Burj Al Arab is one of the most famous hotels in the world and it is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Although it is a 5-star luxury hotel some people refer to is as being a 7 star hotel. The site on which the 321 m (1,053 ft) hotel stands on is an artificial island of 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirah Beach and it is connected to mainland with the use of a private,beautiful curving bridge.
Burj Al Arab is considered to be the fourth tallest hotel in the world and its shape renders the sail of a ship. The Chicago Beach used to be the name of the beachfront area near Burj Al Arab because Chicago Bridge & Iron Company used to keep their oil storage tankers on this area.
The name stuck with the site even if the old Hotel was brought down in 1997. Everybody thought that the hotel will be called Chicago Beach Hotel and even the Public Project Name remained the same during the construction but every rumour was vanquished when Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the new name: Burj Al Arab.
But who is responsible for the design of this magnificent luxurious hotel? The British architect Tom Wright of WS Atkins PLC designed the hotel and the Canadian engineer Rick Gregory also of WS Atkins supervised the construction. The artificial island started to be built in 1994. The shape of the island copies the sail of a dhow,dhow is a type of Arabian vessel.
Tom Wright mentioned that the hotel is symbolic for Dubai and it started to be an iconic image just like Eiffel Tower is for Paris or London is for Big Ben. The pre-construction was handled by Fletcher Construction from New Zealand and the construction itself was done by the by South African construction contractor Murray & Roberts& Al Habtoor Engineering.
The thing that can be observed from the get-go is the structure of the hotel, the two wings that form a “mast”, the space between them making way for the huge atrium. The 5 star hotel opened for the public in December 1999.