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Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 3 - إمارة دبيّ, United Arab Emirates

GPS: 25.141201343845, 55.185306584746

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Opened in 1999 and self-proclaimed a 7-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab is located on the edge of downtown Dubai (United Arab Emirates) on Jumeirah Road. Meaning “Tower of the Arabs” in Arabic, this high standard complex claims the honorary title of the most luxurious hotel in the world and the best hotel in the Middle East. Since its inauguration, this monument has won numerous international awards and catapulted Dubai to the forefront of the world tourism scene.

Construction of the Burj Al Arab began in the mid-1990s at the initiative of the international luxury hotel chain Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts. Orchestrated by the British architect Tom Wright, it required the development of an artificial island on the edge of Jumeirah Beach. The foundations of the skyscraper rest on a system of 230 concrete piers, solidly anchored in the sand and resistant to the hazards of the sea. The structure of the atrium building (the central part of the building) is made of fibreglass. It is designed to be protected from the effects of the sand winds of the Rub’ al Khali desert. Exclusively accessible to guests of the hotel or its 9 fine restaurants and bars, the Burj Al Arab has 202 sumptuous duplex suites with oriental decoration (they measure between 170 and 780 m²). A reference in the luxury market, the hotel is composed of 27 floors accessible by a network of 18 lifts. Its princely services are structured around a host of staff who take great care of its sumptuous visitors or distinguished guests.

From the top of its overhang made of artificial beach, the magnificent silhouette of the Burj Al Arab in the shape of a boat sail rises to a height of 321 metres (210 metres without counting the building’s antenna). Considered now as an iconic landmark, it reflects the emirate’s maritime heritage and the architectural ingenuity of the modern city of Dubai. The Burj Al Arab is linked to the mainland by a 280-metre-long private bridge, offering guests a fantastic panoramic view of the Persian Gulf.

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  • The instantly recognisable architecture of this modern building, which has become the emblem of a forward-looking city; the extremely high standards of service quality
  • The beauty of the materials used; the profusion of ornamental and decorative elements; the attention to every detail
  • The impressive entrance hall embellished with gold-covered pillars; the furniture and various gold-plated equipment or materials
  • The gastronomic experience orchestrated by several starred chefs in the complex’s ten or so high-end restaurants and bars : Al Mahara (seafood in a seabed setting), Al Muntaha (chic and distinguished at 200 metres high), Al Iwan (Arabic cuisine in buffet style), Skyview Bar (panoramic view of the Persian Gulf on the top floor), Bab Al Yam (international cuisine buffet), Juna Lounge (cocktail and Cuban cigar bar), Junsui (Asian cuisine), Sahn Eddar (breakfast and tea service), Majlis Al Bahar (dinner on the beach overlooking the hotel), Gold on 27 (golden atmosphere), Scape Restaurant & Lounge (modern French-Mediterranean cuisine) and Summersalt (fusion of Japanese and Argentinean cuisine)
  • The cosy and luxurious atmosphere of the atrium; butler service 24 hours a day
  • The heliport system at the top of the hotel; limousine, Rolls-Royce and shuttle service to Dubai’s main attractions; 24-carat gold-plated iPads available to guests in their suites (there are no rooms as such)
  • Panoramic lifts and large glazed areas; the luxurious Talise Spa; infinity pools; free and unlimited access to the Wild Wadi Water Park
  • Surrounding beaches (including Jumeirah Beach accessible to everybody)
  • The very photogenic character of the Burj Al Arab building, day and night
  • The location chosen to build the Burj Al Arab may come as a surprise, as it was at the time very isolated, 15 kilometres from downtown Dubai. It took two years to develop the artificial island and three years to build the hotel.
  • The decorative elements of the suites are largely handmade (carpets, fabrics, upholstery…) and there is considerable attention to detail. Each piece or object can be changed immediately if needed (spare parts are stored in on-site reserves). A team of craftsmen is ready to intervene quickly or carry out emergency repairs in the event of a problem.
  • The Burj Al Arab held the title of the highest hotel in the world until 2007 (first dethroned by the JW Marriott Marquis, this title now goes to the Gevora Hotel, also based in Dubai, with its 356 metres high). By way of comparison, this architecturally unique building stands between the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building in terms of height.
  • Fireworks are sometimes launched from the hotel’s private bridge to welcome its most prestigious guests. Each suite in the hotel is arranged over two floors.
  • While the Burj Al Arab was originally built to become an iconic figure in Dubai, today it would be one of the most profitable hotels in the world. Replicas of this mythical hotel are reportedly being studied in other parts of the world (the first of its kind could be built in Asia).
  • From 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, the city of Dubai hosts the Expo 2020 (it has been postponed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic). The bid, put forward by the Emir of Dubai himself, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, won the vote organized in November 2013 against the cities of São Paulo (Brazil), Izmir (Turkey) and Yekaterinburg (Russia). The theme put forward by the United Arab Emirates for this Expo 2020 is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, with a focus on sustainability, mobility and opportunity. It is the first time in the history of the World Expo that a country from the Middle East region will organize such an event.
  • If you can not afford an overnight stay (at least $1,000 per suite in low season) or a gourmet meal there (amounting to several hundred euros), you can enjoy a tea or cocktail on site with a reservation. Accompanied by a multitude of side dishes such as cakes, pastries or champagne, this service costs approximately $100 per person. It is offered in the Sahn Eddar, Skyview Bar or Junsui restaurants (proper attire required).
  • The Culinary Flight offer takes you on a culinary journey through several gastronomic establishments in Burj Al Arab.
  • Since 15 October 2021, the Burj Al Arab has been offering guided tours of its outdoor and indoor spaces (including the atrium, the Uma open-air lounge, the panoramic lift and the Royal Suite). This experience, entitled Inside Burj Al Arab lasts 90 minutes. It will immerse you in the Arabian opulence of this iconic Dubai hotel with stories or anecdotes related to its construction as well as original sketches by interior designer Khuan Chew and early drawings of the structure of the monument. Tours are limited to groups of no more than 12 people and run daily between 9.30 am and 8.30 pm by booking online. To go behind the scenes of this unusual site, you will still have to pay a hefty fee of around €100 per person. At that price, photos are allowed inside.

Where to eat

  • Al Fayrooz Lounge
    (elegant tea room)
  • Der Keller
    (German tavern)
  • Pai Thai
    (romantic setting)

Where to go out

  • Wild Wadi Water Park
    (family water park)
  • Ski Dubai
    (indoor ski run)
  • Antique Museum Dubai
    (large collection of souvenirs)

Where to sleep

  • Centro Barsha
    (rooftop swimming pool)
  • Novotel Suites Dubai Mall...
    (suitable for families)
  • Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf
    (exceptional complex)

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