Dubai's Burj Al Arab: The world's most popular hotel on social media

In social media terms at least, the world's most popular hotel is Dubai's Burj Al Arab. Set on its own miniature private island, the 18-year-old sail-shaped icon has now amassed more than 500,000 followers apiece on Facebook and Instagram, which the group claims is more than any other hotel in the world.

That the property has attracted such an avid following may well be down to its international renown and self-billed status as "the world's most luxurious hotel" rather than an expression of loyalty from guests who have stayed there. With low-season rates costing from £1,000 a night, this is one of the world's most expensive and exclusive hotels and it can only be accessed by overnight guests or those with confirmed bookings in its bars and restaurants.

As such it's through Facebook and Instagram that most will vicariously be able to experience all that's on offer. Showcasing the hotel's unique aesthetic, the Burj Al Arab Instagram profile - followed by 504,000 accounts - is awash with shots of hotel suites in vivid shades of red and purple; the sky-high pool flanked by mosaiced columns; and its soaring rainbow-coloured atrium, which at 590 feet (180 metres) tall is large enough to encapsulate the Statue of Liberty.

This being Instagram, the 1,006 posts also feature innumerable food shots, including images from recently opened restaurant Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara, but other tropes more commonly associated with the social media platform are mercifully absent - a lesson, perhaps, that certain Instagram clichés don't really resonate with the majority of travellers after all. 

Other than a shot of Queen Rania of Jordan, over the last year the only 'celebrity'-led image likely to be recognised by British holidaymakers is one featuring DJ Scott Mills. Contrived shots of travel bloggers or aspiring models gazing wistfully out of windows or surveying a multitude of breakfast dishes, smoothies and coffees laid out directly on their bed are also refreshingly absent.

Liked by 544,197 people, Burj Al Arab's Facebook profile is similarly image-led but includes a broader range of videos and includes more extensive information on the hotel's broader offering. Among recent enhancements to the property was the inauguration last summer of its new terrace, a fan shaped extension complete with two curved swimming pools (one salt water, one fresh water), 32 cabanas, a new restaurant and bar.

To mark the hotel's social media milestones, former guests and avid social media users who haven't as yet 'followed' its accounts are invited to do so throughout March. Until March 21, guest photos will be reposted on both Burj Al Arab's Instagram and Facebook accounts as part of a 'month of thank yous' campaign.

The Telegraph, London

See also: Google Street View steps inside 'world's most luxurious hotel'

See also: Top 10 skyscraper views

Listen: Flight of Fancy - the podcast with Ben Groundwater

The best country in the world for food

To subscribe to the podcast Flight of Fancy on iTunes, click here.