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Cristina Jardim updates us on what's new at Dubai's Burj Al Arab

After recently turning 16 years old this month, one of Dubai's longest standing and most awe-inspiring landmarks is looking into ways of re-launching itself and renewing its image as the world's only seven-star hotel. A property that needs little introduction as it stands, at The Holiday Place we were recently treated to in-depth insider's knowledge of all the work that goes on to keep this property incredibly pristine and luxurious and what new things are on the pipeline to remind guests why there's no other better hotel on the planet, or, at the very least, none quite like Burj Al Arab.

Cristina Jardim updates us on what's new at Dubai's Burj Al Arab

Probably Dubai’s most iconic hotel (and one of the most easily recognisable around the world) with its unmistakable sail-shaped silhouette and its rather unique features including a stunning offshore location on its own piece of land surrounded by the blue waters of Jumeirah Beach (connected to mainland by a causeway) and its own rooftop heliport, the Burj Al Arab probably needs little introduction.

Nevertheless, few would believe that the hotel has recently turned 16-years-old and is now looking at new ways to reinvent itself and push the boat out even further.

Looking into ways to revamp itself a little bit, adding new technologies, new facilities, new special add-ons and exclusive new perks which will all be periodically introduced between now and 2018, Associate Director of Business Development at Burj Al Arab, Cristina Jardim, came down to The Holiday Place to let us in all the latest plans for the property and remind us of all the small and big details that already makes this property unique and unmatched.

Cristina Jardim at The Holiday Place

Cristina Jardim started by generally speaking of the big little touches that keep Bur Al Arab so pristine and unique, like the fact that there are a maximum of 12 suites per floor and each floor level is looked after by a butler. Just the level of maintenance alone is amazing, even the cleaning of the windows is a whole procedure that takes four days and is done overnight so as to cause minimal disturbance to guests and “even internally if you go around, everything’s absolutely spotless.”

With 220 suites and three show-stopping ways to check-in (making the grand entrance at the hotel via a swanky Rolls Royce, a luxury BMW or a scenic helicopter transfer) the welcome alone is certainly nothing short of Hollywoodesque star treatment. Once at the hotel’s lobby the guests are greeted and met by a special welcoming team. They’re each addressed by name, given complimentary treats, Arabic coffee and wet towels before being escorted to their suite.

Suites are distributed along an impressive 180-metre atrium and each floor has its own butler desk. As Jardim explained:

"Our butler brigade is the biggest in the world with 220 butlers and we will allocate the suites to butlers according to the guests’ native language."

Many little aspects of guest’s allocated suite (or their stay in general) are individually customised upon arrival (or in advance if they request it prior to their check-in) and while being shown their room for the first time the butler will address the personalisation of everything from the firmness of the mattress to the size, filling and fabric material of the pillows.

Cristina Jardim then took us through the various restaurants onsite

Cristina Jardim then took us through the various restaurants onsite, from the spectacular underwater experience of Al Mahara, to the amazing sky views of the Al Muntaha, where the most expensive cocktail in the world was served (and with a price tag at over £3000 it’s no wonder it was included in the Guinness World Record Book at the time!), the spacious and relaxed Shan Eddar lobby lounge (serving exquisite afternoon tea), Al Iwan serving gourmet Arabic cuisine and the international Asian fusion restaurant, Junsui, with as many as 12 live cooking stations!

So, with all the oomph and flair it boasts, the unrivalled dedication to attention and the long list of elements with the wow factor; should the grand and opulent Burj Al Arab feel threatened now after officially becoming one of the oldest in the emirate in the face of new non-stop competition in Dubai - the city where hotel-building never stops?

Well, according to Cristina Jardim, the technology they used sixteen years was very cutting edge at the time, but in order to keep up with the times, or, better, be once again ahead of the times, the solution is to introduce newer, even more cutting edge technology and new state-of-the-art facilities.

Coming up – Burj Al Arab’s new surprises

At the moment (and quite amazingly) they have a whole new extension being currently constructed offsite, so far offsite in fact that’s being done all the way in Finland, ensuring no guests are at all disturbed by the new addition and no one has to witness the construction process. The different parts of this new add-on once completed will be shipped to Dubai, where it will be puzzled together at ocean level, close to the existing pools.

"It’s really an amazing construction that will add on a lot of new facilities: two new pools, one sun-deck, luxury cabanas, a new restaurant with a nice terrace outside, so plenty of new facilities for guests to enjoy."

This is where you see what the Burj Al Arab is all about, what makes them truly stand out - they really do everything different here and even with an ambitious new extension plan they ensure no closing down of rooms, no discounted rates for noise disturbances and no fuss. Everything as smooth and unobtrusive as can be.

Cristina Jardim and some of our Dubai Experts

Another new addition Cristina updated us on, will be a new Michelin-starred restaurant coming up next year, details of which will be revealed soon.

"We are thinking of redesigning the suites as well, so there’s a lot that will be taking place from now until 2020, which is the year where we want to be ready to mark our big 20th anniversary and we want to honour the glory of being Burj Al Arab."

Explaining further what will make 2020 a very special year Cristina added:

"It’s the big World Expo in 2020 and we’re aiming to have 20 million passengers daily, which is a lot, it’s double the 10 million figure we have at the moment. So, it’s a big goal that’s why Dubai is doubling the number of beds and lots of new hotels are now being built at full speed; and Burj Al Arab has to stand tall among all the new competition."

And, on that very informative note we waved goodbye to the lovely Cristina and can't wait to hear more from her in the near future as more new surprises for the Burj Al Arab are unveiled.

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