The Burj al Arab, "Tower of the Arabs", also known as "Arab Sail" is an all-suite 7-star luxury hotel located on an island of reclaimed land 280 metres offshore Jumeirah beach and connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. Its iconic shape is by architect Tom Wright, designed to symbolise Dubai's urban transformation and to mimic the sail of a ship.
Construction of Burj al Arab began in 1994. It was built to resemble the sail of a dhow, a type of Arabian vessel. Two "wings" spread in a V to form a vast "mast", while the space between them is enclosed in a massive atrium. When completed, it was the tallest dedicated hotel in the world at a height of 321 metres, but it has now been surpassed by even higher hotel towers. It is illuminated at night by choreographed lighting representing water and fire.
The interior of the hotel is all gold and glitter as can be expected. There is a restaurant below sea level with an entire wall a huge aquarium, where sharks swim past your table. Another restaurant is pure opulence; a panoramic lift goes all the way to the top for fantastic views from the Al-Muntaha restaurant over the sea, with the man-made Palm Islands, and on the land side the Jumeirah Hotel, Wild Wadi Park and the whole of Dubai City. The suites come with a brigade of highly trained butlers, and to top it off, you can upgrade your experience at Burj al Arab with your own chauffeur driven Rolls Royce!