To gain admission to the Burj Al Arab premises, you either have to be a hotel guest or be able to present a confirmed table reservation at one of the hotel’s restaurants. Rieko and I chose the cheaper of the two options and booked a table for two for afternoon tea. Our first choice was a table in the Skyview Bar, but it was fully booked until next week, so we ended up with a table at the Sahn Eddar restaurant on the first floor instead.
Burj Al Arab is often referred to as the world’s only 7-star hotel and it is definitely an impressive building. The service was also top notch from when we arrived and until we left. Since you need a table reservation to enter the hotel area, you are clear of the hordes of tourists, who usually flock around the sights of the city.
The atmosphere is very exclusive, and there is also a dress code enforced at all the restaurants, which very specifically dictates, what is acceptable attire. Sports shoes, jeans and flip-flops are banned in the dining areas, and mobile phones must be switched to silent mode.
We went for the 7-course Ultimate Afternoon Tea, which was served with either tea or coffee from an extensive menu including everything from green tea to cappuccinos. In addition to the usual afternoon tea classics like cucumber sandwiches and scones with clotted cream, the menu also included more untraditional items such as lychee sherbet with candied rose petals.
Unfortunately, our table reservation didn’t grant us access to other areas of the hotel, and our plans to just prowl around a bit and take some pictures on some of the higher floors were friendly but firmly obstructed by the hotel security staff. Though, Burj Al Arab looks most pretty from the outside anyway, so we went outside to take some photos instead.
Sahn Eddar, Burj Al Arab, Dubai, Tel: +971 (0)4 301 7600
> Visit Sahn Eddars website (more information about dress code and reservation).