Burj Al Arab

With its ultramodern skyline, it's easy to forget that Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, was once a small town of Bedouin traders: at the Nad Al Sheba racetrack. High fashion and electronic stores are as popular as the gold souk. Dubai has now become a charming state for travellers and tourists to visit. And one of its causes is Dubai's highest tower - Burj Al Arab. If you are going to Dubai, do visit it! It's a marvellous hotel. It's not only the highest tower of Dubai but the highest tower of the world!

Burj Al Arab is the first tallest building used exclusively as a hotel. It is managed by Jumeirah Group and built by Said Khalil. Its construction started back in 1994.

Architect Tom Wright said, "The client wanted a building that would become an iconic or symbolic statement for Dubai. It needed to be a building that would become synonymous with the name of the country."

The architect wanted it to be a unique structure. He made it to appear like a boat's sail. Making this giant structure stand on the Persian Gulf was a daunting task. The engineers were facing great difficulty to accomplish this task.

But as they say ‘where there is a will, there is a way', the engineers did make it happen. They created a surface layer of large rocks which was circled with a concrete honey-comb pattern which would protect the foundation from erosion. After many problems which architects/engineers faced, Burj Al Arab finally stands on the Persian Gulf. It was completed in 1999 and cost $650 million.

It is said that it's the only seven-star hotel in the world. Burj Al Arab has 28 double-storey floors which accomodate 202 bedroom suites. It also has a marvellous ocean view! It is one of the world's best hotels. But, many travellers and visitors say that it is overpriced! After all it cost $650million to build why it shouldn't be?

One of its restaurants, Al Muntaha (Arabic meaning "Highest" or "Ultimate"), located 200 metres above the Persian Gulf, offers a view of Dubai. It is supported by a cantilever that extends 27 metres from either side of the mast. Burj Al Arab also has a ‘helipad' for helicopter landing.

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. World top tennis stars practised at Burj-Al-Arab. Roger Federer also played an unranked game on the ‘helipad' which was temporarily converted into grass tennis court.

So should I assume that after reading all of it, at least some of you have made up their minds to visit this spectacular manmade miracle on the face of the earth?

Are you all ready?


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