The iconic Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai 05 Dec 2016
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Without a doubt, the jewel of the Dubai coast is the Burj al Arab hotel (literally ‘Tower of the Arabs’), the city’s best-known landmark, which since its opening in December 1999 has gained an iconic status similar to that of the Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower, especially in the Middle East. The structure, officially 321 metres high (1,053 ft), is shaped like a sail to complement the ‘wave’ design of the nearby Jumeirah Beach Hotel and dominates the surrounding residential neighbourhood. You can spot it from virtually any point on the Dubai coast.
A seven-star hotel, built on its own man-made island and comprising 202 two-storey suites (each with its own butler), restricts access to hotel guests or those who have booked a table at one of its restaurants. These include the fabulous Al Muntaha (literally ‘The Highest’), found 200m (656ft) above the Arabian Gulf and home to breathtaking views. Indulge in the luxury of the Burj al Arab for yourself by having high tea in the hotel, as part of our Dubai Luxury Stopover trip, which also includes a private helicopter tour of the dazzling city.
Best viewed from the public beach to the north or from various vantage points around the Madinat Jumeirah complex, the most distinctive feature of ‘the Burj’ is the double-skinned, Teflon-coated, woven glass-fibre screen facade, which is white by day and illuminated by coloured-lights at night. The space-age helicopter pad jutting out from the top floor like a mini Starship Enterprise is literally the cherry on the top.