Even a look on google maps will tell you that Dubai is a city out of the box. The palm tree-and globe-shaped islands off the coast are just the beginning of the man made wonders this United Arab Emirates metropolis has to offer. It's a place of extremes: the tallest building, the largest constructed island, the most extravagant hotel, the largest shopping mall, the longest automated metro system. It's a fantastic spot to shop, whether in the enormous Dubai Mall or the historic â€œsoukâ€ markets, it has some lovely beaches and it is always growing and changing so there's always something new.
Located on the Persian Gulf, Dubai also makes a great departure point for an ocean-going adventure. It's easy to get to, thanks to the city's major international airport, and you'll have no worries occupying yourself before the ship sails with so many things to do and see around the city. Why not get into holiday mode early by spending some time on the sand at Jumeirah, or splurge on a stay at the Burj Al Arab, the distinct sail-shaped hotel which advertises itself as the most luxurious in the world!
Dubai cruise lines and destinations
When it comes to cruise lines, there are several options for those looking to book a cruise to or from Dubai. Royal Caribbean is a player in the region, with a series of week-long itineraries in the Persian Gulf aboard the Splendour of the Seas. MSC Cruises also offers round-trip Dubai itineraries, while some smaller boutique lines like Seabourn and Azamara Club mirror the extravagance of the city with their amazing luxury cruises departing from Dubai to other far-flung locations. Other popular cruise lines which pass through the area include cruises on the P&O line, Celebrity cruises and cruises with Princess or Carnival.
There are many places Dubai cruises can take you. The exciting ports of the Middle East are close by - Muscat, Khor Al Fakkan, Abu Dhabi and Khasab. Many ships cruise around the corner into the Red Sea and through the Suez Canal to Europe, calling in to places like Istanbul and Greece. A World Cruise sector from Dubai could take you as far as Sydney or Southampton, and Dubai to Singapore is a common cruise itinerary.
Dubai cruise port
Cruise ships arrive to and depart from Port Rashid, north of the city centre at the mouth of Dubai Creek. There are three cruise terminals next to each other, allowing the city to play host to a number of ships at once. At the central Port of Dubai facility you will find food outlets, free internet at computer terminals, currency exchange, an ATM, a help desk, the taxi ranks and some souvenir shops.
The drive from the cruise terminal into central Dubai is around 20 minutes, to the Dubai Mall just slightly longer. Many malls offer free shuttles, so look out for their desks in the terminal if that's where you are headed. It's also easy to get on a hop on/hop off bus outside the port and see Dubai that way.