The opulent Burj al Arab, famed for being one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, is often dubbed as the 7-star hotel of Dubai. While that’s not an official hotel rating, it does indicate that this hotel offers a much more exclusive experience than your average 5-star luxury hotel in the United Arab Emirates.
Visiting the Burj al Arab doesn’t necessarily mean spending the night at Burj Al Arab. You read that right: There are actually other ways to be a guest of the hotel that come with a less hefty price tag.
We visited this emblematic seven star hotel on our most recent Dubai vacation and were even treated to a tour of the palatial Royal Suite. It may have been one of the rather expensive activities in Dubai that we chose to do (the other one being our luxurious desert safari). Then again, to us, it was worth every penny.
Are you ready to find out how you can get inside Burj Al Arab? Then let’s dive in. Here’s how to visit this iconic Dubai hotel.
Six ways to visit Burj al Arab from the inside
You can’t just walk up to the Burj Al Arab for a sneak peak. Dubai’s 7-star hotel is located on its own man-made island and the only way to get there, is by crossing the hotel’s private bridge (or by landing on the helipad). There’s a checkpoint at the entrance to the bridge where you’ll need to show your proof of reservation.
Note that, whichever of the following options you choose to go with, reservations are required.
Here’s an overview of the different types of reservations that allow access to this iconic Dubai landmark.
Staying at the Burj al Arab hotel
This is an obvious one but staying at the Burj al Arab Jumeirah is the only way to enjoy the full service package. Unfortunately, due to the hefty price-tag, that’s not an option for most visitors to Dubai. Then again, this is an all-suite hotel. You can’t call the standard 169 sq m (1,819 sq ft) suite with butler service a room, now can you?
Nightly rates for a double suite start at AED 3 600 (which is equivalent to €910, $980 or £755) but that’s in low season under the sweltering summer heat. In ultra high season, the nightly rates can be as high as AED 18 050 (which is equivalent to €4 560, $4 915 or £3 778) for a double suite. On average though, in shoulder season, nightly rates vary around AED 7 500 (which is equivalent to €1 890, $2 050 or £1 570) for a double suite.
Then again, if you’re a hotel geek like we are, then you might just consider booking a stay. We didn’t because we were on a family trip with a 10 and 12 year old who is considered an adult. But when we ever visit Dubai without the kids, we do plan to stay and experience this luxurious hotel to the fullest even if it’s just for one night.
Inside Burj al Arab tour
This new way to visit the jewel of Jumeirah was introduced in 2021. We jumped to the occasion and booked our Inside Burj al Arab experience during our family trip.
Although we were lucky enough to enjoy a private version, this is actually a shared tour. It takes about 90 minutes to complete. You can extend your experience by opting for a cocktail or dining package.
The Inside tour includes transportation from the checkpoint to the hotel in a buggy, a warm welcome with tea and dates, a tour of the lobby, a grand tour of the dazzling Royal Suite (when it’s not booked), an interactive dining experience (you don’t actually eat, it’s just an illusion) and plenty of exhibits around the Burj al Arab’s architectural design, the aquarium and Dubai turtle rehabilitation center as well as the prestigious events that have taken place at the hotel.
You end your visit with a stop at the boutique and, depending on the package you booked, a refreshment at the UMA Sky Deck or a meal at one of the restaurants.
This Burj al Arab tour isn’t just branded as exclusive, it really feels exclusive too. The hosts and butlers go above and beyond to make you feel welcome and give you the royal treatment. The only points of criticism we have, is that the tour feels a bit rushed and that you don’t have the opportunity to explore the hotel’s commons areas on your own after your visit. You’re basically completely separated from the guests who stay at the Burj al Arab Dubai. But overall, the tour provides an excellent opportunity to experience the level of service of this famed 7-star hotel in Dubai without breaking the bank.
The standard tour is priced at AED 249 per person or AED 599 for a family of two adults and two children. The family package wasn’t available yet when we visited and so we paid full price for the four of us.
Prices for packages that include a mocktail, cocktail, champagne or a 24-carat gold cappuccino at the UMA Sky Deck range between AED 299 and AED 369. When you’re looking to add a light meal (a pizza or wagyu burger) at this lounge, you’re looking at prices up to AED 454.
Prices for packages that include a lunch, dinner or high tea at the Sahn Eddar lounge range between AED 599 and AED 839. The four-course dinner package at restaurant Al Iwan is priced at AED 699.
Pool access (with optional cabana)
A third way to visit the Burj al Arab is by purchasing a pool pass. It allows access to the exclusive Burj al Arab Terrace where you’ll find the Sal beach club with a pool area, cabanas & a lounge. This acclaimed 10,000 sq m leisure facility stretches 100 m out into the Arabian sea.
Spending a day at The Terrace is one of the best things to do Dubai. The pool area features two pools: a 612 sq m freshwater family-friendly pool with shaded swim-up bar and a 812 sq m adult-only saltwater infinity pool. Both Burj al Arab pools are accessible from 10 am to 7 pm.
The private beach comprises 1 000 tonnes of soft white. The cool thing is, that the wind has no effect on this special type of sand which was actually important from Saudi Arabia.
The standard pool pass is priced at AED 800 per person but this price includes a food and beverage credit of AED 400.
