Dubai, once a pirate coast, today is a high-tech city of Bedouin flair, its old dwellings, narrow winding streets and Al Fahidi Fort providing an atmospheric insight to its historic past. In the souks there is much haggling and noise and from tightly packed bags of spices, the aroma of cardamom, cinnamon and cloves fills the air. This is a city of many contrasts, with old wooden dhows anchoring in front of futuristic skyscrapers made of chrome and glass.
The new symbol of the Emirates, the Burj Al Arab, is an Arabian tower that extends high into the sky, the only seven star hotel in the world built upon its own artificial island in the Persian Gulf. The hotelís exterior is shaped like a gigantic sail bent by the wind, a wonder of hotel design that is without equal.
The sound of water fountains mingles with Arabian melodies and combines to produce an almost meditative ambience, while dry ice silently emits mystique and enchantment. Expensive mosaics vie with mirror smooth surfaces and imaginative combinations of color.
This exclusive hotel is mainly frequented by clientele from the oil-rich Gulf States and its long list of VIP guests is no surprise, especially when considering that a nightís stay costs between 1,500 and 10,000 dollars!
The Al Muntaha Restaurant towers 200 metres above the Arabian Gulf and is reached by an express lift made of entirely of glass, its tables offering the finest Mediterranean cuisine as well as outstanding panoramic views.
This new symbol of Dubai, the Burj Al Arab, is a truly unique and exceptional world-class luxury hotel of the highest order.