Dubai’s iconic sail-shaped hotel, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, is about to undergo a dramatic expansion of its footprint with the addition of a huge deck extending out over the waters of the Gulf.
In what’s being called a “world first” in marine design and engineering, the so-called North Deck has been manufactured at a shipyard in Finland and is now undergoing an 8,000-nautical-mile journey by ship, in six sections.
Made from steel and weighing around 5,000 tonnes, the deck left Finland on 9 January and is expected at the hotel in mid-February.
When the ship arrives, the deck’s sections will be lifted by crane and lowered onto a grid of 90 steel piles, each 914mm in diameter, stretching from the hotel out into the Gulf.
Designed by UK-headquartered consultancy Atkins, and built on an artificial island, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is one of the tallest hotels in the world, and was an early iconic building for booming Dubai when it first opened its doors in 1999.
The North Deck, at 10,000-sq-m in area, is bigger than a FIFA-regulation football field. It will boast two large swimming pools – a 612-sq-m freshwater pool and an 828-sq-m saltwater one – a restaurant, bar, 32 cabanas, with enough space left over for 400 sun loungers.
“This is the first time a structure of this nature and size has been built in one country and then transported to another country to be assembled and operated,” said Robert Swade, Jumeirah Group Chief Operating Officer.
“We are really pushing the boundaries of innovation and demonstrating how committed we are to positioning Dubai as the most exciting destination in the world and Burj Al Arab Jumeirah as the finest provider of luxury experiences.”
Jumeirah Group says the off-site construction process will mean minimal disruption to guests.
The North Deck was developed in Finland by marine construction experts Admares, which specialises in what the company calls “floating real estate”.
Top image: Designed by UK-headquartered consultancy Atkins, and built on an artificial island, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is one of the tallest hotels in the world, and was an early iconic building for booming Dubai when it first opened its doors in 1999 (Jumeirah Group)