Hotel Review: The Burj Al Arab, Dubai

The Burj Al Arab hotel was for a long time the very embodiment of Dubai, it’s glass sail-like structure an one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. The arrival of the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa – might have unseated the Burj Al Arab from this position, but have the many new luxury hotels in the city done the same? Luxury Travel Beat set out to find out.

Entrance to the Al Maharan restaurant

I arrive on this emirate late on a Friday night. It is at the airport that I get the first feel for what awaits me, as the hotel has arranged for their airport service to pick me up. A very friendly driver hands me flowers as I sink gratefully into an air-conditioned Rolls Royce, my reprive from a balmy Dubai night. We drive through quiet, orderly and pristine streets to the Burj Al Arab (The Arabian Tower), whose technicolour-lit silhouette announces its presence long before we arrive at the man-made island it stands on. I am dropped off by the hotel’s entrance into the arms of what I can only describe as a royal arrival.

The Arrival: The hotel’s signature Marhaba welcome is the epitome of true Arabian hospitality. Bellboys dressed in tradition UAE garb help you out of the car and into the hotel lobby, where hostesses are at hand to give you a refreshing cold towel, cold rose water, dates, Bakhoor and Arabian coffee  to help ease your transition from the world as you knew it to the Burj Al Arab. A world which is preempted by a lounge area so spectacular you start losing your breath from here. I marvel at the large waterfall ensconced within the 180 m tall lounge (it can fit the entire Statue of Liberty in it) lounge before being escorted to my room, which is where check-in takes place.

The room: Or rather the suites, since the Burj Al Arab is an all-suite hotel. Its 202 residences are spread over 28 floors, each with a stupendously beautiful view of the Arabian Gulf as well as a private butler. Luxury Travel Beat stayed in the most basic of suites in the hotel, which at 170 square metres (1,830 square feet) was more than twice as large as some of the suites I’ve stayed at in Europe. In-suite technology includes 93 cable televisionchannels, two in-house television channels, a vast array of DVDs screened on 42” plasma screens with surround sound, a business desk with laptop, scanner, complementary broadband wireless internet connection and private facsimile.  An in-suite electronic system makes it possible to perform tasks such as opening the floor to ceiling windows curtains and switching off the lights in the suit with a mere fingertip.Every suite benefits from a range of unique first-class flourishes, including an extensive selection of full-sized complimentary Hermés amenities (his&hers soaps, shower-gels, shampoos and conditioners, Kelly Kaleche lotion and perfumes for the ladies and Tres Hermes Homme deodorant and perfume for men) and a pillow menu with 17 options.

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Hotel Amenities: In what is clearly a Dubai tradition, the hotel has a whooping 8 restaurants from which guests can choose from. I fell in love at first sight with and sampled the Al Mahara (Oyster Shell) restaurant, whose sumptuous sea food is served in a wondrous, subterranean setting. I was told more couples are proposed to here than anywhere else in Dubai, and it is easy to see why. The main, circular dining area and private
dining rooms are lit by the glow of enormous seawater aquaria and adorned by very exquisitely beautiful table settings. The Burj Al Arab’s lavishly decorated Assawan Spa & Health Club is located on the 18th floor, and features a decor strongly reminiscent of bathing pools from ancient Middle Eastern civilizations. It offers designated ladies and gentlemen’s relaxation areas, both offering La Prairie, THÉMAÉ and  Voya-based treatments.Separate indoor infinity pools, jacuzzi’s and treatment rooms overlooking the ocean complement the spa, along with saunas, steam rooms and plunge pools. Additional facilities include a squash court and a fitness centre

Luxury Travel Blurb: Dubai’s famous Jumeirah Beach is but a short complimentary buggy drive away.  Some of the hotel’s 8 restaurants offer breakfast, so if you are having a hard time deciding where to dine later in the day time, sample one you think you might enjoy during breakfast.

All photos by Cynthia Wamwayi.

The Lowdown: The Burj Al Arab,  Tel +9714 301 7777. Rates from £1,530 a night

Luxury Travel Beat’s trip was made possible by British Airways, which offers year-round low fares and has an extensive global route network flying to and from centrally-located airports.


  1. A world which is preempted by a lounge area so spectacular you start losing your breath from to post a comment to your blog. You are commenting using your Twitter account.thanks i realy like your article. keep working 🙂


  2. A world which is preempted by a lounge area so spectacular you start losing your breath from to post a comment to your blog. You are commenting using your Twitter account.thanks i realy like your article.thanks i realy like your article. keep working 🙂


  3. Stelin Robort says:

    It is looking very nice.I really appreciate your blog.
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  1. […] ( hotels 7 star ( Delights ( Review: The Burj Al Arab, Dubai ( Posted Dec 25 , 2011Views Views3 google_ad_client = […]


  2. […] honour of staying at the exquisite – if a tad over the top for my European sensibilities – Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai. A month after that, yet another Jumeirah hotel, the then newly-opened Jumeirah Frankfurt hotel, […]


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