A little Burj Al Arab goes a long way … to London

The sculpture is part of a series of art installations at London Gatwick Airport in the UK promoting British artists.

Dale, Andrew, and James Anderton, from Eastbourne, look at the sculpture of the Burj Al Arab at London Gatwick Airport. Matt Alexander / PA
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DUBAI // While not quite as impressive as the real thing, a wood, sand and cement sculpture of Dubai’s Burj Al Arab on display at a British airport is grabbing its share of attention.

The sculpture is part of a series of art installations at London Gatwick Airport in promoting British artists.

Created by the London artist Zeus and unveiled on Thursday, the sculpture celebrates Emirates Airline’s new flights from Gatwick to Dubai, the airport said.

It stands at more than two metres tall and is on display alongside a piece depicting New York’s Chrysler Building.

Emirates this year began to operate one of its three daily services to Dubai from Gatwick using its Airbus A380 aircraft, a luxury service with features such as in-flight Wi-Fi throughout the aircraft.

It has private suites and shower spaces in first class, flatbed seats in business class, and extra room and custom lighting in economy.

About 7.5 million passengers are expected to see the sculptures over the next two months, the airport said.

The artist, whose real name is Dean Zeus Colman, is known for graffiti and urban art, and has worked with hip-hop music artists and community projects in London.

He said he was delighted that the two urban sculptures would be exhibited.

“Airports are symbols of modern metropolises like London, so what better place to display the works where millions of passengers can see them?” Zeus asked.

“My aim is to give people passing through Gatwick’s terminals a place to reflect before they travel and when they return home to London.”

London Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport, behind Heathrow, and serves about 200 destinations in 90 countries. It is 45 kilometres south of London.

The Burj Al Arab is one of the most famous buildings in Dubai, standing at more than 300 metres and connected to the mainland by a bridge.

It was designed by UK architect Tom Wright, at the time with the firm Atkins, and finished in 1999.