Burj Al-Arab: An Astonishing Building in Dubai

Burj Al-Arab

Updated On: April 20, 2024 by   Ahmed SamirAhmed Samir

Burj Al-Arab is located in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and is a sail-shaped hotel built on an artificial island in the Arabian Gulf. It is the third tallest hotel in the world. It rises above sea level by about 321 metres. The tower is 280 metres from Jumeirah Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the country.


Burj Al-Arab

It is one of the United Arab Emirates’ most famous cities for its architectural and economic progress and the financial and business sector. It is bordered to the east by Sharjah and to the west by Abu Dhabi.

Dubai is characterised by a constitutional monarchy system led by Al Maktoum, located on an area of 4,114 m2, and inhabited by more than two million people, among the Emirati population and many expatriates.

In the past, Dubai was an ancient port and an important place for business and active trade. Later, an international airport and port were built in it, which helped promote tourism, as millions of tourists come to the city every year for fun, entertainment, and to spend a great time with family and friends.

The History of Burj Al-Arab

Burj Al-Arab

Burj Al-Arab was designed from the beginning to become Dubai’s icon and reflect its Arab heritage and traditions. The building began the construction process in 1994, with about 3,000 companies and contractors, 250 designers from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Dubai, and 3,500 workers participating in it.

Burj Al-Arab was officially opened on 1 December 1999, and it was planned from the beginning that the tower would reflect the city’s future.

Who Designed Burj Al-Arab?

The British architect Tom Wright was the one who designed Burj Al Arab, he was born in Croydon, London, in 1957, and he studied at Royal Russell School. 

In 1983, he joined the Kingston Polytechnic School of Architecture and then the Royal Institute of British Architects. After that, he moved to live in Dubai during the period of the design and construction of the tower. He also took the project management position at Atkins, one of the leading international companies in engineering consultancy, which was responsible for this project.

The Construction Journey of Burj Al-Arab

The cost of building is estimated at around $1 billion, as nearly a quarter of this cost was used to cover the costs of creating the artificial island on which the tower is built. The island rises 7.5 metres above sea level. About 12,000 tons of metal were used in the construction of the tower’s hull, and the two wings of the building take the shape of the English letter V, to simulate the condition of the ship’s mast.

Towers are mostly built on rocky ground. Still, the lack of rocks in the Burj Al Arab designated area showed the need to make it on the sand, as the building is characterised by its reliance on circular columns 250 metres long. Each column has a diameter of 1.5 metres and extends to a depth of 45 metres below sea level.

Its side supports are characterised by great weight and length, and it is worth noting that the tower’s external facades consist of 50,000 m2 of glass walls.

The Burj Al Arab building was oriented at an angle that ensures reducing the amount of heat gained during the hot summer, bearing in mind that the southern facade of the tower absorbs the most significant amount of this heat because it is the facade most exposed to sunlight.

The main entrance to the building was designed as a revolving door to control the incoming and outgoing air, thus preventing the phenomenon of the chimney effect, which occurs when hot air moves up and cold air down.

Burj Al-Arab External Parts

Burj Al-Arab

The tower includes many external parts, such as the Sail, which contains many colours where it appears in a shadow of colours at night. It appears bright white during the day, and some unprecedented technologies were used.

There is also the Ellipse Fountain, which constitutes a beautiful visual symphony, as its design mixes between gunshots and about 20,000 litres of water.

The Helipad provides a platform to come to the tower or leave it via helicopter. It also offers the opportunity to view the city from a different angle, and the landing strip is at an altitude of 212 m above sea level.

Besides Residency, What Can Burj Al-Arab Hotel Offer?

There are parts inside the tower that you would love to visit with family and friends; an example of these places is the aquariums. The building includes three aquariums, one of which is located in the Al Mahara restaurant, while the other two are located in the hotel’s main lobby. These ponds contain 50 species of fish.

The Atrium is the highest in the world, with a height of more than 180 metres. Its design, surrounded by golden columns, is characterised by a dancing water fountain in the middle, which may rise to more than 42 metres with natural lighting and resulting warmth.

The Cascade Waterfall, where the design takes the form of steps made of stone and is characterised by the movement of water in the form of arches, along with beautiful lighting effects, is located between the escalators that lead to the Sahn Al Dar restaurant.

What Can You Find Inside the Hotel

Burj Al-Arab

You can enjoy the luxurious decorations of the Burj Al Arab and spend beautiful times inside it, either by staying in it, as the lowest price for a one-night stay is 1,150 dollars or by having lunch or dinner in one of its restaurants. The tower contains 9 of the best restaurants in the world, which are distinguished by their beautiful views, unique decorations, and serving many luxurious foods and drinks.

The hotel includes 202 suites on two floors with bathrooms decorated with stunning mosaics. The suites feature breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf with many facilities, such as the luxurious royal suites, which could cost about 19,000 dollars for one night. They are characterised by natural lighting, elegant furniture of attractive colours, and special services like cinema and elevator.