If you’re looking for something more exclusive, then you could consider renting one of the cabanas for a day. Do note that only children aged 12 and up are permitted. The air-conditioned cabanas feature shaded sun loungers, indoor seating, mini-bars, TVs and other perks such. The most luxurious ones even offer a private bathroom and shower.
There’s a luxury, a royal and a panoramic cabana. Prices vary between AED 1 500 for 2 persons at the luxury cabana and AED 10 000 for up to 6 persons at the panoramic cabana. Refreshments are included in all packages. And of course, you’re free to order a meal from the Sal pool menu for an additional fee.
All prices mentioned apply to both weekdays and weekends.
Book your pool pass on the Jumeirah website.
Why not indulge in an afternoon tea at Burj al Arab? The Sahn Eddar atrium lounge, located on the hotel’s 1st floor, offers the opportunity to indulge in some of the finest Arabian teas and the most sumptuous delicacies from the Middle East.
This family-friendly activity is available every day from 3 pm to 5:30 pm. and is priced at AED 590 (AED 490 for children). Note that you can’t enjoy outside views from this lounge but you do have a direct view of the water feature, the aquarium and the spectacular 180 m high atrium designed by Khuan Chew.
Book your high tea on the Jumeirah website or book the combined package of your choice:
Drinks at the 27th floor
This is the second-highest floor and you can easily spot it from afar. It’s the part of the building that’s perpendicular to the rest of the signature sail-shape.
Enjoy an exclusive cocktail at the Skyview Bar which offers the most amazing panorama over Dubai. From Palm Jumeirah to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, the view is quite impressive. And so is the selection of exclusive drinks. Note that the Skyview Bar is only accessible to guests aged 16 and over. A minimum spend of AED 200 per person applies.
A more intimate aperitif experience is available at gastropub Gilt, located on the same floor.
Book your sundowner experience on the Jumeirah website.
Lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants
Finally, you can also book a table at one of the hotel’s restaurants.
Lunch is available at Sahn Eddar. For dinner, there’s the family-friendly Al Iwan restaurant on the 1st floor, the romantic Al Muntaha on the 27th floor and the gastronomic Ristorante L’ Olivo at Al Mahara seafood restaurant on the ground floor. This last one is pretty spectacular thanks to the matching aquarium that sets the mood.
Note that a minimum spend applies at most – if not all – Burj al Arab restaurants. That amount is usually AED 200 per person.
Book your lunch or dining experience on the Jumeirah website or book the combined package of your choice:
Getting to Burj al Arab
Overnight guests can arrive in style thanks to the Rolls Royce Phantom pick-up. But if you’re just visiting, then here’s how to reach Dubai’s 7-star hotel:
- By taxi: All drivers know where to find this iconic hotel.
- By metro: The closest metro stop is Mall of the Emirates. From there, it’s best to take a taxi.
- By bus: Buses 8, 81 and X28 all have stop near the hotel.
- By private car: Valet parking is available.
Note that a casual-chic dress code applies for the Inside Burj al Arab tour and inside the bars and restaurants. So, be sure to dress to impress.
Ten Burj al Arab facts
Now that you know exactly how to experience the delights of the most iconic 7-star hotel, we’ll let you in on some exciting facts about the Burj al Arab Jumeirah.
- The hotel’s design is inspired by a sail, a tribute to the Emirati seafaring heritage. It was conceptualized by British architect Tom Wright.
- Burj al Arab translates as “Tower of Arabs”.
- The hotel has 28 floors… multiplied by 2 because all floors – and therefore all 202 expensive hotel suites – are two-tiered.
- All guests enjoy complimentary access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark.
- Just like in the gold souk, all that glitters in the hotel really is gold. Approximately 1,790 sq m of 24-carat gold leaf was used to embellish the hotel’s opulent interiors.
- The 18th floor is home to the high-end Talise spa. The relaxing indoor pool of Burj al Arab offers amazing views over the Arabian gulf. Guests can book it for a private moonlight swim with floating rose petals. This romantic candlelit setting is available from AED 6000 per couple. Oh yes, the Talise spa is where honeymoon dreams are guaranteed to come true.
- A fish and turtle hospital is housed at the basement. Every year, this sanctuary cares for over 200 rescued turtles. Thousands of turtles have been rehabilitated and released from this location.
- The helipad has been the decor for quite some stunts. It’s where Tiger Woods teed off, where Roger Federer and Andre Agassi played a game of tennis and where kitesurfer Nick Jacobsen jumped off it with his kite board.
- Over 3 500 fish of no less than 56 species live in the Al Mahara aquarium.
- The smallest suite is the Deluxe Marina Suite. It measures 169 sq m (1,819 sq ft) while the largest measures over 780 sq m (8,395 sq ft).
When will you visit Dubai’s 7-star hotel?
That’s it for this guide on visiting the Burj al Arab Dubai. Now we can’t wait to find out when you’ll be visiting this palatial hotel in the United Arab Emirates. Which of these visiting options will you choose? And which part of your Burj al Arab visit are you mostly looking forward to?
Or maybe have you visited, or even stayed at, this gorgeous property before? Or at any of the other 7-star hotels in the world? if so, then we would love to hear all about your experience.
Either way, the comment box is all yours.