You've got to love a hotel that has its own fleet of chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce and Mercedes vehicles and a helicopter. Soaring like a sail above the Dubai skyline at 321 metres high, the ultra-luxurious Burj Al-Arab is the city's most recognisable landmark and resides on its own man-made island off Jumeirah Beach.
The Burj Al-Arab is a study in hyperbole and over-the-top opulence announcing itself as ‘your personal palace'. Even if you are not staying in the hotel, you can dine at one of the six award-winning restaurants for lunch, dinner or tea and have a cocktail at the Skyview Bar 200 metres above sea level. Be sure to make a reservation in advance.
The Burj Al-Arab building is synonymous with Dubai with its instantly recognisable curved exterior. As the world's tallest all-suite hotel, it's a testament to what can be achieved.
The 5-star luxe hotel opened in 1999 and boasts an interior every bit as extravagant as its elegant exterior suggests. The interior colour palette was designed to reflect the elements: earth, air fire and water, with around 1,590sqm of 24ct gold leaf used as embellishment.
There are 202 luxury duplexes across 28 double storeys with each spacious suite offering jacuzzis and rain showers, personal butlers, pillow menus, views across the Arabian Gulf, dressing rooms, cocktail bars, libraries and even deluxe Hérmes amenities in some of the larger duplexes.
Even if you aren't staying overnight, there's plenty to gawk at within the hotel. The Burj Al-Arab contains the world's tallest atrium at over 180 metres, surrounded by golden columns and the dramatic Ellipse Fountain at the entrance.
The Al Falak Ballroom is inspired by an 18th-century Viennese opera house and features an enormous Swarovski crystal chandelier. Other facilities include an open-air swimming pool on the ground level, a private beach offering a selection of water activities and the Wild Wadi Water Park – an Arabian-themed fun park, complimentary for Burj Al-Arab guests.
Getting there: take buses 8 or 88 to Burj Al-Arab Hotel 1 and walk seven minutes to the hotel.