The Magnificent Burj Al Arab
If there is one hotel which is an epitome of luxury and extravagance like none other, it has to be Burj Al Arab. Just like the Big Ben of London and Opera House of Sydney, nothing dominates the Dubai skyline and tourists’ imagination quite like Burj Al Arab. Repeatedly voted the world’s most luxurious hotel, its distinctive sail-shaped silhouette, influenced by the profile of an Arabian sailing ship has come to be recognized as a symbol of modern Dubai.
The term ‘Burj Al Arab’ literally translates into Tower Of The Arabs. Sometimes referred to as “the world’s only 7-Star hotel”, this magnificent hotel stands on an artificial island, situated at a distance of 280 m from Jumeirah beach. Construction of this island began in 1994. The Burj Al Arab was designed by architect Tom Wright of WKK Architects whereas its construction was managed by Canadian engineer Rick Gregory. The hotel, which was opened to the public in December 1999 is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge.
Burj Al Arab happens to be one of the world’s tallest structure with a membrane facade. Also, if one observes carefully, its external lighting schemes are such that change from white light to a multicolored one every 30 minutes, thereby, expressing the evening’s progress. The atrium is 180 metres high, being one of the tallest in the world. The complex also has a 24 m wide helipad which projects from the building 210 meters above the ground.
Burj Al Arab perfectly represents royalty, class and elegance. With dancing fountains in the foyer and a fleet of white Rolls Royces on the forecourt, the beauty of the hotel is such that the entire view, looks as if it is a vision replicated from a dream and converted to a reality. In fact, fireworks are launch from the bridge to announce the arrival of VVIPs.
Needless to say, Burj Al Arab happens to be one of the most expensive hotels of the world. In fact, The Royal Suite, billed at US$18,716 per night is listed on CNN Go’s list of World’s Most Expensive Hotels. The hotel has 202 rooms in all, each of them being two-storey suites, ranging in size from 170 square metres (1,830 square feet) to 780 square metres.
In order to access Burj Al Arab, visitors should first take a flight to Dubai. The hotel is located 25 km away from Dubai International Airport. Tourists can opt for a cab to the hotel. The only way to get inside without paying for a room is to book a table at one of the hotel’s costly eateries. The hotel features a total of eight restaurants and bars. Some of the restaurants of Burj Al Arab are:
Al Muntaha: The word Muntaha literally translates into Highest or Ultimate. Located at an elevation of 200 metres above the Persian Gulf, this restaurant is on the top floor and offers panoramic view of Dubai.
Al Mahara: The word Mahara literally translates into Oyster. It is an expensive fish restaurant with an enormous aquarium on display.
Some of the other popular eateries in Burj Al Arab include Sahn Eddar which serves afternoon tea. There is also the beach-based Majlis Al Bahar which is hugely popular with tourists.
So if planning a trip to Dubai, make it a point to include a visit to Burj Al Arab in your itinerary !