In a country of spectacular modern buildings and architecture, the Burj Al Arab more than holds its own. A beautiful white structure, it was built to resemble a dhow sailing into the blue waters of the Persian Gulf. The Burj Al Arab was one of the first big constructions in modern Dubai and like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Statue of Liberty in New York, it has come to symbolize today's Dubai.
Some of the Particulars:
The Burj Al Arab is considered one of the world's great luxury hotels and is the third tallest hotel in the world. It's built on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirah Beach and is connected to it by a bridge. Most guests arrive by a complimentary chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce, but another option is to arrive by helicopter on its helipad 210 m (689 ft) above the ground. Despite it's height, it holds only 202 luxury bedroom suites which range from an area of 169 m2 (1,820 sq ft) to the largest at 780 m2 (8,400 sq ft), the latter coming with a price tag of about US$ 24,000 per night! The hotel has a private beach, 5 swimming pools and superb restaurants. Each room comes with a personal butler.
I had tea at a nearby restaurant that offered lovely views of the Burj Al Arab, from which I took most of these photos. I sat there on a deck in the shade enjoying my cuppa and a sandwich and studied this beautiful structure. I never went inside, partially because the hotel doesn't want folks like dropping in but largely because I'd heard the interior was "gaudy" and "overdone" by those who'd seen it. I really think I'd rather just have this exterior image of it etched into my brain.
The following photos of the hotel taken from the Dubai Metro showing how the Burj Al Arab dominates its neighborhood.