Burj Al Arab

Posted by Meg on 7:05 AM 1 comment

The World's Tallest - and only "7 Star" - Hotel

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. Architect Tom Wright said "The client wanted a building that would become an iconic or symbolic statement for Dubai; this is very similar to Sydney with its Opera House, or Paris with the Eiffel Tower. It needed to be a building that would become synonymous with the name of the country."

The architect and engineering consultant for the project was Atkins, the UK's largest multidisciplinary consultancy. The hotel was built by South African construction contractor Murray & Roberts.The hotel cost $650 million to build.
The Burj-Al-Arab is a luxury hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At 321 meters (1,053 feet), it is the tallest building used exclusively as a hotel and one of the most distinctive structures for a hotel building in the world. It stands in the sea on an artificial island 280 meters (919 feet) away from the beach in the Persian Gulf, connected to the mainland only by a curving path. The path is extremely curving, with most corners being almost 90 degrees.

Rooms and prices
Despite its size, the Burj Al Arab holds only 28 double-story floors which accommodate 202 bedroom suites. The smallest suite occupies an area of 169 square meters (1,819 square ft), the largest covers 780 square meters (8,396 square ft). It is one of the most expensive hotels in the world. The cost of staying in a suite begins at $1,000 per night and increases to over $15,000 per night; the Royal Suite is the most expensive, at $28,000 per night

Suites feature design details that juxtapose east and west. White Tuscan columns and a spiral staircase covered in marble with a wrought-iron gold leaf railing show influence from classicism and art nouveau. Spa-like bathrooms are accented by mosaic tile patterns on the floors and walls, with Arabian-influenced geometries, which are also found elsewhere in the building.

How to visit
As its web site describes it, "Burj Al Arab is located in the Jumeirah Beach area of Dubai, 15 km. from the main city centre and 25 km. from Dubai International Airport. It is well served by taxis and has its own fleet of 10 chauffeur driven Rolls-Royces. It stands proudly on a man-made island some 280m. offshore and is linked to the mainland by a slender, gently curving causeway."

To cross the causeway, however, you need a reservation at the hotel. Casual visitors are not admitted, and reservations - even for a meal - require almost as much advance notice as they do cash.
Even if you don't make it across the causeway, there are great views of the building from the shoreline, including the neighboring Jumeirah Beach hotel and Madinat Jumeirah, which are both also luxury hotels but physically more accessible.


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