Burj Al Arab Hotel Dubai
Burj Al Arab (7 star hotel in Dubai)
As of May 2006 there is only one 7 star hotel in Dubai (and in the world - as claimed by the hotel)*. This is of course, the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Umm Suqeim in Dubai - the next suburb along from Jumeirah. Most hotel rating systems only have 5 stars as a maximum but there are several hotels that rank themselves as 6 stars. Officially, the Burj Al Arab hotel is a 5 star luxury hotel. It is referred to as the tallest hotel in the world but that distinction is only valid if compared to other buildings which are solely for hotel use. The word "burj" is Arabic for "tower".
Guests of the Burj Al Arab are picked up on arrival at the airport in a white Rolls Royce. The fleet of cars the Burj Al Arab purchased was the largest ever single order placed with Rolls Royce at the time. Due to increasing traffic and traffic jams in Dubai, guests now have the option of being chauffered by helicopter to the landing pad at the hotel with its distinctive Star Trek Enterprise appearance.
During the Dubai Tennis Open in February 2005, Roger Federer and Andre Agassi played an exhibition tennis match on the helicopter pad - at a height of 200 meters. A few tennis balls were lost. Tiger Woods also had his moment of fame on the same spot in March 2004 when he hit some golf balls into the sea.
*"The Burj", as it is often referred to, might lose its prestigious status as sole holder of a 7 star rating. Apeiron Dubai is a new 7 star hotel planned (Sep 2007 news).
More information about the Burj Al Arab Hotel
The Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai was designed by WS Atkins and Partners and constructed by Murray and Roberts from South Africa. Construction began in 1994 and completion was in October 1999 with the doors opening for guests on 01 December 1999. The man-made island on which the Burj Al Arab is situated took three years to build and is about 300m offshore with a single bridge linking the hotel with mainland Dubai. The Burj Al Arab is part of the Jumeirah Group, a Dubai-based luxury hospitality organisation.
Inside the hotel is a magnificant atrium which is large enough to completely contain the Dubai World Trade Center - for many years the tallest building in Dubai until the late 1990s. There is also a large aquarium with a variety of exotic fish on display, and the occasional diver cleaning the inside of the tank.
The Burj Al Arab hotel has just over 200 luxuriously furnished duplex suites on 28 floors with a concierge on each floor. Room rates per night range from the quite reasonable US$1000 per night if you can get a mid-summer discount, to the less-expensive-than-expected US$3500 for the deluxe 2 bedroom suite with two jacuzzis (according to the Burj Al Arab website in May 2006). These rates do include breakfast but there's another 10% service charge and 10% municipality tax.
For something a little less harsh on the bank account, afternoon tea is available at the Burj Al Arab in the Skyview Bar for about AED 350 (check their website for "special offers") from 1400-1800 but not on Fridays, and you have to book several weeks in advance. Cheapest way to visit the hotel is to buy 250 dhs worth of drinks.
The distinctive sail-like shape (designed to resemble the sail on a traditional Arabic dhow) of the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel is instantly recognisable around the world as "that 7 star hotel in Dubai". It is reported that the intention behind the development of the Burj Al Arab was to give Dubai a unique symbol that puts it on the world map, similar to what the Eiffel Tower has done for Paris, the Sydney Opera House for Sydney, the Statue of Liberty for New York and so on. There is no doubt about that goal having been achieved.
Burj Al Arab - awards received
The Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai has received a few awards since it opened on 01 December 1999 including
- 2007 - Best Resort in Middle East and Africa, Conde Nast Reader's Choice Awards.
- 2000-2005 it was the "World's Leading All Suite Hotel" according to World Travel Awards.
- "Worlds Leading Hotel" in 2005.
- The Sunday Times Travel Magazine gave the Burj Al Arab the "Best Hotel in Africa/Middle East/Indian Ocean" award in 2004 (it's not clear how many hotels are actually in the Indian Ocean although there is an underwater hotel planned for Dubai).
- The Institutional Investor Magazine called the Burj Al Arab the "World's Best Hotel" in 2003.
- In 2000, it was rated as the tallest "all suite" hotel by the Guiness Book of Records at a height of 320.94m (or 1052 ft).
- "World's Most Luxurious Hotel" in 1999.
Last update 10-Aug-2010.
- Cheap hotels in Dubai - this list does not include the Burj Al Arab.
- Jumeirah Beach Hotel - if there's no room at the inn, JBH is next door - and a little cheaper.
- Hotels in Dubai - and a few more places to stay if the BAA and JBH are full.
- Jumeirah International - owner of the Burj Al Arab.
- Things to do in Dubai
- Tourist guide to Dubai
- Visas for Dubai
- www.burj-al-arab.com - Burj Al Arab website with online booking, forwards to BAA page at www.jumeirah.com.