Burj Al Arab
Burj Al Arab (Arabic: برج العرب,Tower of the Arabs) is a luxury hotel located in Dubai,United Arab Emirates. At 321 m (1,053 ft), it is the fourth tallest hotel in the world, however 39% of its total height is made up of non-occupiable space. Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirah beach and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. The shape of the structure is designed to mimic the sail of a ship. Sometimes referred to as "the world's only 7-Star hotel", its star rating is disputed.
The beachfront area where Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel are located was previously called Chicago Beach. The hotel is located on an island of reclaimed land280 meters offshore of the beach of the former Chicago Beach Hotel. The locale's name had its origins in the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company which at one time welded giant floating oil storage tankers on the site.
The old name persisted after old Hotel was demolished in 1997. Dubai Chicago Beach Hotel remained as the Public Project Name for the construction phase of Burj Al Arab Hotel until Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the new name.
Burj Al Arab was designed by architect Tom Wright of Atkins. The design and construction were managed by Canadian engineer Rick Gregory also of WS Atkins. Construction of the Island began in 1994. It was built to resemble the sail of a dhow, a type of Arabian vessel. Two "wings" spread in a V to form a vast "mast", while the space between them is enclosed in a massive atrium. The architect Tom Wright said "The client wanted a building that would become an iconic or symbolic statement for Dubai; this is very similar to Sydney with its Opera House, London with Big Ben, or Paris with the Eiffel Tower. It needed to be a building that would become synonymous with the name of the country.
The architect and engineering consultant for the project was Atkins. Fletcher Construction from New Zealand was the lead joint venture partner in the initial stages of pre-construction and construction. The hotel was built by South African construction contractor Murray & Roberts and Al Habtoor Engineering.
The building opened in December 1999.
Several features of the hotel required complex engineering feats to achieve. The hotel rests on an artificial island constructed 280 m (920 ft) offshore. To secure a foundation, the builders drove 230 forty-meter (130 ft) long concrete piles into the sand.
Engineers created a ground/surface layer of large rocks, which is circled with a concrete honeycomb pattern, which serves to protect the foundation from erosion. It took three years to reclaim the land from the sea, while it took fewer than three years to construct the building itself. The building contains over 70,000 m3 (92,000 cu yd) of concrete and 9,000 tons of steel.
Inside the building, the atrium is 180 m (590 ft) tall.
Burj Al Arab is the world's fourth tallest hotel (not including buildings with mixed use). The structure of the Rose Rayhaan, also in Dubai, is 11 m (36 ft) taller than Burj Al Arab.
Burj Al Arab has attracted criticism as well "a contradiction of sorts, considering how well-designed and impressive the construction ultimately proves to be. The contradiction here seems to be related to the hotel’s decor. "This extraordinary investment in state-of-the-art construction technology stretches the limits of the ambitious urban imagination in an exercise that is largely due to the power of excessive wealth." Another critic includes negative critiques for the city of Dubai as well: "both the hotel and the city, after all, are monuments to the triumph of money over practicality. Both elevate style over substance. Yet another: "Emulating the quality of palatial interiors, in an expression of wealth for the mainstream, a theater of opulence is created in Burj Al Arab … The result is a baroque effect".