March 16, 2014

0166, 1034 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (Dubai) - Burj Al Arab

Posted on 06.04.2012, 16.03.2014
The first postcard is very representative and suggestive for the current state of the emirates, combining in a appropriate way the past, the present, and even the future. I said here that in Dubai is the world's only Seven-Star hotel (officially rated Five-Star Deluxe). It's about Burj Al Arab (Tower of the Arabs), which, with its 321m, it's now (2014) the fourth tallest hotel in the world. For a decade, since its opening in 1999, until the inauguration of the Rose Rayhaan by Rotana, was the tallest, being exceeded also since then by the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai (2013) and The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong (2011).

It was built on an artificial island 280m out from Jumeirah beach, and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. Its shape was designed by architect Tom Wright of WS Atkins PLC to mimic the sail of a dhow, a type of Arabian vessel. Two "wings" spread in a V to form a "mast", while the space between them is enclosed in a massive atrium (182m), also the tallest in the world. The wide open balconies flank two sides of te atrium. At the front of the building, and forming the third wall to the atrium, is a geometric double-skin membrane of PTFE-coated fibreglass, which both helps to insulate the atrium space and acts as a canvas for images projected onto the face of the hotel.

At night it's illuminated by choreographed lighting representing water and fire. The hotel have also two restaurants, Al Muntaha (Highest or Ultimate), located 200m (660 ft) above the Persian Gulf, and Al Mahara (Oyster), which is accessed via a simulated submarine voyage, and features a huge seawater aquarium, holding 9,900,000 l. Despite its size, the hotel holds only 28 double-story floors which accommodate 202 bedroom suites. The smallest occupies an area of 169 m2, and the largest covers 780 m2. Three-room apartment where I live has less than 100m2.

Prices of rooms vary from approximately 1,000 USD to 27,000 USD per night. If I sell my apartment, maybe I would be able to sleep two nights at the Burj Al Arab. What you can offer a hotel in exchange of 27,000 USD I don't know and, frankly, even if I could afford, I wouldn't have the curiosity to find out on my own skin. But you can get an idea visiting the official site of the hotel.Anyway, "both the hotel and the city, after all, are monuments to the triumph of money over practicality. Both elevate style over substance."

About the stamp, which depicts a falcon, I wrote here.

Burj Al Arab - Wikipedia
Burj Al Arab - Jubeirah

Sender 0166: Ganesh Potphode (direct swap)
Sent from Dubai (United Arab Emirates), on 27.02.2012
Sender 1034: Mircea Ostoia (direct swap)
Sent from Dubai (United Arab Emirates), on 28.02.2014

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