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Burj Al Arab: What Makes it a 7-Star Hotel? (Updated 2024)

    The Burj Al Arab is one of the most famous hotels in the world and undoubtedly one of the most luxurious. A true icon of luxury! Rising from the desert sands like a beacon of luxury, the Burj Al Arab stands tall as the epitome of opulence. Dubbed the world’s most luxurious hotel, this 7-star masterpiece offers guests an experience unlike any other. From its iconic sail-shaped design to its extravagant amenities, the Burj Al Arab is truly a sight to behold.

    But what really makes it so unique and special as to receive the title of 7-star hotel? Join us as we delve into the history and grandeur of this Dubai landmark and discover what makes it one of the most sought after destinations in the world.

    What makes Burj Al Arab a 7-star hotel?

    The Burj Al Arab, the iconic 7-star hotel located in Dubai, is one of the most famous landmarks of the city and an icon of the luxury, opulence and splendor of the UAE! Known for its luxurious amenities and stunning architecture, it is considered one of the most exclusive and sumptuous hotels in the world. The hotel, which stands at a towering height of 321 meters (1050 ft), is designed to resemble the sail of a ship, making it a true architectural marvel. The hotel’s unique design, coupled with its prime location on a man-made island, offers guests unparalleled views of the Arabian Gulf.

    Its unmistakable shape attracts visitors from all over the globe who admire it from the nearby coast of Jumeirah Beach or from the square in front of the entrance gate, while its rooms and its interiors are reserved for only a few lucky people.

    The high level of service, the luxury and prestige of its rooms, the fine materials of its fittings and its excellent restaurants have earned the Burj Al Arab the title of “7-Star Hotel” that has made it famous in the world. But there is much more to it than opulence and glitz. Indeed, the Burj Al Arab has a fascinating history, which makes it a real milestone in the development and growth of Dubai as a modern metropolis and global icon of luxury, as well as of the entire UAE. Let’s find out more!

    Burj Al Arab was the first symbol of Dubai’s modern development

    The Burj Al Arab is not just a hotel, the Burj Al Arab is an icon. And its history is closely linked to the history of the United Arab Emirates.

    In the early 90s the Emirates were in the midst of their economic development and slowly became a paradise for wealthy people from Europe and Asia. But they were very far from today’s reality.

    In fact, the UAE were practically unknown to most at the time, nothing more than a small nation on the maps of the Middle East.

    Burj Al Arab in Dubai and a Girl on the beach in front of the 7 star hotel Burj Al Arab in Dubai

    Dubai in the early 90s was far from being the global capital of today. Tourism was practically absent and the economy was heavily driven by the oil business. Until the late 90s, the tallest building in the Emirates remained the World Trade Center with its 149 meters high, just 38 floors.

    The government’s desire was to differentiate the economy, attract tourists, and turn Dubai into a destination for wealthy and powerful people.

    In 1993 the British architecture firm Atkins was approached by the Government of Dubai to design a building that would “create an identifiable link for people around the world with the UAE”. In other words: find a way to make the Emirates known to the world.

    This is how Burj Al Arab becomes reality, designed by British architect Tom Wright.

    The works ended in 1999, the year in which Burj Al Arab opened its doors to its prestigious customers. The project of the iconic building, which in the wishes of the ruler should “to provide the UAE with the powerful visual symbol of the same significance Sydney’s Opera House is to Australia or Paris’ Tour Eiffel is to France” was carried out with great confidentiality.

    Burj Al Arab has a unique location along the wonderful Jumeirah Beach

    Burj Al Arab stands on a man-made island at 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirah Beach and is connected to the mainland by a private bridge. The whole complex offers exceptional privacy: only guests and those who have a reservation for one of its restaurants can approach the island. The entrance avenue is separated from the city by a gate with a checkpoint controlled by private guards.

    The area around Burj Al Arab is an Arab-style neighborhood occupied by luxury homes and prestigious villas and nearby there is one of the most beautiful beaches in Dubai, Jumeirah Beach.

    The shape of the Burj Al Arab resemble the sail of a ship. At the top there is a private heliport, at a height of 210 m (689 ft) above ground (where Roger Federer and Andre Agassi once enjoyed a round of tennis).

    Inside, guests are greeted with a grand lobby that features a towering atrium and a central fountain. The hotel offers 202 luxurious suites, each with its own private reception area and a panoramic view of the Gulf. The suites are designed with a blend of Arabian and modern styles, featuring marble floors, gold leaf accents, and plush furnishings. Guests can choose from a variety of room options, including sumptuous suites spanning two floors and featuring its own private cinema, private bar and private whirlpool in the room.

    The hotel offers a wide range of amenities, including exceptional dining options, a private beach, an award-winning spa, and a fitness center. The hotel’s Talise Spa offers an extensive menu of treatments, including traditional Arabian hammam experiences, as well as a sauna, steam room, and indoor pool. Guests can also enjoy a range of water sports and beach activities, such as jet skiing, parasailing, and free entry to a huge water park for family fun.

