Burj al Arab Jumeirah

2 Jumeirah St - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

When it opened in December 1999, the Burj al Arab—a sail-shaped, all-suite skyscraper hotel built on an artificial island—put Dubai on the map as an over-the-top travel destination and became a landmark. Even today, the Burj al Arab sets the standard for outsized luxury with Rolls-Royce airport pickups, a helipad, gold-plated iPads, and butler-serviced duplex suites equipped with beds with mirrored ceilings, double Jacuzzi bathtubs, and full-size Hermès toiletries. The cool architectural exterior conceals a vivid interior with acres of gold leaf, dancing fountains, and room decor so distractingly jazzy that it may make guests feel as though they’ve drunk the world’s largest cup of Arabic coffee. (This is not the place for admirers of subtlety or minimalism.) The Terrace, an ambitious project even by Dubai standards, added nearly 2.5 acres of cabana, beach, pool, and restaurant space to the resort in 2016. Come sunset, though, the place to be is the 27th-floor Skyview bar.

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Burj Al Arab: A Shining Jewel in Dubai

If you want to splurge in Dubai, spend it on this hotel. Burj Al Arab is the jewel and the ultimate highlight of Dubai. From it’s sail-like architecture to it’s colorful interior and gilded elevators, Burj Al Arab is the first class hotel. We spent a night in one of the panoramic one bedroom suites on our 40-day round the world trip in July 2013. It was really amazing! Our suite had two - yes two - floors of living space with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and beyond, as well as views of Burj Khalifa in the distance. Beautifully deep blue, red and gold fabrics conjure up royalty. As you would expect, the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Our floor butler (yep, there’s a butler on each floor to attend to your every whim and need) was very accommodating and always available to find us power adapters, the $5,000 gilded iPad, boarding passes, or some late night munchies. We got an early anniversary surprise: they brought us champagne and a beautiful chocolate cake, as well as half-dozen red roses that they brought for me to give to my lovely wife! Incredible service and attention to details. Room service was, like all other aspects, first class. The waiter set our table as if it were a formal dining room, and the food was superb. We felt like true royalty staying at the Burj Al Arab. I don’t know if we’ll ever make it back to Dubai, but if we do, we’ll save up for another night at the Burj Al Arab.

Views and Eclectic Cocktails in the Burj Al Arab Skyview Bar

On the 27th floor of the soaring Burj Al Arab, sample an array of eclectic drinks and tapas like foie gras terrine, Arabic hot and cold mezzeh, as well as a comprehensive afternoon tea (that might just include champagne). Live jazz or piano music provides accompaniment to the unparalleled views. Don’t try to head over after the gym: men are required to wear a collared shirt and trousers, and women must wear a suit or a dress. (UAE national dress is fine.)

Floating above it all in the Burj Al Arab: Skyview Cocktails

The photo says it all.

Romantic Dubai

Desert romance blooms along Dubai’s coastline. The Beach Bar & Grill at The One & Only Mirage (lots of one and only’s in Dubai) serves up an appetizing platter of seaside seduction in a laid-back (yet refined) ambience with Arabic, Mediterranean and international dishes. Set among the rolling greens of the Emirates Hills, Le Classique dishes out classic French cuisine such as foie gras and confit duck with savior fare. Graceful al fresco dining affords a view of the hills and the sparkling skyline of Dubai as the backdrop – comme c’est romantique! To spice things up, slink on over to La Parrilla for Latin American hit flavors such as empanadas, soft shell crab and Argentinean tenderloins. The views of the nightly tango dancers, Arabian Gulf and Burj Al Arab are all gratis, on the house.

Burj Icons

Before landing in Dubai, I was unsure if I would love the city or hate it for the opulence and excessive lifestyles. I was surprised to find how much I appreciated the city and country of the United Arab Emirates. Beyond the fantastical amounts of money that have been spent in the UAE, I was inspired by people’s ability to be creative and see their dreams emerge into reality. As a creative person, I was amazed at what the human mind could develop and construct. From the Burj al Arab hotel (pictured here), to the design of the new Dubai Metro stations, and the impressive Burj Khalifa tower, Dubai is a place of architecture and design icons. Now, if only their recycling and sustainability programs would take off...

Dinner at Al Muntaha (atop the Burj Al Arab)

We are welcomed at The Burj by flame-throwing fountains (the water variety are so plebeian). Several white Rolls Royces line the drive. The Burj decor is beyond ostentatious.I would be disappointed with anything less in Dubai. It’s not sophisticated, not subtle, this decor. Painting each floor a subsequent color of the spectrum is a sophomoric design choice. My friend Pat and I approach the Al Mahara restaurant desk. “Workin’ hard, or hardly workin’?” jokes Pat, which elicits snickers from me and sullen stares from the women behind the desk. Pat and I are curtly directed to the Al Muntaha desk. The women at the Al Muntaha desk leads us to an elevator and we are whisked to the top of the Burj Al Arab. Wow...! Rest of post: http://bit.ly/QI9zn4

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