality.
The Burj Al Arab was the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, who is the vice president of the United Arab Emirates. He conceived the Burj Al Arab as an impressive visual identity for Dubai.
The Burj Al Arab was designed by architect, Tom Wright of Atkins, one of the world’s leading engineering and design consultancies, headquartered in the UK.
The Burj Al Arab was designed to reflect Dubai’s Arabic heritage and traditions and to provide “a beacon to light the city’s future.” Conceptual work began in 1993 and construction started in 1994. The project was completed in 1999. The hotel officially opened its doors on December 1, 1999.
The hotel’s construction involved 3,000 companies and contractors, and 250 designers from the UK, USA and Dubai. 3,500 workers were on site at any given time. It took two years to reclaim the island in the shore waters of the Arabian Gulf, before construction began. The goal of the architects and designers was to create a totally unique structure, which they succeeding in doing.
The hotel’s 56 floors rise 321 meters (1,053 feet) above sea level, making it one of the tallest buildings in the world - only 60 meters shorter than the Empire State Building.
Design of sail was a considerable technical challenge. It utilized a double-skinned, Teflon-coated woven fibreglass screen across its ribbed belly that diffuses light and heat. The sail is pure white by day, then transformed to display a dazzling spectrum of color at night, outlined against the Dubai skyline. It is a contemporary counterpart to traditional Arabian desert tents. Colorful light shows and the faces of some of the hotel’s notable guests are projected onto the screen at night.
The structure’s steelwork exoskeleton is braced with steel-trussed arches and rods that deflect wind pressure.
Burj Al Arab’s man-made island rests on 250 foundation piles, which have been driven 40 metres deep into the seabed to secure it. It is encircled by a hollow concrete honeycomb that absorbs the impact of the sea,
Khuan Chew, of KCA International, drew the design inspiration for the hotel’s interiors from the land, which was once home to nomadic tribes and from its Middle Eastern culture. The colorful and richly furnished interior design of the Burj Al Arab conjures up Arabian fantasy-like images. The vibrant color palette was inspired by the robust colors of earth, air, fire and water.
The finest materials sourced from all over the world were used for creating the hotel’s magical-like interiors. The hotel’s magnificent lobby has sumptuously carpeted floors and lavishly upholstered chairs and sofas - done in flame-reds and bright yellows. The custom-made carpets and rugs came from South Africa and India. The rarest Statutario marble, such as that used by Michelangelo for creating his masterpiece sculptures, was used for the walls and flooring. The marble was imported from Brazil and Italy. Crystal chandeliers from the UK light the lobby. Interior design accents are embellished with 24-carat gold leaf. An impressive view of the Arabian Gulf can be seen through the hotels huge panoramic windows.
The fountain in the mezzanine is a kaleidoscope of color and patterns, programmed to shoot a shaft water up high into the air as it ascends gold columns that reach aloft to a spectacular blue triangular ceiling.
Among the hotel’s many other exquisite design features is a cascading waterfall situated between the escalators that lead to Sahn Eddar, an elegant reception area, where guests can linger over morning coffee or indulge in the delights of a traditional afternoon tea.
Another unique design feature is a 597-foot high atrium - the tallest in the world - that is flanked by ascending columns, which are covered in 24-carat gold leaf. A fountain in the center of the atrium sends arches of water high into the air in dramatic sudden bursts.
The spectactacular Ellipse Fountain, which greets guests at the entrance to the hotel combines water with bursts of fireballs that are propelled into the air from each of four towers. The result is a spectacular optical illusion as the flames are reflected in the hotel’s glass exterior.
The hotel offers a variety of sumptuously appointed suites, ranging from duplex suites to one bedroom deluxe suites, panoramic suites, club suites, two bedroom deluxe suites, diplomatic suites, presidential suites, and royal suites.
All suites feature the latest computer technology with business software equipped laptop computers, wireless internet access, videos on demand and 42” plasma television screens. Guests have the ability to view and allow entry to visitors through their television sets.
Every suite benefits from a range of unique first-class flourishes, including an extensive selection of complimentary Hermes amenities and a pillow menu with 17 options. A special bath menu is available with different options ranging from a refreshing mint bath to the most decadent extreme indulgence which includes caviar, champagne and strawberries. There are jacuzzis in every suite.