    But it’s not just the hotel’s amenities that make it a must-see destination. The Burj Al Arab is also home to a variety of unique and exciting experiences, such as high teas and aperitifs at its famous Skyview Bar, offering guests the chance to enjoy a full English tea, a drink or a light meal while taking in the breathtaking views from the floor-to-ceiling windows of the bar, located on the top floor of the Burj Al Arab.

    At Burj Al Arab guests arrive by helicopter or Rolls Royce and there are 8 staff members for each guest

    Guests can arrive at the hotel with a private helicopter or are picked up at the airport by a butler and accompanied to the hotel with a luxurious Rolls Royce. Burj Al Arab owns one of the largest Rolls Royce fleets in the world.

    Burj Al Arab guests can choose one of the luxurious suites worthy of hosting a royal family: up to 780 sqm, double Jacuzzi, personal lift, personal office in the room, private bar, private cinema in the room.

    Those with simpler needs can choose one of the most affordable suites: starting from a minimum of 170 sqm with all the comforts, possibility to choose the fabric of the blankets and sheets and the type of pillow (among 9 different types), private office in the room, jacuzzi and bathroom set by Hermès.

    Each suite occupies two floors connected internally by a royal staircase or a private elevator. The beds and furnishings are of the best quality: the mattresses cost around $ 15,000 each.

    An interesting fact about the service is that the guest/staff ratio is 1:8. The guests of the most prestigious suites have an entire staff of butlers at their disposal.

    Each floor has a team of butlers ready to take care of your every wish. When you approach your room, the butlers stand up and greet you by name.

    In Burj Al Arab there are 10 prestigious restaurants and bars that also serve golden cocktails

    Burj Al Arab offers its guests two magnificent pools overlooking the ocean, a selection of 10 restaurants and bars serving dishes made by award-winning chefs, unlimited access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark, an extraordinary water park located near Burj Al Arab.

    Its bars serve the best cocktails in Dubai and here you can also find a cocktail that has pure 24 carat gold among its ingredients, its name is Element 79, like the atomic number of gold.

    Starting from the famous Al Mahara restaurant, renowned for its seafood specialties, its intimate atmosphere, the wonderful aquarium and the setting that will make you seem to dine in a restaurant in a city lost in the depths of the ocean, a kind of contemporary Atlantis, the gastronomic offer of the Burj Al Arab has much more!

    Do you want to live an unforgettable experience having dinner or lunch in one of the exclusive Burj Al Arab restaurants?


    Or you could treat yourself to a luxurious aperitif at Dubai’s trendiest bar, Burj Al Arab’s Skyview Bar, with a sensational view of the city’s skyline!


    Al Muntaha is another great restaurant and offers a more traditional fine dining experience. Located on the 27th floor, the restaurant boasts breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf and the city skyline. The menu features a mix of European and Middle Eastern cuisine, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. For a more casual dining experience, there’s the Junsui, a high-end Asian buffet. The decor is inspired by the Far East, with traditional lanterns, bamboo, and water features creating a serene ambiance. The menu features a variety of Asian dishes, including sushi, dim sum, and Thai curries.

    Al Iwan is Burj Al Arab’s traditional cuisine restaurant, where diners can indulge in traditional Middle Eastern dishes. The restaurant features elegant decor, with plush seating and intricate mosaics, creating a luxurious and authentic atmosphere. Bab Al Yam, the international buffet at Burj Al Arab offers a wide variety of international cuisines with an emphasis on seafood. The restaurant features a modern and elegant decor, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf.

    But these are just some of the Burj Al Arab’s restaurants, alongside which stand some of the best bars in town, which also serve light meals, afternoon tea and excellent and luxurious aperitifs. Among these, the most famous is the Skyview Bar, located on the 27th floor of the hotel. The bar offers panoramic views of the city and the sea, making it the perfect spot for a sunset cocktail or a nightcap. The bar serves a variety of drinks, including classic cocktails, champagne, and a selection of fine wines.

    Al Mahara Burj al Arab Restaurant Dubai

    At Burj Al Arab you can dine while watching beautiful fish swim in the depths of the ocean

    The Al Mahara is undoubtedly the most prestigious restaurant in the Burj Al Arab. This seafood restaurant serves haute cuisine signed by some of the best international chefs (which change every few years) and transports diners to the depths of the ocean.

    The restaurant’s centerpiece is a large seawater aquarium which also houses rare species of sharks, filled with exotic fish and sea creatures, providing a mesmerizing backdrop for a meal. The menu features a variety of seafood dishes, including succulent lobster, fresh oysters and many other specialities, which represent the best of international cuisine.

    ☞ Read More: Discover the Restaurants and Bars of the Burj Al Arab

    In Burj Al Arab you can find luxury boutiques, jewelers and gold everywhere

    The lobby of Burj Al Arab is immense: there is a large aquarium, an incredible waterfall and a spectacular glance: if you look up you can see the internal balconies of all floors up to the roof.

    The chromatic effect is remarkable: the whole Burj Al Arab was designed using colors and patterns that recall the Arab tradition.

    But what makes the Burj Al Arab hall truly unique is the presence of high-end clothing and accessories boutiques. There is also no shortage of jewelers who sell precious jewels and diamonds.

