The Burj Al Arab is an iconic landmark in Dubai and a must see, if you are visiting. Set on a man made island just off the Jumeirah beach, It’s one of my favourite buildings in Dubai. For me, the design is amazing. It’s only when you get close to the hotel that you appreciate the scale and size of it.

Burj Al Arab

The name of the hotel translates to – Tower of the Arabs and it’s one of the tallest hotels in the world. It was designed to mimic the appearance the sail of a traditional dhow (Arabian ship). Construction started in 1994 and the Hotel opened at the end of 1999. One of the more interesting facts I’ve seen is that it’s estimated that it’ll take 150 years for the hotel to break even! The interior has a huge atrium, extending almost the full height of the hotel. The interior design is incredibly lavish with bright colours and gold almost everywhere you look.

Unlike most hotels, you can’t just turn up and wander in. You need to either be a guest there, or have a reservation at one of the restaurants or bars. There’s a security checkpoint before you get onto the causeway that leads across to tho the hotel, where you will get turned away otherwise.

Burj Al Arab

If you want to treat yourself, I recommend you book afternoon tea in the Skyview Bar, where you’ll have great views along the coast from either side. The food is superb and you shouldn’t come away feeling hungry. If you visit, don’t forget to check out the fountains in the entrance lobby.

See more pictures of the hotel in my gallery


If you do make a reservation to visit the hotel, there’s a strict dress code, make sure you observe it if you want to get in!

The beach in front of and to the sides of the hotel is private, making it difficult to get onto unless you’re staying at one of the Jumeirah hotels there. If you want to photograph the hotel from the beach, the easiest way I’ve found to get out onto the beach is to go through the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, where you can now walk the full length of the beach, underneath the causeway and all the way along the other side.

If you want to photograph from the beach at sunset, you need to get onto the beach earlier (that’s sounds obvious I know!), because security at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel will stop you getting onto beach unless you are a guest, after a certain time.