Work commenced in 1994 when land reclamation began to form the island on which the hotel is built. The hotel itself took around three years to complete and opened in late 1999.
It is one of the most expensive hotels in the world, and its publicity materials state that it is the only 7-star hotel in the world. Actually, star ratings only go up to five, and officially the Burj Al Arabi Hotel is a five star deluxe hotel.
The building is record-breaking and world-beating in many respects:
The Burj Al Arab is one of the most expensive hotels in the world, with the largest suites costing many thousands of dollars per night.
Credit for the design of the building is usually given to W.S. Atkins and partners. Tom Wright (Thomas Wills Wright) is sometimes quoted as the architect of the Burj Al Arab Hotel.
The concept for the entire Jumeirah Beach Resort complex, which also includes the nearby Jumeirah Hotel, was initiated by Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai.
We were able to visit the hotel in early 2000 shortly after it opened. A voucher costing 100 dirhams (around 18 pounds sterling) gave admission and could be spent inside the hotel.
The interior is breathtaking, like a mythical palace from an ancient kingdom. Everywhere the most sumptuous and expensive materials have been used. The hotel offers total luxury. Every evening at sunset, a light show is projected onto the fabric-covered facade facing in towards the land. It signals the start of another night of extravagance at the Burj Al Arab Hotel, to be enjoyed by a wealthy few.
Even if you can't afford the cheapest rooms at just over 1000 dollars a night, or would rather spend your money on something else, it costs nothing to enjoy the remarkable sight of the Burj Al Arab Hotel from the public beach to the north