(MENAFN- Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA))
Dubai – The iconic Burj Al Arab hotel is already a symbol of Dubai. Those who travel to the emirate seek to pass by the sail-shaped hotel to take photos from a distance, whether from the beach or the bridge that connects the building to the mainland. Until today, typically, only those who stayed for at least one night could get to know the interior of the Tower of the Arabs. But that will change from this Friday, October 15, when the Inside Burj Al Arab tour will be launched, which will allow tourists to quench their curiosity about the hotel considered the most luxurious in the world.
The tour starts outside the hotel
ANBA made the tour and brought a little about this unmissable visit, which starts outside the Burj. Next to the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, visitors are warmly welcomed with lemon and mint juice at the Inside Burj Al Arab lounge. Then, groups of up to twelve people take the exclusive golf cart for the tour, which will take them to the hotel, stopping to take pictures at a strategic point with a complete view of the building.
Inside the hotel, the group is welcomed by a friendly hostess who offers gel alcohol and cold washcloths. Theatrically and joyfully, she initiates the 90-minute experience by telling a little about the hotel's history and what will be seen next.
The hotel lobby: a visual delight
The tour starts at the majestic lobby. There begins the feast for the eyes that is the interior of the Burj Al Arab. The attention to every detail of the decoration signed by interior designer Khuan Chew brings together vibrant colors in colorful carpets, natural lighting, golden columns, and an aquarium as you climb the escalators that lead to a fountain, a spectacle in its own right, forming 42-meter water arcs in the air. The lobby's ceiling is 180 meters in height and overlooks the 25 floors of suites, with curved shapes and gradient colors.
The panoramic elevator has a unique view of the serene beaches of the Arabian Gulf and takes visitors directly – and very quickly – to the 25th floor (which would be the 50th floor in an ordinary building, as all suites have two stories) 200 meters up from the ground floor.
On the 25th floor, we reach the door of the royal suite, which was deactivated about a year ago to become part of the tour inside the hotel – a one-night stay in it used to cost USD 25,000. A young butler welcomes visitors and tells stories of this spacious and opulent two-story apartment that has already hosted celebrities from Nelson Mandela to Selena Gomez.
The majlis of the royal suite
Lots of gold, inshallah! The round bathtub in the suite's bathroom is carved in Italian marble, and if you prefer to shower, the box is covered with 22 to 24-carat gold tiles, and even the showerhead is golden. The bedroom ladybug wallpaper is unique and hand-stitched with gold thread.
Visitors are amazed by the luxury and the highest quality of materials used in the suite and the description of the services offered.
The suite has a private dining room that can seat up to twelve people. The oversized chairs are upholstered in colorful fabric and jaguar print, and the ceiling above the table is painted with clouds to look like the sky. A Murano glass chandelier represents the sun. The room has hosted royalty, musicians, and movie stars.
The famous gold tiled bathroom
Another suite room is the majlis, a typical Arab meeting room, and the Burj could not miss this colorful and vibrant space. The room is decorated in shades of pink and orange. The first version of the decoration was rejected as“not pink enough.” In the master suite, the bed turns like a carousel at the touch of a button.
At the end of the visit to the royal suite, say“Cheese” for the photo on the staircase with a colorful rug and jaguar print, reminiscent of the Versace style.
In front of the royal suite, the tour continues. Another presidential suite was deactivated and transformed into the Experience Suite, a Burj Al Arab museum with stories and high-tech interactive experiences.
One of the royal suite bedrooms
In the architect's studio, visitors can learn more about the hotel's architecture and interior design, with blueprints, sketches, fabrics, and many stories on the conception of the projects by Tom Wright and Khuan Chew.
Every design detail inside the Burj Al Arab reflects the vision of Dubai emir Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who envisioned an aesthetic inspired by Arab styles from across the Middle East with a unique contemporary interpretation. Chew was tasked with bringing this vision to life, with a bold choice of colors, fabrics, materials, and finishes defining the interiors inspired by the four elements: fire, water, earth, and air, in addition to the desert of the United Arab Emirates and Arab and international motifs.
Detail of the architect's room in the Experience Suite
Burj Al Arab has nine restaurants offering unique dining experiences inspired by high-standard world cuisine. Visitors can experience a little of the atmosphere of one of the Burj al Arab restaurants in the Experience Suite, at a table for up to six people, and a virtual menu with some of the dishes offered.
The Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Group lead research initiatives in biology, marine conservation, and ethical fishing practices to protect the environment and wildlife in the Arabian Gulf. In this virtual aquarium, visitors can learn more about the fish conservation project and the sea turtle sanctuary.
The Burj Al Arab has hosted iconic events
One room in the Experience Suite is dedicated to iconic moments the Burj Al Arab has hosted throughout its history. Some of the sporting events held at the hotel's helipad are highlighted, such as with golfer Tiger Woods and a tennis friendly between Andre Agassi and Roger Federer. Driver David Coulthard's Formula 1 car and overalls are on display at the venue. Coulthard made donuts on the Burj Al Arab's helipad.
End of tour
There are also interactive rooms with true stories from the hotel and virtual reality screens. Then, visitors can take more pictures on the spot and only discover the background of the images at the end of the tour. Closing the experience, Arab coffee and dates are served.
Visitors then descend via an indoor elevator and complete the tour, which naturally features a gift shop with unique items from local designers, such as clothing, jewelry, incense, and decorative objects. In the end, it is possible to have a drink at the UMA bar, created exclusively for visitors.
The Burj Al Arab is 14 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris and 60 meters shorter than the Empire State Building in New York. The first artificial island off the coast of Dubai was built for the hotel. The first sketch of the Burj Al Arab was done on a napkin. In the rooms, a menu offers 17 types of pillows.
The golf cart that takes visitors to the hotel
Visitors can take the tour at any time between 9:30 am and 8:30 pm GST, with groups of up to 12 people departing every 11 minutes from the lounge. Visitors need to schedule the tour through the hotel's website , with tickets starting at AED 399 (about USD 108 at the current rate).
It is possible to add experiences to the tour, such as lunch at one of the hotel's restaurants, enjoy the famous cappuccino with gold leaf, or drinks at the UMA bar, opened for the tour.
Daily rates at Burj Al Arab cost between USD 1,720 and 11,820, at the current rate, according to the hotel's website.
On the outside, the architecture signed by British Tom Wright has a structure made of metal, glass, and white canvas resembling a sail on a boat. Construction began in 1994, and the hotel opened in December 1999. Managed by the Jumeirah hotel group, this is one of the tallest hotels in the world, standing at 210 meters high and with 25 floors – each suite has two stories. The Burj is on an artificial island 280 meters away from Jumeirah Beach and is connected to the mainland by a private bridge.
The Burj Al Arab transformed Dubai's skyline and became a global icon. The construction was a catalyst for the city's development, with innovations and cutting-edge architecture and engineering used in other buildings in the emirate. Today, the Burj al Arab is a symbolic link between Dubai's maritime past and the cosmopolitan city the emirate has become.
Translated by Elúsio Brasileiro
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