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If you are looking for a unique and fascinating cruise destination, then have you ever considered Dubai; a truly cosmopolitan and ultramodern city steeped in tradition?
This enchanting city, located on the edge of the Arabian Desert, bordering the Persian Gulf Coast, makes for a unique cruise destination. A cruise is one of the best ways to visit this charming part of the world, where tradition meets true modernity and its port is fast becoming a popular stopover.
Best food experience
Dubai, home to over 200 nationalities, is a truly multi-cultural city, making this melting pot of culture the perfect place to dine on delicious dishes from all around the world. In particular, it is one of the best places in the world to sample all types of Middle Eastern cuisine, including Iranian, Lebanese and Arabic foods. Make sure you try popular favourites with the local’s such as matchbous, ghuzi and tabbouleh.
Alternatively, to uphold Dubai’s luxurious reputation, Lynne Clarke recommends indulging in high tea at the world’s only 7-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab. Follow this with a visit to the Madinat Jumeirah Souq, an authentic re-creation of an ancient marketplace, which houses several boutique shops, eateries, bars, nightclubs and luxury hotels.
Many cruise liners offer pre-organised day trips that include visits to many of the attractions mentioned above, so for a completely stress-free holiday make sure you ask on board for more information.
Best photo opportunity
For a unique photo opportunity, considering taking a thrilling hydroplane ride in Dubai. You’ll get the ultimate photo opp and the chance to snap a bird’s-eye-view of some of the city’s most iconic sights such as the Burj al Arab Hotel, the Palm Jumeirah, the Atlantic Hotel and the literally sky-scrapping Burj Al Khalifa building. Of course, you could always visit these great photo spots by foot too.
Best for shopping
First stop for any self-respecting shopper should be the mall of all malls, the world-famous Dubai Mall. One of the world’s largest shopping centres, the Dubai Mall is more like a mini-city with 1,200 stores and over 200 food outlets. Let’s not forget the indoor ice rink, theme parks, massive aquarium and even a 155 million year old dinosaur skeleton.
In 2013, the Dubai Mall welcomed over 75 million visitors, making it the most visited destination on the entire planet. Wow. But don’t forget the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai’s second largest shopping centre that still boasts a 14 cinema complex, two five-star hotels and the world’s largest indoor ski slope.
If you are planning on making your way around all of these major shopping destinations, as well as the famous Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a colourful and vibrant traditional market, then ask on-board for more details any organised tours that are run by your cruise liner.
Best cultural experience
While Dubai is more commonly known for its luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and man-made islands; it’s also a great place to experience some ancient history and heritage.
Get lost wandering around the winding souks that have been around since Dubai’s early days, when merchants from neighbouring countries in would sail in to sell their wares. Gold, textiles and spices can all be found here.
Visit the Bidiya Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in the Emirates, or Al Fahadi Fort – built in 1787. Pass a couple of hours at the Dubai Museum, where you can learn about an era when pearl diving and fishing were the main trains and the area was inhabited by Bedouin tribes.
If you have time then a trip to the Jumeirah Mosque is a must-do. This snowy-white and intricately detailed mosque is not only one of Dubai’s most beautiful, but is also the only mosque open to non-Muslims during a one hour guided tour.
If Dubai sounds like the destination for you then find out more information about the Arabian Peninsula cruises operated by MSC Cruises, departing Dubai every Saturday from December until March.
This article was written by Lynne Clarke – Managing Director of Australasia for MSC Cruises
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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JoAugust 19, 2015
Nothing I’d like more than to hop on a cruise right now Kathy. The Atlantis Palm Hotel in Dubai looks amazing, a few nights on a cruise, a couple of nights there and enough money to let the monkey loose and go shopping – perfect!
KathyAugust 19, 2015
Cruising is a very relaxing way to see the world. I am also thinking that Dubai would be worth checking out. Letting the monkey loose is definitely my thing in a place that has such great shopping! You should have seen me in Singapore when we travelled there!! :)
Pinky PoinkerAugust 19, 2015
I’ve never even thought of going there but it looks so different and interesting. I love the patterns and shapes in their architecture.
KathyAugust 19, 2015
Mmm Dubai has never really appealed to me, although it is a popular stopover on flights to Europe. As for cruising the Arabian Gulf – I think that would be fantastic. Such an exotic destination! :)
budgettraveltalkAugust 19, 2015
I can’t believe how gorgeous the Atlantis Palm Hotel is!
KathyAugust 20, 2015
Yes Dubai has some very spectacular feats of architecture. I think that is what is so alluring about the place plus its location in the middle of a desert. :)
Min (@riteofthemiddle)August 20, 2015
Such lovely exotic looking photo’s of Dubai Kathy! I’ve seen so much about Dubai lately and YES I’d love to go there! I know not to chew gum or do any public displays of affection though! Beautiful architecture over there and I’ve seen lots of photo’s of the incredible shopping malls. Ohhh the shopping would be fun (I’m looking at that gorgeous arabian lamp – I love stuff like that). :-)
KathyAugust 20, 2015
I totally agree Min. I could see myself visiting Dubai for sure! I’ve heard the shopping is amazing and the architecture of those tall buildings extraordinary. :)