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Burj Al Arab – The Second Tallest Hotel In The World
Dubai is a place that holds a special fascination to the western traveller – it is a place that is not only comparable to any modern city in terms of amenities and infrastructure, it has also progressed faster than most other cities in the world.Considering the fact that around 30 years back Dubai was nothing more than a small fishing hamlet which didn’t didn’t even have access to electricity, it boggles the mind to think of the blistering pace at which Dubai has risen to be the financial nerve center of the middle east and a fascinatingly modern world city at the same time.
Dubai is home to not only the tallest man made building on earth (the Burj Dubai), but also the tallest and the second tallest hotels in the world. The tallest being the Rose Tower and the second tallest being the Burj Al Arab, the topic of this article. This article aims to provide you information regarding the Burj Al Arab. Read on for more.
The Burj Al Arab is the only 7-star hotel in Dubai. Its height is 321 meters (1,053 feet). There are 60 floors in the hotel, with a total floor area of 111,500 square meters (1,200,000 square feet). The height of the top floor is 200 meters. The height of the tower, including the antenna, goes to 321 meters.
The construction the Burj Al Arab began in 1994. The main architect of the hotel was Tom Wright. The hotel was built during a time when the oil boom in Dubai looked to be short lived and hence, to keep Dubai on the world map, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (the then crown prince of Dubai) asked the young team of architects and engineers (led by Tom Wright), to construct an iconic building with which Dubai could be identified.
It is interesting to note that none of the members of the team that constructed the Burj Al Arab had experience in building such tall structures before. The design of the Burj Al Arab was finalized to resemble a sail in the wind to encompass all that Dubai stood for and represented. It indeed turned out to be an iconic structure.
One of the main difficulties in constructing the hotel was the building of an off shore island 280 meters (920 feet) into the sea. For this purpose, 230 concrete piles, each 40 meters (130 feet) long, were secured in to the sand on the sea bed. The land required for the artificial island was reclaimed in 3 years. The hotel, as is apparent, is a massive structure and it contains 70,000 cubic meters (92,000 cubic yards) of concrete and 9,000 tonnes of steel. One of the primary features of the hotel is the atrium. The atrium of the Burj Al Arab is 180 meters (590 feet) high.
The Burj Al Arab has 202 bedroom suites. Each one is a lavish display of beautiful architecture, design and opulence. The smallest of the bedroom suites occupies an area of 169 square meters (1,820 square feet) and the largest bedroom suite occupies an area of 780 square meters (8,400 square feet).
The Burj Al Arab also has two prominent restaurants in its list of attractions. On of the restaurants (Al Muntaha) is located at a height of 200 meters, offering a view of Dubai. The other (Al Mahara) has an aquarium which holds 990,000 cubic liters (35,000 cubic feet) of water and some rare species of fishes. Sharks are also present in this aquarium.
The Burj Al Arab has been successful in doing what it set out to do – giving Dubai an iconic piece of architecture that would not only put it on the world map but would also help people the world over to identify Dubai with.