” Suhūr (Arabic: سحور suḥūr, lit. “of the dawn”, “pre-dawn meal”; also spelled suhoor, sahur, sehri and in Yoruba sãrì) is an Islamic term referring to the meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims before fasting, sawm, before dawn during or outside the Islamic month of Ramadan.To be honest, this Suhoor experience at Burj Al Arab never came to our plans nor have been enlisted in our future plans because if we are to be asked, spending on a meal costing more than 20 USD (70 AED/1000 PHP) is already considered a mortal sin. We put up this blog with aim of encouraging everyone to work on a sustainable life style and living within means so spending so much on one meal isn’t really a good way to advocate that. However, to be fair, this experience could be somehow be an exemption as it this an event organized together with our closest friends here in Dubai which we thought could be a once in a lifetime experience. I think we could all agree that some luxury isn’t bad once in a while.
Burj Al Arab, part of the Jumeirah chain of luxury hotels, known for having the 7-star hotel reputation all over the world is really a sail shaped 5-star luxury hotel situated in a man-made artificial island located just few meters off the coast of Jumeirah beach in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its one of the famous icons of Modern Dubai and a symbol of the extravagance and opulence of the Emirate.
(Trivia: The 7-star tag was coined by a British reporter who visited the hotel on a pre-opening press trip. The journalist described Burj al Arab in her article as above and beyond anything she had ever seen and called it a seven-star hotel. Burj Al Arab never used the tag on any of their marketing promotions and is actually not perpetuating its use. )
We made our way just in time to arrive at the pre-scheduled slot for us at 9 PM. We parked our car directly in front of the hotel entrance and the staff was keen to inform us that valet parking is compulsory to every arriving guests at the hotel so we got off and smoothly made our way inside. Upon entering the hotel, you would be greeted by the hotel staff welcoming you warmly with their smiles. At the lobby, you can freely roam around or rest on the couches easily noticeable with its luxurious details and material.
Adrian making his way to the Hotel Entrance
Big spread of high quality Irish carpets with Arabic detailing
As we proceed to the dining area, an unintimidating fountain design on the center of the main walk way would definitely catch your attention to appreciate and probably would encourage you to take a picture of (Later on we found out that this is the most photographed area of the hotel). There are also aquarium walls with live fishes situated side by side with the pillars of the going up.
The fountain with a theme designed for Ramadan
Our reservation was at the Sahn Eddar Restaurant conveniently located just one floor above the main lobby of the hotel. It is a lounge style restaurant perfect for hosting afternoon teas. Although they also serve breakfast, lunch and dinner meals, we thought the place is best suited for the former.
We had the Suhoor menu, which is thoroughly explained by the attendants. Observing everything was a bit of a challenge as there is so much catching up going on as we are with our friends so we really didn’t pay attention to the menu for the night. However, as any other fine dining sequence, you would initially be asked what would you prefer for the appetizer, followed by the main course, and lastly, the dessert. They have presented a couple of dishes mostly middle eastern choices as Suhoor is intended for Muslims who are fasting during the day.
The appetizers ( Choice of Baklava, Arabic bread, Olives, Cheese, Arabic hummus)
(Mains: Shawarma with a choice of chicken, beef and lamb served with fries as side dish)
Literally with a silver spoon on hand about to eat our favorite arabic dessert, Umali
The dessert tray with fresh fruits and arabic sweets Kanafeh and Umali
To sum up the whole dining experience for us was just fair. It’s not really something that can be described as wow kind of experience, but something we think is just right for the price tag. Personally, we thought that some of the items on the menu was quite a let down considering the stature of the hotel like having regular looking fries on the sides, plain food plating etc. I mean, its Burj Al Arab right? so it’s just acceptable that we expect the highest quality of food and services even if we didn’t order the most expensive item on the menu. But we couldn’t really tell, unless we have tried all of the restaurants inside the hotel. However, to be fair, the whole dining experience itself was already worth the appreciation and admiration.
Little surprise of the night, Triple birthday treat from Burj staff
Simple cake with 5 language translations of “Happy birthday”
The three (pseudo) celebrants
Without our knowing, some of our friends informed the staff that there are people in our group celebrating their birthdays (Actually, none of them are celebrating their birthdays on the day itself but the Burj staff didn’t have any second thoughts about giving the three of them treats) so it happened, three people in our circle of friends (including Adrian), was given a mini cake with a candle to blow! what a way to cap off the night! 🙂
The whole Burj experience was nothing but a memorable one. It was a night intended to celebrate friendship and life as whole. Not everyone get to experience these kind of simple luxury we have so we just have to be thankful that we have the means and of course, the will to experience these things. Are we going to come back soon? definitely NO. Unless we have tons of cash in the bank and got nothing to do with our money, we would be generous enough to spend $24,000 a night (the price of a royal suite at the hotel) to fancy ourselves. But thankfully, we are contented with our life right now and is looking at it on a different perspective.
The Burj al Arab is a private resort, and it’s closed to non-guests. Ways of accessing the Burj vicinity has been updated below.
We experienced the Ramadan offer, which costs 380 AED ($108) per person. Other options differ from the seasons and the restaurant where you will be having your meal/snacks/tea.
Also keep in mind that alcohol is not served during Ramadan, but the experience is barely lessened without its presence.
For the regular menus for the restaurant you can check this link.
Restaurant reservations (essential – you need a code to get past security)
First floor, Burj Al Arab
HOW TO GET THERE
There are four ways to get your look inside. First, you can stay at the nearby Jumeirah-owned Beach Hotel for about $250 (check current prices here), and take a free guided tour, book the Dubai guided tour that includes Burj Al Arab experience, make a reservation/payment at the Talise Spa (Burj Al Arab’s In house spa services) or simply book a reservation at one of the restaurants inside the hotel as we mentioned on the blog post above.
BURJ AL ARAB