Feng Shui analysis of Burj-Al-Arab

In September 2009, I was fortunate enough to be a guest at the world’s most famous luxury hotel in Dubai ‘Burj Al Arab’.  Since its construction began in 1994 this hotel has had more press than any other hotel in the world. It forms an integral part of Dubai’s skyline and is regarded as an iconic symbol of the country’s urban transformation.

I was eager to see what the feng shui of this much talked about building would be like.  So armed with my lopan, I decided to take some calculations and understand the form of this striking building.

Some facts & calculations:

ü     It stands at 321 metres high and is the worlds 2nd tallest hotel. (321 is of course 123 backwards).

ü     The hotel stands on an artificial island 280 metres out from Jumeriah beach.

ü     Inside the building the atrium is 280 m tall.

ü     It accommodates 202 bedroom suites.

ü     The cost of staying in a suite begins at US$2,000 per night; the Royal Suite is the most expensive, at US$28,000 per night. (Of course these fluctuate but these are the printed prices at the time of writing the article.)

ü     Kwa calculations 8/8 & 8/2

If you are a feng shui consultant do you see what I’m seeing with the numbers?  So many 8’s & 2’s. (For this fate period the numbers 8&2 are very auspicious) Surely a recipe for success! But are the calculations the only reason for its phenomenal success? I don’t think so.

The hotel is connected to the mainland via a purpose-built gently meandering bridge.

As our car drew close to the hotel I was amazed at its wonderful form, which seemed to sit so perfectly in its surroundings.

The building is an amazing structure, mimicking the sail of a ‘dhow’ an Arabian vessel. Two “wings” spread in a V to form a vast “mast”, while the space between them is enclosed in a massive atrium.

Outside the grand main entrance is a stunning water fountain in a ‘goy moon’ (health & wealth) shape. The kwa for the main entrance and fountain is 8/2 in the southeast. (Water in the southeast is very auspicious)

As we were escorted into the lobby, we felt the temperature suddenly cooling us, whilst outside the sun was scorching down.

We were greeted by an uplifting fragrance, our eyes feasted on hundreds of fresh flowers – all arranged exquisitely, a striking dancing water feature and two huge aquariums also graced the lobby.

Staff stood politely holding fresh towels, large dates and pouring tea as guests sat down – every guest was treated like royalty.  As soon as you entered it seemed as if you were the only guest there because all the staff knew your name.

However, is the fantastic hospitality and the lavish interiors, made of precious materials including 22 carat gold leaf, enough to make this hotel the most talked about, hugely successful and most unique hotel in the world?

I don’t believe it is the only reason.

So why has this building become such an iconic symbol and why is this hotel almost always fully occupied, despite it being so expensive? Well I think a huge part of the answer lies in the words of the architect Tom Wright, ‘we looked at the other buildings in the world that are symbols to see what they had in common. We found that they were all totally unique in shape and they all have a simple easily recognizable form. We decided that the test to determine if a building is symbolic is if you can draw it in 5 seconds and every one recognizes it.’

Well that makes complete sense in feng shui terms; it is a simple form that fits perfectly in its environment; a boat in the sea, it is easily recognizable, is different from all the other buildings. It is also one of the tallest buildings in the world, in a space where most of the land is flat, so obviously it attracts the chi. Apart from all this, Dubai is so hot and dry most of the year and is largely a desert, and of course in a desert, water is the life force.

Site and facing – for a boat that is floating in the sea with water 360 degrees around, are the site and facing calculations as relevant in comparison to a property built on solid land? I don’t think so – the main entrance is at 8/2, which is perfect but the site and facing are really not all that relevant at all since water is surrounding the whole structure.  The main entrance which faces the land may at first seem like the facing but it is not really the facing at all, since all the bedrooms have views to the sea. Thus, the opposite side, the rear is more like the facing.

My Verdict – In my view the reason for its success is a combination of all three factors, excellent hospitality, the calculations; the hotel is built largely in the 8 fate and is built on 8/8 and 8/2 kwas, with 8/2 being the main entrance, as well as having so many other 8’s & 2’s everywhere.  However, the most vital factor for its success in my view is its form and setting, water is all around it, it is a boat/sail in the sea.  Tom Wright the architect said, ‘if it were built on the shore it would have blocked the light’. Thank God it wasn’t built on the shore, because in my opinion one of the main reasons it is so successful is its appeal of floating in the water – surely a boat/ship out of the water cannot fulfill its function!

Priya Sher  is a Feng Shui Consultant London based, but travels and works internationally

Copyright © 2010 Priya Sher

One Response to “Feng Shui analysis of Burj-Al-Arab”
  1. Zawiyal says:

    interesting ! 🙂

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