Late in the afternoon on Monday (January 20th), we took a taxi out to the Burj Al Arab, the world’s only seven star hotel. This is the building on the beach that is in the shape of a sail. There is a security check point in front of the hotel, and they won’t let you through unless you are either a guest staying at the hotel or have a reservation to do something at the hotel, like a spa appointment. We had made reservations in advance for afternoon tea service at the Skyview Bar, located on the top floor. This was something I was really looking forward to, as I love tea and have always wanted to see the Burj Al Arab.
We wandered around the lobby area for a while and took some photos then proceeded to the elevator up to the Skyview Bar. The back of the elevator was a floor-to-ceiling window which looked out onto the Arabian Gulf. Even though we were early, we were seated almost immediately. The waiter explained the tea service to us – seven courses including a flute of champagne and unlimited tea and coffee. The tea menu was the most extensive I had ever seen. It had every variety you could imagine, and then some!
The first course was a pastry with berries and cream. Next was a small beef carving with sauce and breadcrumbs. Then small sandwiches followed by a bunch of small desserts and scones. Next was sorbet, followed by petit fours. I think I had about seven different types of tea!
After tea, we went to Madinat Jumeirah, a nearby shopping center. It had a mixture of retail shops and souq-like stores and kiosks as well as restaurants, cafés, and a theater. The building appears to be new but its architecture is of a traditional style. There are canals that run through Madinat Jumeirah. You can even take a Venetian-style boat ride, but the boats had stopped running by the time we had arrived.