Along with the Burj Khalifa, the Palm islands and the World, the Burj Al Arab is one of Dubai's most iconic sights. Completed in 1999, the hotel is now about to receive an upgrade. A 10,000-sq m (108,000-sq ft) private luxury deck is to be added at the foot of the building.

According to developer the Jumeirah Group, the new North Deck will will fan out 100 m (328 ft) into the Persian Gulf and provide space for 32 cabanas, 400 sun loungers, a restaurant and a bar. In addition, it will boast a 612-sq m (6,588-sq ft) freshwater pool and an 828-sq m (8,913-sq ft) saltwater pool.

The deck is made from steel and weighs in the region of 5,000 tonnes (5,512 tons). Constructed at a cruise ship and yacht production facility in Finland by marine construction experts Admares, thereby minimizing disruption to hotel guests, it is said to be a world-first.

"This is the first time a structure of this nature and size has been built in one country and then transported to another country to be assembled and operated," explains Jumeirah Group chief operating officer Robert Swade.

The North Deck structure is currently being transported over 8,000 nautical miles (14,816 km) to Dubai by sea, having left Finland on January 9. On arrival, its six sections will be lifted by crane onto a base of 90 steel piles that stretches out from the Burj Al Arab into the Gulf.

The North Deck is due to open to guests in the second quarter of 2016.

The video below provides an introduction to the project.