A private dining menu is served 24 hours. Guests may also coordinate with the executive chef and private dining manager to create a personalized menu for a romantic dinner or a party to be served in the intimate opulence of a private suite.
Spanning the entire 25th floor are two regally appointed royal suites for visiting VIPs. The grand entrance door of the suite leads to a magnificent hall and a marble and gold staircase invites guests to the upper level. The palatial surroundings have a private elevator between the two levels of the suite, a private cinema, a four poster rotating canopy bed, and a stunning Majlis area for entertaining guests.
Dining at the Burj Al Arab offers a succlent variety of dining environments.
The Al Mahara (Oyster Shell) restaurant provides sumptuous seafood in a wondrous, subterranean setting. Its accessed by a three-minute simulated submarine voyage. The main, circular dining area and private dining rooms are lit by the glow of an enormous seawater aquarium. World-class chefs prepare a broad selection of the finest quality seafood with accents of the East and West. A team of professional sommeliers assist with choosing the perfect wine to complement the haute cuisine dishes.
The Al Muntaha restaurant (The Ultimate) is suspended on the 27th floor, 200 metres above the sea with breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf. Two express panoramic elevators transport guests almost instantly to an unrivalled selection of Modern European cuisine.
Al Iwan (Royal Dining Hall) is exquisitely designed with warm colours, rich fabrics and traditional objects d’art. With spectacular sea views during the day, Al Iwan is transformed into an intimate dining room by night, with sumptuous tables and flickering candles. Adjacent to the spectacular atrium, it hosts a delicious Arabic and international buffet.
Junsui, the Japanese word for pure, is a new authentic Asian restaurant with 12 live cooking stations and 45 specialized chefs. It offers culinary delights from Japan, China, Thailand, Indonesia and Korea.
Ther Bab Al Yam (Gateway to the Sea) offers brasserie-style informality wrapped in sensational sea views and tranquility - ideal for long, leisurely breakfasts and lunches. Guests can select from an extravagant selection of international cuisine served buffet-style or a la carte and enjoy their meal in the grand dining area or amidst the lush, landscaped gardens of the hotel.
The Majlis Al Bahar (Beachside Lounge), located on the hotel’s private beach is a romantic sea-facing lounge, where guests can gather to watch a spectacular sunset over the Gulf.
The Skyview Bar, located on the 27th
floor, offers a superior setting to indulge in a sunset cocktail. It is a
primary choice for afternoon tea and pre- or post-dinner drinks mixed to suit
a guest’s tastes and mood.
The opulent, galleried, circular Al Falak Ballroom is the grandest and most impressive venue in the city. Inspired by an 18th century Viennese opera house, its vast golden dome is pierced at the centre with an enormous Swarovski chandelier.
Complementing the ballroom are beautifully
appointed, stylishly decorated conference suites
that overlook the Dubai skyline. They
are equipped with translation booths, videoconferencing facilities and wireless
The banquet team is available to host special events ranging from board meetings and press conferences to opulent weddings, gala dinners and product launches.
For open-air events Marina Garden, located beside the hotel, is the perfect venue for cocktails, lunch or dinner, offering stunning views of the Arabian Gulf.
The Assawan Spa & Health Club, located on 18th floor, is a lavishly decorated private health and fitness facility, named after the Assawan stone - known for its purity and healing properties. The extravagant decor is reminiscent of bathing pools used by ancient Middle Eastern civilizations. Indoor infinity pools and a Jacuzzi complement the spa, along with saunas, steam rooms, and plunge pools.
Other amenities include a squash court, a fitness center with aerobic facilities, advanced cardiovascular and resistance training equipment and a hair salon.
An open-air swimming pool and bar, located on the ground level, offers guests a wide selection of beverages and cocktails.
The Wild Wadi Water Park is an Arabian-themed park with rides, game zones and fun for families. Guests of Burj Al Arab enjoy unlimited complimentary access to the park.
The Burj Al Arab is owned by Jumeirah properties, a Dubai-based hospitality group that also owns the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Jumeirah Beach Club Resort and Spa, the Madinat Jumeirah and the Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa.
Finally, the rates for all this opulence... don’t ask!
further information, visit:
by Mel Fenson from information derived from the Burj Al Arab website
and other web sources.