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Burj Al Arab vs. Atlantis, The Palm

Dubai’s two most high-profile hotels go head to head.

The Resort

Atlantis, The Palm is located on The Palm, Jumeirah, the smallest of three man-made islands in the UAE. According to its website, the hotel offers “relaxation and thrills” for couples and families, as well as unique marine habitats, a water park, white beaches, restaurants, spa, and cosmopolitan boutiques. Room rates range from $800 to an astonishing $35,000 a night. Score: 4

Burj Al Arab is designed to look like a billowing sail and stands at a height of 321 meters. The hotel, the city’s most high-profile landmark, offers white sandy beaches and complimentary access to the Wild Wadi, the water park next door. Room rates range from $1,000 to $28,000 a night. Score: 2

Size and Capacity

Atlantis is made up of 58,000 kilometers of steel bars, the equivalent of nine times the length of the wall of China. It has over 1500 rooms and 17 restaurants. Score: 9

Burj Al Arab is taller than the Eiffel Tower. It has 202 suites. There are no standard rooms. Each suite each two-stories, ranging from 170 square meters to 280 square meters. Score: 8


Atlantis, The Palm’s launch party attracted numerous celebrities including Robert De Niro, Charlize Theron, Sir Richard Branson, Kylie Minogue, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. Click here to view the fireworks at the launch.

The hotel launched on November 20, 2008. Score: 10

Burj Al Arab has also attracted many celebrities over the years. Claudia Schiffer was quoted saying that her “favorite hotel is Burj Al Arab in Dubai.” And in 2006, Naomi Campbell’s boyfriend threw a huge bash in Burj Al Arab, renting out all the rooms.

The hotel was launched in 1999. Score: 7



  1. Chris Jeffries on January 29, 2009 8:45 am

    A building is just that! For people visiting the location, it is about ease of access, the service and the food.
    The traffic jams to reach the Atlantis hotel especially on a weekend are totally unacceptable. More thought should be given to how people reach the location as opposed to the water theme park.
    Waiting seven hours to have a pre-ordered cot delivered to a room at Atlanitis is unsatisfactory. Food is renowned as being ordinary in the restaurants, being lied to about restaurants being full when they are not full is time wasting, and the service in restaurants is always commented on as not being what one would expect from a so called world class five star restaurant. Imagine having your plate taken away when your guests are still eating! I have not met anyone who has enjoyed the Atlantis experience and NO, you cannot call it teething pains. If you pay your money, you have every right to expect quality and service.
    The Burj is not without its faults which are primarily around the food in the seatank restaurant, However, as an experience it seems to be far better than Atlantis and you do not have to put up with English package tourists on discount trips when you have paid top dollar to be in the rooms!

  2. Jane on January 29, 2009 10:39 am

    There is no comparison between Atlantis and Burj AL Arab!
    Atlantis is a cash factory! Burj AL Arab is exclusive and an architecture wonder.
    I agree with Chris, the service is really bad in Atlantis.I asked for an Ice tea in the Nubu restaurants (Knowing that they serve it in their buffet restaurant) and they said they dont have it!

    all their good staff and celebrity chefs left already!

  3. Matt on January 29, 2009 5:12 pm

    Anybody who compares the two properties has really no clue what either property is all about. The Burj is unique to say the least, by now one of the worlds most recognized landmarks made by human hands next to the Pyramids and the Eifeltower. Atlantis is a about to become a cooky cutter concept, its the second one of its kind and, economic townturn notwithstanding, it won’t be the last. Burj Al Arab is pure luxury and decadence with 1800 staff taking care of 200 sutes and 7 restaurants and one has to hand it to Jumeirah, they know how to take care of guests, notwithstanding occasional hickups. Coupled with Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Madinat Jumeirah you cannot beat the overall experience, location, choice of 70+ restaurants and the best beaches in Dubai. Atlantis is also doing a great job but due to its vastness its simply impossible and unfair to compare it to a hotel 1/7th the size of Atlantis. The moral of this ” comparison ”, compare apple with apples.


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