There are also four indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a private one only for women. It’s interesting to know that gold covers about 22,000 square feet of the building’s interior.

The carpets furnished in the hotel were imported from India and South Africa. There are 30 types of the most luxurious and rare marble for floors and walls that were brought from Italy and Brazil, chandeliers were brought from Britain, and pillows and quilts are made of bird feathers imported from Iceland.

Burj Al Arab Restaurants

Burj Al Arab contains many famous restaurants that offer the best types of food from different countries, and we will learn about these restaurants in the next part.

Al Iwan Restaurant

You can enjoy tasting the most delicious Middle Eastern food prepared with special spices in a unique atmosphere of Arab décor, Arabesque seats, and golden columns. It is located on the first floor of the Burj Al-Arab hotel.

Summer Salt Restaurant

It is a Japanese restaurant that offers Japanese dishes and drinks from the hand of the most famous international chefs who prepare the recipes with Japanese steps, and it is located in the beach area in front of the Burj Al-Arab.

Bab Al Yam Restaurant

Eat the most delicious European and Middle Eastern dishes while enjoying a lovely view of the Arabian Gulf, and it is on the ground floor.

Al Mahara Restaurant

It is distinguished by its transparent walls made of acrylic with excellent tolerance to pressure, which shows marine life under the surface of the water. This restaurant allows you to enjoy eating the most delectable seafood from the hand of international chef Nathan Outlaw.

Sky View Café

There you can have the finest juices and cocktails specially prepared at an altitude of 200 metres above sea level, and it is on the 27th floor of the tower.

Junsui Restaurant

It is where you can enjoy Asian dishes in a place full of luxury in terms of décor, furniture, and service.

Majlis Al Bahar Restaurant

This amazing restaurant is located on a private beach in the Burj Al-Arab hotel. It is characterised by elegant and simple decorations, making it one of the most romantic restaurants in Dubai. The restaurant offers many kinds of the best seafood delicacies, in addition to many different types of grilled meats.

Al Muntaha Restaurant

Enjoy eating the most scrumptious international dishes, especially the French ones, with a full view of the city of Dubai as if you are above the clouds. The restaurant is located on the 27th floor of the tower.

Sahn Al Dar Restaurant

At that restaurant, you can enjoy a fantastic view with afternoon tea or Arabic coffee in the morning, and don’t miss watching live artistic performances and listening to oriental and Arabic music. You can find this restaurant on the first floor.

Food Journey Restaurant

The restaurant serves French-style seafood dishes and vegetarian snacks, located on Burj Al-Arab Terrace.

Scape Restaurant

The restaurant is one of the most famous Burj Al-Arab restaurants. It offers a beautiful view of Palm Island and Burj Al-Arab, in addition to its distinctive design, which reflects the hotel’s elegance.

Nearby Beaches for Relaxing Times

When visiting Burj Al-Arab hotel, you don’t just get to experience the fancy life it offers through the luxurious facilities and designs, but also you will have an opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the serenity of Dubai’s phenomenal beaches by the hotel.

Jumeirah Beach

Burj Al-Arab

Jumeirah Beach is a popular destination in Dubai for beach lovers, where they can lie on stretches of sand and practise snorkelling and diving in the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf. The beach also includes many luxury hotels and resorts; the most famous one is the Burj Al Arab. There are various fun and cultural activities in the surrounding area.

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach is a fantastic beach in Dubai, offering a magnificent view of the Burj Al-Arab. It is considered one of the best places for swimming, water sports, and relaxation, and it includes a calm atmosphere and is an ideal place for morning exercise.

Its location gives you great opportunities to take the most beautiful pictures of the famous Burj Al Arab hotel, and you can freely enter the beach, one of the most scenic beaches in the emirate.

The Best Fun Activities in Burj Al-Arab

Burj Al-Arab

There are many activities that you can do inside the Burj Al-Arab hotel, such as:

  1. Practising aerobics, wandering in the tower garden, and enjoying sitting amid the charming green nature available in the garden.
  2. Take wonderful memorial photos next to the dancing water fountain in the middle of the tower, which rises to more than 40 metres.
  3. One of the best leisure activities in the hotel is the cascading waterfall.
  4. Practising surfing in the waterfall, whose design comes in the form of steps of stone and water that move in arcs.
  5. Squash courts, or gymnasiums, are designed in the form of two halls with a large area and are distributed and equipped with the best equipment.

Burj Al Arab, an Award Winning Hotel

It comes as no surprise that Burj Al Arab Hotel has won many international awards, such as:

  • 2018 Leading Hotel Award from the World Tourism Awards.
  • The World’s Best Hotel Award 2018 by The Telegraph Ultra.
  • Best Hotel in the Middle East for 2018 from The Telegraph Ultra.
  • The leading hotel title in 2006, specifically in the World Tourism Awards.

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