The Burj al Arab is the fourth tallest hotel in the world at 321 m (1,053 ft) and stands out in the water on its own artificial island. Resembling the sail of a ship, the iconic hotel gives itself a 7 star rating, although we’re not really sure if you can go above 5 on the luxury scale. Designed by Tom Wright and completed in 1999, the hotel features a double membrane PTFE fiberglass covering that reduces solar heat gain, but lets in filtered light.
On February 22, 2005, the Burj al Arab hosted Andre Agassi and Roger Federer to play a match on their helipad tennis court before heading to the US$1 million Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open, which was the first round of the two-week Dubai Tennis Championships. The hotel’s helipad is situated 211 meters high and covers a surface area of 415 sq m. A video shows the pair on their way up to the tennis court and then cautiously looking over the edges before playing a round. Although the court was plenty big enough to play at their fullest, it must have been scary to run too fast or hit too hard for fear of getting close to the edge. There is a net around the pad, but still, it’s pretty far up there.
Images ©Getty Images/Burj al Arab