Surprisingly green and much less overwhelming than nearby Dubai, Abu Dhabi is a young city and a well-planned one. It's distinctly Arabic but with a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere - dress and behave modestly and save the swimwear for the beach, and you should have no issues. With skyscrapers, luxury hotels and opulent malls everywhere, it's amazing to think that just a few decades ago the city site was little more than a fishing village.
The beaches of Abu Dhabi are one of the main attractions, and they are certainly beautiful. Urban highlights include the Corniche waterfront area, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Emirates Palace. There are multiple museums planned for the city, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and a plethora of malls to keep visitors busy. With so many things to see and do, it's no hardship to spend a day or two in the area before leaving on your cruise from Abu Dhabi!
Abu Dhabi cruise lines and destinations
Celebrity Cruises offers a range of itineraries from Abu Dhabi. This premium and modern line with top-notch service, food and accommodation is a great way to continue your getaway after time spent amongst the opulence of the United Arab Emirates. There are other major cruise lines which pass by the Middle Eastern port including Royal Caribbean cruises, Princess cruises, cruises with Carnival and P&O cruises.
Most cruises departing Abu Dhabi head east and out through the strait of Hormuz into the Gulf of Oman, stopping at the port cities along the way, These might include Dubai, Khasab and Oman. Longer itineraries head out into the Arabian Sea, some making their way across to India for a 12-14 night adventure, others around past Yemen and into the Red Sea, through the Suez Canal to emerge in the Mediterranean.
Abu Dhabi cruise port
The cruise terminals and docks for Abu Dhabi are found at Mina Zayed or Zayed Port, where the temporary terminal will be replaced by a new one in 2016 housing all necessary passenger facilities as well as shops and restaurants.
Free shuttle buses are provided from the terminal to the port entrance. Hop on/Hop off buses stop directly in front of the terminal and are a much better transport option than walking to the nearby attractions - just make sure you ask for the meter to be switched on. It's a short taxi ride from the port area to the beginning of the Corniche waterfront area. Other hotspots within reach include Abu Dhabi Mall and the Zayed National Museum. The Abu Dhabi International Airport is 40 kilometres from the port.