Exclusive interview with ‘Inside Burj Al Arab’ GM
From the moment it opened its doors, the Burj Al Arab became the reference for luxury and elegance. Nested on the shores of the pristine Dubai shoreline, only guests were permitted to enter the acclaimed 7-star property, giving it an ambiance of mystery and exclusivity.
Times have changed, and now the Jumeirah Group offers discerning travel enthusiasts and residents alike the rare opportunity to witness one of the most luxurious hotels in the world by taking the Inside Burj Al Arab tour.
Economy Middle East spoke to Muhannad Al Khateeb, General Manager of Inside Burj Al Arab.
1- What separates Burj Al Arab from other luxury hotels?
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is Dubai’s most iconic hotel and a global icon of Arabian Luxury, and also the flagship hotel of Jumeirah Group. It is one of the world’s most photographed superstructures, as the elegant sail-shaped hotel redefines the meaning of luxury hospitality.
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is home to some of Dubai’s most exquisite destination dining experiences, such as the Michelin-starred Toque Al Muntaha and the ultimate lifestyle destination at SAL. In 2022, The hotel was awarded Leading Luxury Hotel and Best Hotel Interior Design at the Leaders in Hospitality Awards. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah was also recognized as the Number One City Hotel in North Africa and the Middle East by Travel + Leisure, as well as Middle East’s Leading All Suite Hotel at World Travel Awards.
2- When did inside ‘Burj Al Arab’ launch?
Inside Burj Al Arab Jumeirah opened its doors in October 2021, providing a unique opportunity for people to enjoy an intriguing journey of discovery and an exclusive glimpse into the ‘original home of luxury’.
3- What is the idea behind it?
We wanted to give people the opportunity to discover its magic for themselves and be part of its captivating story. Specially curated for small groups, it is an opportunity to experience the ultimate in luxury service and hospitality.
Welcoming local visitors who have grown up under the towering presence of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah as well as international visitors, it is an experience befitting of the city and one truly unique for guests – showcasing the incredible caliber of luxury hospitality in Dubai and giving visitors a stunning window into Burj Al Arab Jumeirah’s guest experience.
Led by a team of specially selected staff, the 90-minute butler-guided hotel tour takes guests on an immersive journey of discovery, to hear the stories behind Dubai’s world-famous hotel and uncover what makes the international icon of the UAE a landmark of architectural innovation.
4- What other immersive experiences are there other than the butler-guided tour?
In addition to exploring the famous hotel atrium and the Royal Suite – the pinnacle of luxury – visitors to Inside Burj Al Arab will also get to relive history through the curated Experience Suite’s digital interactives, bringing the magic of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah to life. They will see where it all started and wonder at the vision behind creating a global icon with detailed designs from the original architect. There is also the chance to revisit some of the awe-inspiring events, sporting feats, and cultural moments hosted at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, including the decks from David Guetta’s spectacular United at Home lockdown performance in 2021.
A must-visit at the end of the tour is the exclusive outdoor lounge ‘UMA’. Providing an exceptional setting for visitors to take in the shimmering views of the Arabian Gulf and stunning sunsets, UMA serves up a mouth-watering selection of world-class delicacies and Burj Al Arab Jumeirah’s infamous mixology. For the ultimate culmination of this unforgettable experience, visitors can also reserve a table to enjoy signature dining in one of the hotel’s award-winning restaurants.
5- How has it performed since the launch?
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah has always piqued the interest of people around the world and with Inside Burj Al Arab they now can discover the untold stories of the world-famous landmark and experience the ultimate in luxury service and hospitality. Since we launched the tour, the feedback has been incredibly positive with hotel guests, UAE residents, and international travelers, all enjoying the experience. It has been really encouraging to receive many five-star reviews.
6- What part of the property are guests most impressed by?
The Royal Suite is the pinnacle of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah’s guest experience putting the guests center stage. Its beautiful, original interior is just one of the many reasons why people travel to Dubai from all over the world to stay at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Teams of designers, decorators, and craftsmen have therefore made sure that its incomparable features are presented to the celebrated standards enjoyed by our hotel guests, providing our Inside Burj Al Arab visitors with an opportunity to walk where royalty, celebrities, world leaders, Hollywood A-listers, and musical mega-stars have walked before whilst exploring and adoring the vibrant colors and intricate details.
However, Inside Burj Al Arab is much more than simply a tour of this luxurious piece of Dubai’s history. It is a fully immersive journey of discovery, fully brought to life through the curated Experience Suite’s digital interactives to give people the opportunity to discover its magic for themselves and be part of its captivating story.
7- Has the concept translated into more room nights?
For most, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is seen as a hotel beyond reach, known for its iconic, surprising architecture, sumptuous design, and service beyond expectations. Inside Burj Al Arab has been designed to provide the inclusive exclusivity that Jumeirah strives to deliver.
8- How do you protect the privacy of in-house guests?
The tour has been designed to ensure that the privacy of our in-house guests is upheld while creating an unforgettable experience for visitors. All aspects of the Inside Burj Al Arab Tour are appropriate to the exclusive nature of the hotel and the Jumeirah brand.
Guests staying at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah enjoy complimentary access to Inside Burj Al Arab and we also provide preferential rates to our loyalty members and in-house guests at Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts in the UAE where they can book Inside Burj Al Arab tickets directly on our website or through the hotel concierge.
9- Will the concept be here for a limited time only?
Dubai is a world-class destination and Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is amongst the icons of the city that has an international appeal. The experience uncovers what makes Burj Al Arab Jumeirah a true icon and the ‘original home of luxury’, and gives visitors an insight into the ambition, vision, and sheer audacity behind its creation. Inside Burj Al Arab will continue to be a one-of-a-kind immersive experience for visitors and residents.