Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai
The Burj Al Arab (Arabic: برج العرب, "Tower of the Arabs") is one of most luxury hotel in Dubai and world as well. It is the tallest building used exclusively as a hotel. However, the Rose Tower, also in Dubai, which has already topped Burj Al Arab's height, will take away this title upon its opening in April 2008. The Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 metres out from Jumeirah beach, and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. It is an iconic structure, designed to symbolize Dubai's urban transformation and to mimic the sail of a boat.
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 building design features a steel exoskeleton wrapped around a reinforced concrete tower. Notably the building is shaped like the sail of a dhow, with two "wings" spread in a V to form a vast "mast". The space between the wings is enclosed by a Teflon-coated fibreglass sail, curving across the front of the building and creating an atrium inside. The sail is made of a material called Dyneon, spanning over 161,000 square feet (15,000 m²), consists of two layers, and is divided into twelve panels and installed vertically. The fabric is coated with DuPont Teflon to protect it from harsh desert heat, wind, and dirt; as a result, "the fabricators estimate that it will hold up for up to 50 years."
During the day, the white fabric allows a soft, milky light inside the hotel, whereas a clear glass front would produce blinding amounts of glare and a constantly increasing temperature. At night, both inside and outside, the fabric is lit by color-changing lights. During the period of mourning following the death of Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum in January 2006, the light show and some water features were turned off.
Near the top of the building is a suspended helipad supported by a cantilever. The helipad has featured some of the hotel's notable publicity events. Irish singer Ronan Keating shot his music video Iris on the helipad. In March 2004, professional golfer Tiger Woods hit several golf balls from the helipad into the Persian Gulf, while in February 2005, professional tennis players Roger Federer and Andre Agassi played an unranked game on the helipad, which was temporarily converted into a grass tennis court, at a height of 211 meters. The helipad has no borders or fences on the edges and if a player hit a winner the tennis balls would plunge down to the ground.
The interior was designed by Khuan Chew, Design Principal of KCA International. Other projects by Khuan Chew include the Sultan of Brunei's Palace, Dubai International Airport, Jumeirah Beach Resort Development, Madinat Resort and much more.
The Burj Al Arab features the tallest atrium lobby in the world, at 180 meters (590 ft). The atrium is formed between the building's V-shaped span. The atrium dominates the interior of the hotel, and takes up over one-third of interior space. It can accommodate the Dubai World Trade Center building, which, at 38 stories, was the tallest building in Dubai from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s.
While the exterior of the Burj Al Arab is expressed in terms of ultra-modern sculptural design, the interior guest space is a compilation of lavish and luxurious architectural styles from both the east and the west. The hotel boasts 8,000 square meters of 22-carat gold leaf and 24,000 square meters of 30 different types of marble.
In the mezzanine lobby, a fountain creates a "three-dimensional Islamic star pattern." Pointed arches throughout, found in one of the hotel’s three restaurants, corridors between guest rooms, and at the top of the atrium recall a classic Arabian architectural design form.
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.
One of its restaurants, Al Muntaha (Arabic meaning "Highest" or "Ultimate"), is located 200 meters above the Persian Gulf, offering a view of Dubai. It is supported by a full cantilever that extends 27 meters from either side of the mast, and is accessed by a panoramic elevator.
Another restaurant, the Al Mahara (Arabic meaning "The Oyster"), which is accessed via a simulated submarine voyage, features a large seawater aquarium, holding roughly 35,000 cubic feet (over one million liters) of water. The tank, made of acrylic glass in order to reduce the magnification effect, is about 18 cm (7.5 inches) thick. The restaurant was also voted among the top ten best restaurants of the world by Condé Nast Traveler. They have recently hired acclaimed chef Kevin McLaughlin.
If you're willing to have a dinner, breakfast or lunch in the Burj Al Arab - on demand of our clients, we may provide transportation / guidance to have this great experience!