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Sun 12 Nov 2006 04:00 AM

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We'll call you...Burj al Arab

The Burj Al Arab is Dubai's most iconic symbol, but is the hotel's customer service seven star quality?

BAA:Hello, Burj al Arab, how can I help you?

Campaign:Hello. I've got some family coming to town and I want to show them around Dubai's most famous hotel. Is it possible to come in for a look around?

BAA:To come into Burj sir, is maybe on two ways. To have restaurant booking breakfast, lunch or dinner or to come for afternoon tea which is served from three til 6pm. That's the only way you can come in. After tea, you can just approach the guest relations desk, telling them that you want to be shown around. Like, our seafood restaurant Al Mahara with the aquarium downstairs, under the sea, you can see between 5 and 5.30. That is the only chance. So you come to the guys on the guest relations desk and say to them 'I want to see that place at 5', sir, it will be easy, they can take them there. They can take them up to the 27th floor to see the city, see the Palm and everything.

Campaign:Is there a lot of construction work around the Burj?

BAA:No, there is nothing around here. Everything is over.

Campaign:Do you have a dress code policy?

BAA:Yep, they have got a dress code. Jeans is not allowed, T-shirt is not allowed, sports shoes not allowed. That's it. Some other country's national clothes not allowed. Only smart casual. You don't come in with a shirt with the short sleeve or a shirt without collar.

Campaign:Can we use the hotel's swimming pool?

BAA:No. The swimming pool is small and it is for in-house guests only. We have got a membership in the spa. There is also a swimming pool on the 18th floor, where there is a spa. This is for members as well.

Campaign:I also want to find out about the light show on the outside of the Burj. Can you tell me what time this starts?

BAA:They start from seven onwards.

Campaign:Are they on all night?

BAA:No. Until 11, then they stop.

Campaign:Thank you for your help.

BAA:Thank you for calling Burj al Arab, sir.

VerdictExpecting seven star service from the sail-shaped hotel, our call handler had a tall order to live up to our lofty expectations. It was hard to fault his enthusiasm and knowledge of the sail-shaped hotel, but the delivery of his answers could have been more polished.

Score 7/10