Dubai is a great modern city and I would say one of its major attractions is its no cost spared architecture.
The Burj Al Arab is a prime example; commonly described as the only 7 star hotel in the world. While a 7 star rating does not really exist... From what I saw, and from what I have heard from friends who have stayed there, its hard to imagine how it could get more luxurious!
As much as I would have like to experienced staying over a night... The least expansive room for one of the nights I was in Dubai was $1,800... Pretty cheap compared to $18,000 for their top room!
So Jonathan and I settled for visiting the hotel and paying the three digit USD minimum spend at its SkyView bar.... Of course you cant just walk up the hotel and ask for a beer. You have to make reservations and provide information to clear a 7 point security check. Ok, I kid about the security check, but you do need a reservation.
The hotel is located 280 meters off shore on a man made island that is connected by a bridge to the main land, at the gate they politely ask for your reservation, its verifies and then they allow you to proceed.
Of course we were driven to the hotel due to the UAE's zero tolerance on drinking and driving!
They are serious, as per the US State Departments web site "Persons arrested for drinking and driving are often jailed for many days as they await a court hearing. Penalties may include hefty jail sentences, fines, and, for Muslims (even those holding U.S. citizenship), lashings."
The hotel is meant to resemble the sail of a dhow which is the traditional sail boat of the region. The main surface you see in the above pictures is actually made of a sail like material.
Outside the hotel we were greeted by 3 of the hotels white Rolls Royce Phantoms, just 3 of the armada they have. Then we were greeted and welcomed to the hotel.
Lets just say Jonathan and I did not make a bee line for the bar... We took some time to see the areas of the hotel that we could at that time since we were arriving at 10pm.
You enter the lobby and are presented by a cascade of dancing fountains flanked on both sides by enormous fish tanks.
The highlight is the atrium!
More pics in the full post!
The main floor of the atrium is lined with boutique shops and has on display this Swarovski crystal model of the hotel.
Next stop was elevator to the top to the SkyView bar.
Jonathan settled for some Japanese beer and I went for two Zubrowka vodka based cocktails. The first which I did not like because it ended up having liqorish and the second which was very nice. Not to our surprise a few of the cocktails on the menu were $500+ and a number of bottles were $5,000+.
Later that evening struck a conversation from two young ladies who lived in Washington DC and were after visiting Dubai going onto Afghanistan where they were born and emigrated from.
Unfortunately that was the end of our stay as it was getting late and we were both getting tired...
The view as we departed....
The Jumeirah Beach hotel as seen from the Burj Al Arab.
Later this week ill publish the rest of the pictures from from Dubai and Abu Dhabi... But here is a sneak peak of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building or structure in the world!