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This Luxury Hotel is Embellished with the World’s Rarest Materials––And Cost $1 Billion to Construct

The glitz and glamour of the United Arab Emirates is synonymous with their love of luxury, and specifically gold.


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Dubai holds the largest gold market in the world dubbed the “Gold City”, with over 350 vendors and jewelry traders. Other unique and over-the-top gold experiences in the region include the world’s first vending machine dispensing 10-gram gold bars at Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, an American Express Fine Hotel & Resort property, and the Black Diamond ice cream sundae at Scoopi Café in Dubai—made with vanilla bean from Madagascar, saffron from Iran, rare black truffles from northern Italy and 23-carat gold flakes, served in a gold motif Versace bowl with spoon (which the customer gets to keep).

While these uber luxurious gold experiences can be found throughout the region, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, another American Express Fine Hotel & Resort property, in Dubai goes all out. The $1 billion construction of the luxury five-star property features some of the rarest materials on earth, including 20,000-square-feet of 24-carat gold leaf. The shimmering metal is discovered at every turn throughout the property from the 10 million gold (and azure) mosaic tiles used in the design of the pools, to the elevator banks, to the golden embellished oyster shell entry to Al Mahara, the hotel’s iconic aquarium themed restaurant.

The culinary program at the Burj Al Arab features a number of edible gold-focused treats as well. Visitors can indulge in The Ultimate Gold Cappuccino, served at Sahn Eddar lounge, the hotel’s stunning (and world’s highest) atrium. This sparkling cup of joe uses 100% Arabica beans blended with a generous quantity of luxurious 24-carat gold, and then sprinkled with more gold flakes in the shape of the iconic Burj Al Arab sail design.

If that weren’t enough, the milk used in the cappuccino is also diffused with gold sprinkles and Italian gold flakes. The lavish treat is served with a Grand Cru Guanaja—a chocolate marshmallow sprinkled with more mill-grinded gold—and served in a custom set of fine bone china finished in gold. To wrap up a full precious metal experience, guests can head to the 27th floor for a nightcap of gold infused cocktails at the aptly named Gold on 27 bar, a space dripping in reflective gold with views overlooking the Arabian Gulf.


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