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Cruiser's Guide To Dubai, UAE

Updated on February 3, 2017

The city is a fantastic jumping-off point for a Gulf cruise, perfect for a getaway from the cold Northern European winter. The airport is well served from numerous departure points, and the number of ships and itineraries to choose from increases each year.

Dubai Skyline
Dubai Skyline

Dubai Cruise Terminal

In 2010, Port Rashid, previously a sprawling commercial port was redeveloped to handle cruise ships, and a new cruise terminal, #2, built beside a deep water quay of over a km in length. The ageing cruise terminal #1 was closed. The new terminal has a facade in the Arabic architectural style, with arches, domes and spires. The building offers a complete range of facilities for the cruise traveler - currency exchange, business center, post office, souvenir shops, duty free shop and bank machines.

Then in 2014, in an ambitious move designed to double the handling capacity of the cruise port, cruise terminal #3 was opened by the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, The new building is also superbly equipped.

The easiest way to transfer from the Dubai International Airport (DXB) to the cruise terminal is by taxi. The ubiquitous UBER service can save you several dirham.

Things To See In Dubai

Many cruises add a couple of nights at Dubai before or after their cruise. This offers the opportunity to investigate the sights of the city. Things to see include

Dubai Creek and Creekside Park

Dubai Creek, which divides the Bur Dubai and Deira districts of Dubai, is a saltwater inlet that is busy with boating traffic 24 hours a day. Join a Dhow cruise along the creek. Or follow the creekside promenade on foot - this runs between the waterfont and charming Creekside Park.

Museum of Dubai

The Dubai Museum is located in the fort of Al Fahidi, built long ago to protect the fledgling town against the assault of desert tribes. The museum showcases the traditions, history and culture of Dubai. The museum galleries reconstruct mosques, date farms, traditional Arab houses, souks and pearl dives. Located on the south side of Dubai Creek.

Gold Souk

Whether you are thinking or not of actually buying anything, a visit to the dazzling Gold Souk is a must-do. The stores sell enormous quantities of diamonds, gold, silver, precious stones and platinum. Every shop front is full of gold rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and watches. Gold prices are among the lowest in the world. Located on the north side of Dubai Creek.

Spice Souk

In the narrow streets of the spice market, you will feel the feeling and smell of ancient times. Colored bags of incense, perfumes, spices, aromatic oils, medicinal herbs and flower petals are presented at each stall. Located near the Gold Souk.

Burj Khalifa

At 160 stories and over 800 meters high Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. Visitors can stop on the observation deck at level 124 and the restaurant at level 122. Reached from the ground level of the Dubai Mall.

Hotel Burj Al Arab

The fantastic Burj Al Arab is an icon of the Dubai skyline. The well heeled can enjoy a stay. Alternatively, slightly more affordable is dinner at one of the hotel's many fabulous restaurants,

Neighborhood Bastakia

The historic district of Bastakia is a reminder of the time when Dubai was a small fishing port. Stroll through the labyrinth of lanes and admire the attractive buildings with their functional wind towers that channeled any wind down to the house in order to provide cooling. The neighborhood is located on the north shore of Dubai Creek.

Jumeirah Beach Park

The Jumeirah public beach has fine, soft sand and crystal clear waters. The beach is sometimes quite crowded. It has picnic areas, restrooms, showers, lifeguards and playground.Mondays are reserved for children and women only. The park is located one mile south of the cruise port area.

A Trip To The Desert

A popular excursion out of Dubai is an expedition in a 4by4 vehicle to the desert. Enjoy a visit to a (mock?) Bedouin village and eat a sumptuous meal with enterntainment provided by an exotic belly dancer.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Wadi Shab
Wadi Shab
Fjords of the Musandam
Fjords of the Musandam
Khor Fakkan Beach
Khor Fakkan Beach

The Range Of Cruises From Dubai

By far the most popular cruise out of Dubai is the week long round of the Persian Gulf (with a small detour to Muscat in the Arabian Sea). During your cruise you'll have be able to visit the renowned Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, walk/swim/dive your way through Wadi Shab in Muscat, enjoy a dhow cruise with snorkeling and dolphin along the amazing Fjords of the Musandam at Khasab, relax with a day at the beach in Khor Fakkan. And beach lovers will be pleased to hear that recently the glorious sandy island of Sir Bani Yas has been opened as another destination in the Gulf. The website Dubai cruises has a comprehensive listing of cruises out of Dubai.

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