Burj Al Arab

Dubai’s most famous hotel is a seven star wonder of the world Reviews

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Dubai’s most famous hotel is every bit as extravagant and outrageous as you’ve been led to believe. The tallest hotel in the world when it was built back in 1999, the Burj appointed itself two stars more than official ratings allow and watched as the press inches, bookings and room rates rocketed.

The landmark building, whose sail-like structure recalls dhow-trading vessels and is a tribute to the region’s seafaring tradition, stands proudly on its own man-made island some 280 metres offshore and is linked to the mainland by a slender, gently curving causeway. Taller than the Eiffel Tower at more than 1,000ft, and only 200ft shorter than the Empire State Building, it has its own helicopter pad on the 28th floor to receive guests who prefer to fly the 25km from Dubai’s airport rather than ride in one of a fleet of 14 white Rolls-Royces across a bridge that shoots jets of flame to acknowledge the arrival of a VIP.

After the sleek and stylish exterior, the garishly overwrought interior can come as something of a shock; it’s definitely not a place for those with egalitarian sensibilities or an aversion to garish gilding. A triumphant waterfall cascades into the lobby and is flanked by floor-to-ceiling aquariums so vast the staff have to don scuba gear to clean them. Bedrooms are 8,000 square metres of 22-carat gold leaf that covers columns, ceilings, panels and every tap. Huge golden pillars reach up into the atrium: greens, reds and blues all vie for prominence in a colourful reminder that style in Dubai is as much a case of volume as it is of taste.

However, if you have the cash to splash, a night here will earn you unlimited holiday bragging rights – after all, how many people do you know of who have stayed in a (admittedly self-appointed) seven star hotel? Each room at the Burj is a duplex suite and there are 202 in total, including two royal suites on the 25th floor. All are equipped with the latest technology; internet access, a 42-inch plasma screen TV, and, in keeping with the sheer decadence, a remote control allowing you to observe who’s at the door and let your guests in without having to leave the comfort of your armchair.

The management at the Burj Al Arab pride themselves on their hotel’s highly personalised service; an entire army of staff (1,200 no less) to tend to your every need. Each suite has its own butler and each floor has its own guest service desk. An unbeatable view of Dubai’s coastline can be enjoyed from the Al Muntaha restaurant, which is suspended 200 metres (656 feet) above the Gulf and reached by an express panoramic lift travelling at six metres per second.

Be warned: treat yourself to a stay here and you may be reluctant to leave; the real world being too rude an awakening after such magnificence. If you can’t afford a bed at the Burj (a standard room will set you back a whopping Dhs3,850 a night) but still want to see the obscene affluence of its interiors for yourself, book yourself in for afternoon tea or cocktails. There’s a minimum spend of Dhs250 per person, but the Burj is the closest Dubai has to an Eiffel Tower or an Empire State, so it’s just about worth the extravagance.

By Time Out Dubai Staff
Time Out Dubai,


  • Location: Umm Suqeim, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 301 7777
  • Travel: Jumeirah Road
  • Website | Send mail
  • No. of Rooms: 202
  • No. of Floors: 27
  • Hotel Rating: 5 star

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Burj Al Arab On The Map


  • Activities: 
  • Sauna, 
  • Fitness centre/gym, 
  • Outdoor pool, 
  • Spa & Health club, 
  • Indoor pool
  • Room amenities: 
  • In-room safe, 
  • Balcony & Terrace, 
  • Mini bar, 
  • Television

User reviews

  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Spa & Health club

User reviews:

Posted by: christine zaiser on 22 Mar ' 13 at 15:00

I was with my family for afternoon tea and it really stood out for me - we travel a lot and have afternoon tea in the Dorchester, the Raffles in Singapore, the George V Paris and I have to say the food and service in Burj Al Arab was second to none. the little touches such as the birthday cake the flowers and the kids toys for my little grand child was really appriciated and toughtful.
Keep it up

Posted by: veronika lachmayr on 18 Mar ' 13 at 12:49

Great service, huge variety of food, classy ambience and so caring, warm smiley faces - my daughter was treated with great respect and we even got a birthday cake and some flowers for my mother.

Posted by: marianne zaiser on 18 Mar ' 13 at 12:16

Afternoon tea in Sahn Eddar is one in a life time experience.
7 courses of delicious food and great service with a smile.
the atmoshopere is really grand with live harpist music and table linen and lovely flower arrangements.
I loved the little choco boxes as a take away souvenir. When asked to make a group photo the team members could not be more attentive and helpful. Keep it up

Posted by: Gavin Paterson on 15 Jun ' 10 at 18:29
  • Would you go back to this hotel? No

We went fro drinks in Skybar as we were staying at Al Qasr, we waited over 10 minutes for our first drinks to be delivered, had to ask for nuts which were on everyone elses table, waited anohter 15 on a botle of wine, they couldnt even get the bill right. Very disappointing givent he perceived status of this hotel.

Posted by: baggy on 10 Jul ' 09 at 22:39
  • Best for: Spa & Health club
  • Would you go back to this hotel? Yes

The previous comment is a load of crap

Posted by: samera gir on 31 May ' 09 at 06:33
  • Best for: Spa & Health club
  • Would you go back to this hotel? Yes

My in laws were in town so I took them for the friday buffet last week to my diappiotnment the chef did not know how to make scrambled eggs all she did was crack the egg and mixed into the pan secondly there was no pasta station ,for a 5 star hotel the buffet was not upto the mark.They called it brunch when when we asked for hash browns and sausages they said that they had none but will get some from the downstairs restaurant.The only good thing was the dessert buffet which included wine jelly.
I would go back to the hotel but not for the buffet.

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