• Looking up into the iconic glass-walled atrium. Photograph by Walter Shintani.

    • A lobby restaurant. Photograph by Walter Shintani.

    • The opulent, indoor infinity pool lined with shimmering mosaic tiles. Photograph by Walter Shintani.

    • A bridge connects the hotel's private island to Jumeirah Beach. Photograph by Walter Shintani.

    • A sumptuous banquette inside the Arabian restaurant Al Iwan. Photograph by Walter Shintani.

    • Nearly 4,000 fish species swim inside a floor-to-ceiling aquarium at the Al Mahara restaurant. Photograph by Walter Shintani

      ISSUE 8: DUBAI

      BURJ AL ARAB

      Few places in Dubai better symbolize the modern city's exuberant "more is more" philosophy than this gleaming glass skyscraper that rises like a wind-rippled sail from the waters of the Arabian Gulf. The fourth tallest hotel in the world, it's also widely considered the most luxurious: all of the 202 duplex suites are stocked with Hermès toiletries, airport transfers are offered via Rolls Royce, Mercedes, or helicopter, and upon check-in guests are presented with a solid gold iPad to use as a "virtual concierge."