Burj Al Arab is claimed to be the one and only 7-star hotel in the world. Although it is disputed that ratings can not go higher than 5 stars, yet this luxury hotel, which is the fourth tallest hotel among all the hotels across the world, stands at a magnificent height of 1053 feet and towers over all the structures Dubai in United Arab Emirates. The Burj Al Arab resembles the sail of a ship is constructed on an artificial island which is around 280 m from the Jumeirah beach. Around 39% of the total height of the Burj Al Arab is just non-occupiable space. The name of the Burj Al Arab was just Dubai Chicago Beach Hotel due to a previous demolition of a hotel in the same area in 1997 after which the hotel was renamed as Burj Al Arab when Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum declared the new name.
The construction of the Island began in 1994 and the Burj Al Arab was designed by Tom Wright who was an architect from WKK Architects. Both the designing and construction were supervised and managed by Rick Gregory from WS Atkins. Initially the Burj Al Arab resembled the sail of Arabian vessel. The aim was to construct a building that would become a representative of the flavor of Dubai. Burj Al Arab , The Seven Star hotel was then built by Murray & Roberts which was a South African construction contracting firm and the Al Habtoor Engineering.The Burj Al Arab was officially inaugurated in December 1999.
Just a day at Burj Al Arab will reveal that the hotel isn’t 7-star for no reason at all. Most of the salient characteristics and attractions of the hotel required very intricate and intense engineering marvels if not rocket science! The hotel stands on the artificially constructed island and just to strengthen its base, the constructors had to drag at least two hundred and thirty long piles of concrete each of approximately 130 feet into the sand. The whole process of creating land in the sea took three years while it took lesser time than this to construct the Burj Al Arab. The hotel used up over ninety two thousand cubic yards of concrete and nine thousand tons of steel to be what it is today!
The hotel is managed by the Jumeirah Goup which takes care of the twenty eight two-storey floors of 202 magnificent bedroom suites. The hotel is so expansive that the smallest suite is 1820 square feet while the largest is 8400 square feet in area!But all this splendor doesn’t come cheap. The Royal Suite costs $ 18,716 per night and is therefore rated as the world’s twelfth most expensive hotel suite compiled by the CNN Go in 2012. Statistics and past records show that The Burj Al Arab is very popular with the Chinese because in 2011 and 2012, about 25 per cent of all bookings at the hotel were done by Chinese.
Al Muntaha means “Highest” or “Ultimate” in Arabic and lives up to its name by being 660 feet above the Persian Gulf and offers a splendid view of Dubai. Al Mahara meaning “Oyster” can only be reached through a simulated submarine voyage and it is a large aquarium with a capacity of 260,000 galleons of water. The aquarium alone is larger than the area of a whole flat people usually live in! The wall of the tank Al Mahara is made of acrylic glass so that it can withstand the pressure of such a large volume of water. The glass is thus, 7.1 inches in thickness.
There is a very small story behind the term “the world’s only Seven-Star hotel” which is exclusively used for the Burj Al Arab. This hotel of the Arabs has been the recipient of lots of limelight ever since its construction for being titled as “the world’s only Seven-Star hotel”. Yet, the hotel management shirks off the responsibility by declaring not to have ever made those claims themselves. They also say that they have never used the term ever even in their advertising. It is believed that the “Seven-Star” term was coined by a British journalist who first seemed to have visited the Burj Al Arab on a press trip before the official opening of the hotel. The journalist in her review described Burj al Arab as “above and beyond anything she had ever seen” and thus called it a seven-star hotel!
But, besides all the accolades and praises, Burj Al Arab has attracted criticism as well which all seems to be quite a contradiction given how well-designed the hotel actually is. All pertain to the hotel being constructed with very advanced technology and engineering feats which is a result of not the imagination of the Arabs or their technical prowess but due to excessive wealth that the country holds! But, whatever be the review, the truth is uncontested that the Burj Al Arab is a place to visit, if one has money in pockets and wishes to experience royal flavor all in one place!