The Operation of the Dubai Seven-Star Hotel
Out of the Persian Gulf rises a yacht made of sparkling glass. The tallest hotel in the world, it is Dubai's crowning achievement. People are transported in luxurious cars across an ocean causeway to the hotel's own artificial island. VIP guests arrive by helicopter on a suspended helipad, a disc hovering hundreds of feet above the water. At the entryway, fireballs erupt, and a fountain sprays water into the opulent, gold-lined atrium. Visitors are greeted with rose water, dates, and coffee by ushers as they are shown to two-story suites with personal butlers. Welcome to Dubai's seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab. Obviously, the 1999-opened Burj Al Arab is not a seven-star hotel because there is no such thing. Not even a six-star rating is available. The hotel, operated by the resort business Jumeirah, describes itself as the world's most opulent five-star establishment. However, the Burj's extravagantly attentive service and overall splendor have earned the hotel a seven-star rating.
From the floor to ceiling windows in the Burj, visitors can see a city speckled with fantastical high-rises and several cranes. Dubai, an emirate of the United Arab Emirates, has seemingly developed overnight; it was formerly a dusty oil state and, more recently, a sandy bedouin village with pearl divers and fisherman. In reality, oil is driving Dubai's quest to rank among the world's greatest cities, but not in the way you may think. Dubai's oil supply is depleting. In the following ten years, it ought to be entirely gone. Dubai's ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has pushed his nation into a more modern industry: tourism, as the source of its initial income has been declining. We'll study how the Burj Al Arab emerged from the Persian Gulf in the part after this.
The Burj Al Arab Hotel
The resort company Jumeirah International presented Tom Wright with its vision for the Burj Al Arab in 1993. Jumeirah desired an iconic structure that could rank among the most famous structures on the planet. Price played no role. Wright and his company, W.S. When Atkins & Partners began to plan, they utilized a "Pictionary test" to see if someone could identify the Burj from a brief sketch. The architects used the characteristic shape of an Arabian dhow, or yacht's sail, as a breathtakingly inventive homage to Dubai's former fishing days. Jumeirah also planned to build its opulent hotel away from the coast so that it would stand out from the nearby construction. Jumeirah did not want its second beach resort to be overshadowed by the massive tower, which is only 197 feet shorter than the Empire State Building. The yacht hotel would consequently rise appropriately from the Persian Gulf, connected by a causeway that would be accessible to the hotel's Rolls Royce fleet exclusively.
However, restoring land from the sea is very challenging. An island that rests on a bed of sand held in place by friction took two years to build. To hold the enormous structure, workers dug steel piles into the seabed. To fortify the island, they used precast concrete "shed" units, which are hollow blocks with specialized designs to lessen the power of waves. The building was then filled with sand that was scraped from an offshore seafloor by workers. But the island isn't just a concrete-supported sandcastle. In addition to a 1,053-foot building, it also supports three layers of basements that were excavated from the sea. Even after establishing a sandy island 919 feet offshore, architects and engineers had to create a structure that could endure hurricane-force winds, seismic earthquakes, and corrosive air.
A steel exoskeleton, highly reflective glass, a mast, and the iconic fabric sail make up the Burj. The exoskeleton frames the shape of the sail with a V-shaped bow out. Stretching over pre-tensioned arches, two layers of Teflon-coated fiberglass cloth join to girders on two storeys. The fabric softens the light that enters the atrium during the day. The scrim acts as a display screen for a vibrant light show at night. The pole rises 197 feet above the top of the structure and is separate from the exoskeleton. Beyond the straight line of the mast and curved sail, two buildings protrude. At a height of 656 feet above the water, the Sky View Restaurant is perched on the edge of the mast. A circular helipad on the opposite side of the structure appears to be hovering in front of the sail. However, the hotel itself is where the majority of the Burj Al Arab's magic takes place. The atrium, the suites, the service, and the gold will all be covered in the part that follows.
Inside the 7 Star Hotel
If you enter the Burj Al Arab's soaring atrium, you may mistakenly believe that you have entered a palace, a luxurious, undiscovered tomb, or a Star Wars-style futuristic senate chamber. A third of the hotel is devoted to the atrium, which rises 590 feet above the lobby. Ocean-blue undersides on the lower levels fade to an ambient light green as they get closer to the atrium ceiling, making it difficult to tell inside from outside. Layers of scalloped white balconies are lined with doors leading to the suites. Heavy, 22-karat gold-gilded pillars rise many levels, and between them, gold spandrels leap and crisscross. A jet launches a stream of water 138 feet into the atrium's open space every half hour. The Burj Al Arab does not have a boring check-in counter to clog up its gently lighted atrium. Ushers take guests to their suites after a personalized greeting and the offering of cool towels, coffee, and dates. There, visitors meet with a personal butler and check into their accommodations in private.
Only suites—two-story suites with marble stairs, full-size Hermès toiletries, and pillow menus with 13 options—are available at the Burj Al Arab. The smallest accommodations at the Burj Al Arab, a misnomer if there ever was one, start at 558 square feet. They have all of the opulent amenities found in the most opulent five-star suites, such as a living room, lounge, private bar, king-size bed, dressing room, and Jacuzzi. The butler-drawn bath that each guest chooses can be paired with champagne, caviar, or strawberries. But the accommodations at the Burj Al Arab continue to be extremely opulent. The 25th double floor is entirely occupied by two Royal Suites. The 2,559 square foot space is decorated with leopard print, gold, and marble, and the master bedroom is home to a revolving canopy bed. The exceedingly wealthy riffraff living in less upscale accommodations can be avoided by Royal Suite guests thanks to a private elevator and movie theater.
If visitors want to leave their suites, which they don't have to because butlers can provide exquisite room service, they can choose from six restaurants and bars. The underwater-themed Al Mahara restaurant offers an aquarium-encircled dining space and a virtual submarine ride. Additionally, visitors can unwind in the tiled spa or visit Jumeirah's Wild Wadi Water Park to enjoy some of Dubai's intense heat.