Dubai is a city of stark contrasts, a wealthy playground of grand hotels and towering cityscape – but also home to some fascinating history that illustrates the region’s humble beginnings. Cruises departing from Dubai can make for a fantastic start to your voyage, allowing you to experience this tourist hotspot of the Emirates before you head off on your cruise.
Dubai is one of the seven United Arab Emirates. The city of the same name lies on the Emirate’s northern coast, which grew to become a major trading port by the start of the twentieth century. Today this sprawling city is well-known as a business centre, a wealthy metropolis, and one of the most expensive places to live in the Middle East.
Dubai cruises can take you on a journey to one of the most diverse cities in the world. It’s home to modern shopping malls and magnificent hotels, man-made islands and international business. You’ll still find the city’s roots though, tucked away beneath its striking desert skyline – the old world is alive and well here too, from the city’s bright cultural quarter to its beautiful mosques and museums.
Sightseeing on cruises from Dubai can make your voyage unforgettable right from the start. How about a visit to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world? This colossal tower is a sight to behold just from the ground – but if you're brave enough to scale its heights you can enjoy awe-inspiring views of the city, the desert and the sea through the Behold telescope, on the observation deck up on floor 124. If you can't face the climb, don't miss the spectacular Dubai Fountains instead, at the foot of the tower on Burj Khalifa Lake. These choreographed water jets move in time to music and shoot up to 500 feet into the air.
Dubai's other key sights include the elegant modern lines of the Emirates Towers, and the iconic sail-shaped Tower of Arabs. This sumptuous luxury hotel is the perfect place to enjoy a special meal, a cocktail or just a leisurely afternoon tea.
To get a flavour of Dubai's past and experience the spirit of old Arabia, a visit to the Bastakia Quarter is essential. It's where you'll find the city's oldest building, Al Fahidi Fort, which is also home to the Dubai Museum. The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding offers a range of interactive programmes, tours and even a cultural breakfast and lunch. Jumeirah Mosque, meanwhile, is the largest in Dubai and a truly beautiful building which offers a fascinating insight into Muslim culture.
If it's fun in the sun you're after, then Jumeira Beach and Park is the perfect place. Clean and family friendly, it offers snacks and hot food, and sun beds are available for hire. For a truly memorable Dubai experience you could visit Dolphin Bay, one of the world's biggest dolphin habitats. Spend some time with them in the shallows, or dive out into deeper waters and share a swim.
Wild Wadi Water Park offers aquatic fun of a different kind in the form of 23 different rides – great for visitors of all ages and the perfect way to cool down and escape the heat. If you'd like to take things a little easier, take a stroll along Dubai Creek, where you can take a water taxi, get to the heart of the local culture and even pick up a bargain at one of the nearby souks.
Suggested read: How to spend 6 hours in Dubai
With so much to see and do in Dubai, flying to Dubai to start your cruise without spending any time there would be almost criminal. It's the perfect place to extend your holiday with a hotel stay, which can be anything from one night to a week or more, and can take place either before or after your cruise.
Here at Cruise118, we have a team of expert cruise concierge who can help to plan every aspect of your Dubai holiday, booking the best flights, hotel stays, excursions and more in addition to your cruise. Give us a call to discuss your options.
Most cruises out of Dubai will make stops at destinations in the Persian Gulf such as Muscat, Khasab and Abu Dhabi. Here you'll find vast deserts, towering mountains and sparkling coastlines. This is is a region steeped in history and tradition, and you'll find plenty of fascinating mosques, temples and museums. Sir Bani Yas Island also makes for an interesting port of call, with its Arabian Wildlife Park featuring roaming giraffes, gazelles and cheetahs.
Cruises also depart from Dubai and head towards India and the Far East. You can soak up the culture as well as the sunshine as you tour Thailand's lush green islands and head towards the cosmopolitan metropolises of Singapore or Hong Kong.
In the spring months you may also be able to take advantage of repositioning cruises as ships move from spending the winter months in the Middle East and head towards Europe for the summer. These cruises sail out of Dubai, through the Suez Canal, around the Mediterranean and either to Spain or all the way back to the UK. For repositioning cruises we will be happy to arrange a one-way flight for you.
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