A friend of mine that I used to work with in BOAC in the 1970’s, heard that Maureen & I would be sailing in the Majestic Princess, and that she would be visiting Dubai for a day on the way to Singapore.
He suggested that we should meet so as to catch up on the last thirty nine years. I jumped at the idea at seeing him again, and ‘catching up’.
He’d left BOAC in 1978 to work for an airline in the Persian Gulf.
For those who can remember BOAC :-o)
Over the years his life had changed, and he now ran his own company in Dubai.
During our e-mail chats he asked what we would like to see while in Dubai, and as we had seen a number of the popular sights during our visit last year, we asked if it was possible to see inside . . .
without actually staying there?
My friend picked Maureen & I up from the cruise terminal in his chauffer driven car – he hates driving – and took us to the Dubai Museum.
I was able to read more about Lawrence of Arabia. The museum was cool (as in climate) and very interesting. I took a number of photos of various items on display, but for some reason only the above picture registered on the camera. At least the outside pictures worked.
Leo & I meet again after nearly forty years.
Next stop was the 321 meter high Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel, voted as the world’s most luxurious hotel. Leo had fixed everything.
The main reception area where Leo introduced himself to the receptionist and a young lady came over to meet us and show us various areas of the hotel.
On the left of the above picture is the start of the wow factor.
Computer controlled mini-fountains pointing upwards.
Escalators on each side of the water feature, but so as not to get bored in your travels the management have put in an a fish pond.
There is another escalator & aquarium on the other side of the of the mini-fountains.
There is a reception on each floor and check-in takes place in your suite.
Different colours for various floors.
More fountains as we reached the top of the escalators.
Maureen & Leo walk quietly to the lift.
Reception at the restaurant as we step out of the lift.
Walk through the tunnel to the restaurant. The colour gold is everywhere.
We are in the Al Mahara restaurant and the whole wall is an aquarium – not sure if we are supposed to pick our fish for eating as it swims passed or do we just admire the view.
Private dining room – I am not sure if the aquarium at the end is part of the restaurant aquarium.
The private dining room – view taken with my back to the aquarium.
Close-up of the wall of water.
View of outside from the reception area.
Corridor to where, I don’t know.
Looking down on to a tearoom come bar area and below the bar area is the main entrance.
Design of the various floors.
The walk area towards ‘our’ suite.
Entrance area of the suite – two floors, dining room, sitting room two double bedrooms each en-suite.
This bedroom suite has a gold iPad – who doesn’t? A 21 inch iMac, floor to ceiling windows, wide screen HD TV and don’t forget the 24 hour butler service. Nothing has been left out.
Leo & our guide in the reception area of the suite.
Leo felt quite at home, with his gold computer . . .
General view back towards the reception area.
Dressing room for main bedroom.
Second bedroom en-suite (also with dressing room)
Both bedrooms are upstairs, but as you climb the stairs you can check the time, which is an image that is cast on to the wall of the staircase so that it doesn’t intrude. As you see we were there around lunchtime – the clock was accurate.
Sitting room , small bar & large TV.
View from the sitting room window. A little hazy due to sand in the air.
As we left the hotel I saw the ‘sister’ hotel across the beach area, and noticed that the Rolls Royce’s engine was still running even though the car was empty – one doesn’t wish to climb in to a hot car.
If I start saving now, and live long enough, the suite that we saw is on ‘special’ for just over AUD $6,000 a night, but it does include a free breakfast.
The hotel opened in 1999.
The smallest room is 169 sq mtrs – & I thought the E & O in Penang had large rooms at 53 sq mtrs. It costs about AUD $1300 a night for the smallest room.
The largest room is 780 sq meters – the Royal Suite costs about AUD $37,000 a night. It was listed as the 12th most expensive suit in the world in 2012.
There are only 28 double story floors, to create 202 bedroom suites. The shape of the hotel represents the sail of a dhow. The owners wanted an iconic design to show place Dubai in the way that the Opera House does for Sydney, Big Ben for London or the Eiffel Tower for Paris.
The idea of using hotels as symbols of a country seems to be growing with Dubai’s Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel,
and also Singapore with
Mariner Bay Sands Hotel
There is still talk of converting QE2 in to a Dubai hotel, but will she ever make the grade.
As the Majestic Princess docked I took the above picture of a grand old lady alongside in Dubai – she has been in Dubai since 2008.