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A Different Seven Star

Sunday, January 28, 2007
By: Joey Yap

I just got back from a trip to Dubai, where I had been invited as one of the guest speakers at the 2007 Wellbeing Show, officiated by the UAE Minister of Health, H.E. Humaid Mohammad Al Qutami, at the Dubai International Convention & Conference Center. Although I know I said I would be sharing with you this week the information about the positive stars for the year 2007, I'm still so excited about my Dubai trip that I just had to write about it. (Apologies to those of you waiting for the 2007 Flying Star information - I promise it will be here in time for Chinese New Year).

Before I left for my trip, I remember a student asking me how on earth the Feng Shui of a place like Dubai could be evaluated. As most of you will know, Dubai is quite a desert-like place and is largely flat, with very little land contour. Typically for almost completely flat areas (and from the pictures here, you can see it is quite flat), we use a Classical Feng Shui landform assessment technique known as 'Flat Land Dragon', which I will explain below.

Now when in Dubai, one cannot NOT check out the most famous hotel in the world, the self-proclaimed 7 star Burj Al Arab or Tower of the Arabs Hotel, which has hosted celebrities such as golfer Tiger Woods, tennis players Andre Agassi and Roger Federer and a bevy of Hollywood celebrities the likes of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Naomi Campbell and Angelina Jolie. Built on a man-made island, the Burj Al Arab is the tallest building in Dubai, and the tallest hotel in the world. It is an architectural icon and engineering wonder and is also one of the most luxurious hotels in the world with over 8000 square metres of 22 carat gold leaf!


And of course, the Burj has some truly fascinating Feng Shui features. So this week, I will be sharing with you my observations about the external Feng Shui of the Burj Al Arab and next week, the internal Feng Shui of the hotel.

When in flatland, a protrusion is worth ten thousand in gold.

The first thing when it comes to looking at the Feng Shui of such a large structure is to consider the landform. Because this is a completely flat area, the Flat Land Dragon principle applies. According to classical Feng Shui principles, when the land is completely flat (Yang), then the tallest structure (mountain - Yin) that protrudes, attracts in all the Qi of the area. At 1053 feet, the Burj is without a doubt the tallest building in Dubai and so it clearly is drawing and converging the Qi in the near vicinity.

Now, it is one thing to have the Qi pulled in, but it is equally important to lock the Qi in properly. For this, you need to have an embrace. Check out the Google aerial image of the Burj and the photograph from the top observation deck of the Burj. There is a wavy structure on the left hand side of the Burj. This is the Jumeirah Palm Beach Resort, another very successful beach resort in Dubai. This structure acts as the left embrace or Green Dragon for the Burj, locking in the Qi from the left side.


Next, we must look for an Ann Shan (Table Mountain) to help keep the Qi from escaping out through the front. In front of the Burj, is the Wild Wadi water park. If you look at the picture, taken from the front entrance of the Burj, you will notice there is a small hill (not the roller coaster). This acts as the regulating mountain for the Burj, to lock in the Qi that is being collected. This setup conforms to the Huge Door star shape. Those of you who have been following my previous articles will know that a Huge Door Star mountain is the star that governs prosperity.

Interestingly, right at the front of the Burj, is a large fountain. This fountain not only serves to collect Qi at the front of the Main Door, but it also is shaped like a Huge Door Mountain, mimicking the macro Feng Shui, on a micro scale.

Intriguingly, the scenic bridge road that connects the Burj to the mainland has been constructed so that it is a gentle, meandering road (see Google aerial image) and also, it is not visible from the South facing Main Door! And, it also comes into the building at the correct angle, which is Sheng Hexagram, thereby conforming to the Direct-Indirect Spirit principle in Feng Shui. This mirrors the macro Feng Shui, wherein there is a Qi mouth in the South West's Kun Da Gua Hexagram formed by the roads (see Google aerial map). It would seem the Burj's architects and designers, avoided an important pitfall of having Sha Qi directed at the property, by making the road curved rather than straight and also, created a very nice Qi flow coming in at the correct South West direction.

Now, a luxury hotel, and one that charges a minimum of USD2000 for a night's stay to boot, would definitely be an ambitious business venture to say the least. Well guess what? The Burj is almost consistently fully occupied. But hey, with such optimised Feng Shui, it is hard to imagine the hotel doing anything but good business.

Did they, didn't they... Feng Shui it?

The 650 million dollar question indeed. Certainly, there is a tremendous amount of compliance with some of the key classical Feng Shui principles such as San Yuan's Da Ling Zheng and the landform principles. It is difficult to say if it was professionally done but that's not really the point. Whether it was accidental or deliberate, the fact of the matter is the Feng Shui at the Burj, is pretty good!

However, the setup is not perfect either in my personal opinion. Improvements certainly could be made to improve the Burj's Feng Shui further, in particular, with regard to the problem of the lack of support at the rear of the structure, which exposes it to the Sha Qi from the sea. Generally, we like to have the building protected from Qi on all fronts and it is particularly important to have a solid backing, at the rear of any structure, as this is what ensures longevity of prosperity and long-term success, as well as return-on-investment.

The Burj brings forth an interesting point about the idea of man-made Feng Shui. Most of you will know that I have consistently indicated that classical Feng Shui calls for natural objects in the environment. You have to have the mountain and water in the right location. Usually you cannot "make" mountain and water.

There is a small exception to this rule. Or perhaps I should say large exception.

And that exception is when you have the means and capability to control the structure of not just the building, but the land structure, one hundred percent. When you can build the structure from the ground up, including the land in which the building sits on (the Burj sits on a man-made island), and you control the surrounding areas around the structure (the Jumeirah Resort is owned by the same owner as the Burj) and money is no object, then, man-made Feng Shui is an option. But how many people have the money to buy enough sand and concrete to make a real mountain in their backyard or dig a river and attempt to control the elements through engineering feats? Very few indeed.

For most 'mere mortals', man-made Feng Shui is not an option and simply not practical or feasible. So we have to rely on what nature has to offer. Which admittedly can be a bit of a challenge, but is not impossible to achieve.

Next week, we'll take a peek inside the Burj and find out about the interior Feng Shui of the hotel.

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