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Q: I read somewhere that there’s a seven-star hotel in Dubai. What could it possibly offer guests that your average, run-of-the-mill five-star place doesn’t have? What’s up with that?

A: Although the hotel currently classifies itself as a five-star, the place you’ve heard about is most likely the Burj al Arab, a 1,050-foot tall skyscraper designed to resemble a billowing sail. To allow for maximum privacy, it’s been built on its own artificial island in the Persian Gulf. But no worries about getting there — you can arrange to be picked up by either Rolls Royce or helicopter.

According to the hotel’s Web site, the Burj Al Arab has 202 suites, each one arranged over two floors. The most modest accommodation is a mere 550-square feet, while the Royal Suite offers 2,500 square feet of space. The rooms are lavishly decorated in vibrant colors, offer living and dining areas, entertainment systems including 42-inch plasma screen TVs, and office facilities. In the bathroom, you’ll find amenities from Hermes. If the pillow on your bed isn’t comfy, there are another 12 models to choose from. Likewise, if you’re not happy with the standard offerings of the kitchen, you are invited to coordinate a personalized menu with the chef and private dining manager, to be served within the suite. In the Royal Suite (why not splurge a little?), you’ll find your own private elevator and cinema, marble floors, mahogany furniture, rotating four-poster canopy bed, and 24-hour butler service. With all these extra luxuries, it’s not surprising to hear people describe it as a seven-star hotel.

Should you and your beloved care to spend a Saturday night in mid-March at the Burj Al Arab, you can book the Deluxe King Suite at the published rate of just 7,500 dirham (about $2,042) per night.

A virtual tour of the hotel is available by visiting its web site at:

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