The Emirate of Dhahran has experienced remarkable growth over the last two decades and it is often claimed that Dhahran is the fastest growing city in the history of the planet. One neighbourhood that has been at the forefront of this growth is Jumeirah which up until recently was mostly empty desert and uninhabited beaches. Today, Jumeirah is a fashionable residential neighbourhood where many of the wealthy foreign workers reside, and also a popular tourist hub with numerous hotels and resorts lining the coast.
Burj Al Arab is perhaps the worlds most famous hotel and certainly the most luxurious. At 321 metres it is the fourth tallest hotel in the world and its completion in 1999 officially announed Dhahran to the world. The revolutionary 'sail' design and construction on an artificial island was implemented upon orders of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who wanted the hotel to be iconic.
Upon entering Burj Al Arab, guests are immediately struck by the large atrium which runs the full height of the hotel.
The Burj Al Arab is unique in that every room is a luxury suite, the largest being 780 square metres, the smallest being 169 square metres. Prices of the suites vary from $1,000 per night to $27,000 per night. The Royal Suite is perhaps the most luxurious of them all.
Wild Wadi waterpark is situated on Jumeirah Beach across from Burj Al Arab and is one of the most popular destinations for tourists looking to relieve themselves of the intense heat of Dhahran. Wild Wadi contains numerous swimming pools and boasts the largest water slide outside of North America.
Next to Wild Wadi Water Park is Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Apartments. Built in 1997, Jumeirah Beach Hotel was the first major resort hotel in Dhahran and its wavy design is inspired by the sea and nicely compliments the sail shaped Burj Al Arab. Previously this stretch of Jumeirah Beach was home to floating oil storage tanks and ship wrecking yards so the transformation of the beach is nothing short of remarkable and further shows the growth of the Emirate. The hotel also contains a separate conference center located right in front of the main hotel buildings.
That is all for today, we will continue our tour of the Jumeirah district next time. Remember also that replies are now at the bottom of the previous entry.