Burj Al-Arab named No. 1 city hotel in MENA

Currently celebrating two decades of operations, Burj Al-Arab is renowned across the globe for its boundary-pushing architecture and innovative design.
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Updated 13 July 2020

Burj Al-Arab named No. 1 city hotel in MENA

Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah, the crown jewel in hospitality leader Jumeirah Group’s portfolio and global icon of luxury, has been named the No. 1 city hotel in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by Travel + Leisure at its World’s Best Awards.

Every year, Travel + Leisure — one of the largest travel media brands in the US — provides its 6 million plus readers the chance to have their say in choosing the most outstanding destinations, hotels, resorts, spas, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators and rental car agencies around the world as part of its annual survey. This year marks 25 years of celebrating the best in travel, with Burj Al-Arab recognized on the “World’s Best” list for its hospitality excellence, intuitive luxury service and iconic appeal.

Currently celebrating two decades of operations, the hotel is renowned across the globe for its boundary-pushing architecture and innovative design, with the team going above and beyond to create bespoke experiences for guests. It is also known for culinary excellence with a collection of restaurants led by renowned chefs and overseen by Michael Ellis, chief culinary officer and former managing director of the Michelin Guide.

José Silva, chief executive officer of Jumeirah Group, said: “Burj Al-Arab represents the very pinnacle of luxury, known world-over for its elevated design, service beyond expectations and unmatched physical spaces. International recognition such as this not only reaffirms the hotel’s iconic standing on the world map but also serves as a thank you to all those who go above and beyond, every day, to make our guests’ stay truly remarkable.”

Jumeirah Group, a member of Dubai Holding and a global luxury hotel company, operates a 6,500+-key portfolio of 26 properties across the Middle East (including the flagship Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah) Europe and Asia, with more properties currently under construction around the globe.

Prioritizing the health and safety of its guests and colleagues, Jumeirah Group has implemented a series of protective measures across all of its hotels, while strictly adhering to each market’s respective government directives. Four of its hotels in Dubai were recently awarded the Bureau Veritas SafeGuard label, with Jumeirah Al-Naseem being the first hotel in the world to receive the prestigious certification. The group is working closely with Bureau Veritas to certify its wider portfolio.

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results, therefore, reflect Travel + Leisure’s readers’ experiences before the pandemic.


Two Emiratis claim Guinness record titles

Footballer Areej Al-Hammadi, who plays for the UAE National Football Team, broke the record for soccer ball ‘hotstepping,’ and fitness expert Walid Yari smashed the record for the most side jump pushups in a minute.
Updated 04 August 2020

Two Emiratis claim Guinness record titles

Guinness World Records, the global authority on record-breaking achievements, has announced that two Emiratis — footballer Areej Al-Hammadi and fitness expert Walid Yari — are the newest title holders in the region.
Al-Hammadi, who plays for the UAE National Football Team, broke the record for soccer ball “hotstepping,” completing 86 repetitions of the ball control trick in 1 minute. She broke the previous record of 56 in the UK. Yari, meanwhile, smashed the record for the most side jump pushups in a minute, completing 33 flying pushups in a single minute, where the previous record stood at 26 in India.
The two Emiratis’ achievements were announced at the launch of Guinness World Records Day 2020, which is themed “Discover Your World.” The initiative is encouraging people to take on a new challenge now that lockdown measures are easing, or simply turn a newfound skill or talent into a world record attempt.
Known as “The Beast of the Middle East,” Yari is a 34-year-old fitness professional and social media content creator. He is taking the region by storm with a growing fan base of more than 650,000 followers on Instagram.

I am incredibly proud to be a Guinness World Records title holder and excited to help celebrate the launch of Guinness World Records Day this year. It is proud moment for me, for my country, and for women around the world.

Areej Al-Hammadi, Emirati Footballer

“I encourage people to swap their burgers for burpees and get into shape with unique training routines that resemble something that can only be visualized in a film,” said Yari. “I have been training almost all my life, and I was ready the minute I knew about Guinness World Records Day. So, I set up my cameras the next day, and filmed the entire scene to smash the previous record title,” said Yari.
Al-Hammadi has paved her way to the top of women’s football in the MENA region. She is a creative services professional by day, and a footballer by night. She has lived most of her life chasing opportunities in football, forming football teams both in school and during higher studies at the American University in Dubai, and attending many of the women’s football championships within the MENA region, before she finally made it to the UAE National Football Team.
“I am incredibly proud to be a Guinness World Records title holder and excited to help celebrate the launch of Guinness World Records Day this year. It is a proud moment for me, for my country, and for women around the world. Why football? Because it is my passion,” said Al-Hammadi.
Guinness World Records Day 2020 will take place globally on Nov. 18.