    In truth, gold is everywhere in Burj Al Arab: even the walls, the elevators, the finishes of furniture and rooms are lined with gold leaves.

    How many stars does Burj Al Arab officially have?

    Officially the Burj Al Arab is classified as a 5-star hotel, which is the highest ranking of the official classifications.

    The name of a 7-star hotel derives from the fact that the newspapers have repeatedly described that 5 stars are few for such a luxurious hotel.

    What’s the price of a room at Burj Al Arab?

    To stay in the luxury of one of the spectacular suites of the Burj Al Arab you spend from $ 1300 per night for the smallest type of suite, with standard treatment and without any special request.

    To stay in the Royal Suite you spend from $14,000 to over $20,000 per night depending on the period.

    Check Burj Al Arab Rates, Room and Suite Options and Deals

    Is it possible to visit Burj Al Arab?

    Burj Al Arab attracts thousands of visitors every day, but most of them have to be content with seeing it from afar.

    The only way to visit Burj Al Arab (if you are not staying in one of its suites) is to have a reservation in one of its restaurants or bars.


    Great news: it is now possible to visit the Burj Al Arab with a guided tour! Many travelers have dreamed of peeking into the opulent interiors of the world’s most famous and luxurious hotel, and now there’s an affordable way to visit and learn more about the ins and outs of this pinnacle of international hospitality.

    The tours are available every day for a limited number of travellers, so it is advisable to book in advance (especially in the high season). You’ll also get to try the famous golden-flake cappuccino, and there are even convenient options that include round-trip transportation from your Dubai hotel.

    What are the best experiences and tours to do at Burj Al Arab?

    Elevate your Dubai trip with an Aperitif or an High Tea while admiring the Dubai skyline at Burj Al Arab’s Skyview Bar

    Visiting the Skyview Bar on the 27th floor of the Burj Al Arab is a must-do for anyone looking to experience the luxury and grandeur of this iconic hotel. Most people choose to visit the bar by booking an experience which allows you to visit the Burj Al Arab from inside and enjoy the breathtaking view of the Dubai skyline while indulging in an afternoon high tea ritual, complete with a series of delicious sweet and savory specialties, including salmon, caviar, and champagne.

    Alternatively, guests can opt for an aperitif, which is available in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options and is served with the same wide variety of snacks, appetizers, and sweets. The bartenders at the Burj Al Arab are known to be some of the best in Dubai and their artisan cocktails are said to be unmatched in terms of quality and taste. Whether you choose to have tea or an aperitif, the view and atmosphere of the Skyview Bar is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

    A fine dining experience in the best restaurants of Burj Al Arab

    This experience allows you to make an unforgettable gastronomic journey: you will have dinner in the 4 best restaurants of Burj Al Arab and you will enjoy a 7-course menu prepared by the award-winning chefs.

    If you prefer something more intimate, book a 7-course lunch or dinner at the wonderful Al Mahara submarine restaurant and you will have a truly unique experience.

    The prices of Burj Al Arab restaurants are similar to those of any starred restaurant in Europe: what you pay for is the experience you are living, the place where you are living it and the uniqueness of the moment.

    In my opinion it is an experience that deserves to be lived at least once in a lifetime.

    ☞ Read More: Discover the Restaurants and Bars of the Burj Al Arab

    How to get to Burj Al Arab

    There are no metro stations near Burj Al Arab, however buses 8, 81, 88 and X28 stop nearby and can be taken near the metro stations of Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta or Dubai Internet City.

    Reaching it by taxi is very easy since any taxi driver knows it and there is a taxi rank right in front of the main gate.

    Burj Al Arab and Wild Wadi Waterpark are located along one of the Hop On Hop Off double-decker bus routes, if you have a pass for these buses or have one of the Dubai City Cards (GoDubai or iVenture Card) it will be super easy to reach the Burj Al Arab.

    Would you like to experience staying in one of the most famous and exclusive hotels in the world?


    Take Your Dubai Trip to the Next Level!

    Are you planning your trip to Dubai and want to make the most of this incredible city? Do you want to discover the most beautiful corners and the most hidden gems of the UAE? Then here are some guides that will surely come in handy for you:

    DUBAI TRAVEL GUIDE: The Best Things to Do and See in Dubai
    ABU DHABI TRAVEL GUIDE: The Best Things to Do and See in Abu Dhabi

    Don’t miss the most beautiful activities in the UAE: admire the city from the top of the Burj Khalifa, a day trip to Abu Dhabi to see the world famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque or an exciting Dubai Desert Safari.

    And if you’re looking for something truly unique, why not stay in a fabulous resort that looks like a sand castle straight out of the Arabian Nights fairy tale? This memorable place really exists and is located in an oasis in the middle of the desert. Find out more in our guide to the Best Hotels in the Liwa Desert!

    Also here you will find our other guides and reviews of the best hotels in Dubai:

    ARMANI HOTEL DUBAI: Review and Curiosity about the Burj Khalifa Hotel
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    BEST VILLAS WITH PRIVATE POOL IN DUBAI: Dozens of Options for Every Budget, for a memorable stay
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