Built on its own artificial island, the hotel can be reached by causeway (in one of its courtesy white Rolls Royces) or by helicopter, straight to its heliport cantilevered out from its top floor. (The heliport has also served as a grass tennis court for Andre Agassi and Roger Federer, and a golf green for Tiger Woods.)
Also extending from the top floor is the Skyview Bar, with sunset views over the Gulf, including the artificial Palm Jumeirah island and The World archipelago.
Inside, the superlatives mostly translate into extreme gaudiness, with gold leaf applied more for quantity than design. There is little subtlety in the decor of the communal entrance areas, with the exception of the dramatic larger-than-life aquaria lining the escalators.
The front (shore-facing) facade is constructed of two tiers of huge, steel 'X' trusses. Below these, full-width windows provide panoramic views from two levels of entrance lobby, unencumbered by structural support.
Above these first two levels, the facade outside of the trusses is made up of translucent white fabric stretched around the structural frame - the sail of the dhow that the building's shape is inspired by. During the day, this white wall glows to illuminate the full-height atrium (at 180 meters, the world's tallest). At night, a complex arrangement of changing projected lighting makes Burj Al Arab a changing beacon seen from outside, while providing a dramatic illuminated show seen from the atrium within.
On the opposite side of the atrium, the floors are organized around corridor 'galleries' that open onto the atrium space.
Burj Al Arab is famous for going that extra mile for pleasing its guests. And if you happen to be one of the best tennis players on the planet they will be gracious enough to convert their helipad for you to play!