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Last updated: 01 February, 2023
Expert travel writer: Nicola Chilton

With its instantly recognisable sail-like shape rising from the waters of the Arabian Gulf, the Burj Al Arab is a true Dubai icon. Opened in December 1999 just in time for the millennium celebrations, the hotel dazzles with opulent interiors and jaw-dropping details such as 24-carat gold ceilings and the world’s largest atrium.

It’s pure hedonistic luxury. Al Muntaha, on the top floor, is home to French and Italian fine dining with a side of spectacular views. The luxury spa is a symphony of mosaic-clad columns and shimmering pools where your treatment might include gold leaf, diamond dust and frankincense.

The stretch of beach by the hotel is the loveliest the city has to offer. The Burj’s chic beach club ‘Sal’ is where you go to see and be seen in Dubai, and to nibble on Mediterranean delights in the adjacent restaurant housed in a mirrored cube.

The hotel is connected to the Madinat Jumeirah complex of restaurants, bars and shops, where little abra boats ply the waters, offering a fun way to get to dinner. You’re also within easy access of the restaurants in the other Jumeirah hotels on this stretch of beach – Rockfish and French Riviera are well worth wandering over to.

Surrounding area

The Burj Al Arab sits on its own private island, connected to the mainland by a 340-metre bridge, meaning – unusually for Dubai – there are no high-rises on either side, just open sea.

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Key facilities

Airport transfers*
Beach: < 5mins walk
Fitness centre
Fitness classes
Golf course
Hot tub
Parking: On-site (free)
Pool (adults only)
Pool (indoor)
Pool (outdoor)
Pool (kids)
Tennis courts
WiFi: Free

Food & drink

All inclusive
Kids menu
Restaurant on-site
Self catering
Additional charge

Room types


Room facilities

Air conditioning
Flat screen TV
Jacuzzi (private)
Pool (private)
Tea & coffee making facilities

Bedding options

2+ bedrooms
3+ beds
Connecting rooms
Rollaway/sofa bed

Bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Helicopter flights over Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)[7.3 miles]

Get you up close to Dubai’s world-famous landmarks, and put the sprawling desert city in perspective with an unforgettable helicopter flip.

Best for ages: 12+ | £160 | 1 hour

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Skydive over the Palm

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)[7.3 miles]

Skydive over the famous Palm Jumeirah for the ultimate adrenalin-charged Dubai experience and jaw-dropping, if surreal, Palm views.

Best for ages: 18+ | £200 | 4 hours

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Burj Khalifa

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)[10.9 miles]

At 828m, the Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building. Head up to the world’s highest outdoor observation deck for exceptional views of the city and desert beyond, and to learn Dubai history along the way.

Best for ages: 4+ | £30

Other worthwhile experiences in this destination if you have the time or the interest, closest first

Wild Wadi Waterpark Dubai

Wild Wadi Waterpark Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)[0.4 miles]

An extraordinary waterpark inspired by Arabian myths/legends (Sinbad and Juha) popularised in children’s stories, with crazy rides & surfing.

Best for ages: 4+ | £46

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Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)[0.8 miles]

A staggering replica of an Arabian walled citadel from medieval times, complete with towering sand-coloured buildings topped by wind towers, a touristy-but-fun covered souk, some great restaurants and bars, and a maze of meandering canals and lagoons plied by abras.

Best for ages: 10+ | Free

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Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)[2.9 miles]

Ski Dubai is located inside the Mall of the Emirates, with two ski lifts and a ‘chalet’ for hot chocolate mid-ski. Worth a look, if only for the novelty or wrapping up in ski wear when it’s 45 degrees Celsius outside.

Best for ages: 8+ | £45

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Woman in red dress enjoying art exhibition at the local gallery in Dubai

Alerskal Avenue art district

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)[4 miles]

This warehouse district, a vibrant community of all things arts, continues to go from strength to strength. It features exceptional regional art across multiple galleries, as well as the region’s first arthouse cinema, and a handful of hip cafes and one-of-a-kind design boutiques.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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Destination guides including or relevant to this place to stay


United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Dubai offers year-round sun, sand and sea, with a unique combination of Arabian culture, mega-malls and audacious architecture.

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