Burj Al Arab in Dubai

Long before Burj Khalifa, the iconic building that represented Dubai was Burj Al Arab Hotel. Dubai's architectural dreams really started in the 1990s and not in the 2000s as many believe. It was the beginning of the creation of a "city state and an economy that was moving away from oil and was engaging with the rest of the world". (As you will hear in the video below.)

Going to the beach in the 1990s, I remember seeing Burj Al Arab under construction and although I like the design, I was never comfortable with its "seven-star" hotel status - and I couldn't help but associate the hotel for the nouveau riche. It took me a very long time to step inside the hotel and when I did, I saw a few dodgy looking folks. I continue to admre it from the outside and although it's been overtaken by the other Burj, this one will hold a special place in the history of the city.

Architect Simon Crispe reveals the story behind the construction of Dubai's Burj Al Arab

A video snapshot of the architectural vision behind Dubai's iconic Burj al Arab