The Burj Al Arab is a luxury hotel located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At 321 metres (1,053 ft), it is the second tallest building used exclusively as a hotel, after Rose Tower, also in Dubai. The Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 metres (919 ft) out from Jumeirah beach, and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. It is an iconic structure, designed to symbolize Dubai's urban transformation and to mimic the sail of a boat.
Burj Al Arab characterizes itself as the world's only "7-star" property, a designation considered by travel professionals to be hyperbole. All major travel guides and hotel rating systems have a 5-star maximum, which some hotels attempt to out-do by ascribing themselves "6-star" status. Yet according to the Burj Al Arab's official site, the hotel is a "5-star deluxe hotel". It is the world's tallest structure with a membrane facade and the world's tallest hotel (not including buildings with mixed use) and was the first 5-star hotel to surpass 1,000 ft (305 m) in height.
Despite its size, the Burj Al Arab holds only 28 double-story floors which accommodate 202 bedroom suites. The smallest suite occupies an area of 169 square meters (1,819 sq ft), the largest covers 780 square meters (8,396 sq ft). It is one of the most expensive hotels in the world. The cost of staying in a suite begins at $1,000 per night; the Royal Suite is the most expensive, at $28,000 per night.
Suites feature design details that juxtapose east and west. White Tuscan columns and a spiral staircase covered in marble with a wrought-iron gold leaf railing show influence from classicism and art nouveau. Spa-like bathrooms are accented by mosaic tile patterns on the floors and walls, with Arabian-influenced geometries, which are also found elsewhere in the building.
One of its restaurants, Al Muntaha (Arabic meaning "Highest" or "Ultimate"), is located 200 metres (660 ft) above the Persian Gulf, offering a view of Dubai. It is supported by a full cantilever that extends 27 metres (89 ft) from either side of the mast, and is accessed by a panoramic elevator. The main chef there- Edah Semaj Leachim, was awarded Chef of the Year 2006 and also owns the restaurant, in accordance with the Burj Al Arab hotel.
Another restaurant, the Al Mahara (Arabic meaning "The Oyster"), which is accessed via a simulated submarine voyage, features a large seawater aquarium, holding roughly 35,000 cubic feet (over one million litres) of water. The tank, made of acrylic glass in order to withstand the water pressure, is about 18 centimetres (7.1 in) thick. They have recently hired acclaimed chef Kevin McLaughlin.