The Cruise Traveller’s Guide to Dubai and the Emirates

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Swiftly becoming one of the top luxury tourist destinations in the world, Dubai and the Emirates have a growing reputation for glittering modern architecture and indulgent entertainment. 

Long golden beaches flanked by soaring skyscrapers and endless days of desert sun are just part of the reason that Dubai and the Emirates are such a sought-after holiday location. Dubai and the Emirates are more than just the sparkle of a rapidly growing economy, however, with a strong foundation in the ancient cultures of the region.

Visiting Dubai and the Emirates as part of a cruise holiday is one of the best ways to explore the diversity of the region’s remarkable cities. If you haven’t visited before, you might think that the rapidly expanding modern cities of Dubai and the Emirates are similar to one another, but nothing could be further from the truth. Exploring the cities as part of a cruise holiday will let you experience the diversity of culture, history, and cuisine that lies beyond the towering skyscrapers and sandy beaches. Although, there’ll be plenty of beach time too, of course!

To help you discover the amazing region that is Dubai and the Emirates, we’ve put together a series of guides with everything you need to know about cruising in the area. From what to do in exciting port cities to the best places to discover the region’s famed culinary scene, this is the cruise traveller’s guide to Dubai and the Emirates.

City Guides

When you think about Dubai and the Emirates, you probably imagine award-winning skyscrapers and luxury hotels, but there’s so much more to this region than the glitter of a booming economy. Whether you venture out of the city to discover the breath-taking natural beauty of the desert or you spend your time drifting in an infinity pool at the top of a skyscraper, these destination guides will give you the inside scoop on the must-do experiences.

City Guide: Abu Dhabi – A Cultural Oasis in a Golden Desert

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United Arab Emirates’ capital city is a thriving hub of all that is so great about this region. Slightly slower in pace than its glamorous neighbour Dubai, Abu Dhabi is rich in history and culture. To get the best view of the city, stroll along The Corniche and enjoy the startling contrast between Qasr al Hosn Fort, the city’s oldest building, and the modern luxury of the Etihad Towers. With a fascinating heritage, beautiful idyllic location, and the tempting glamour of a thoroughly modern city, Abu Dhabi is a place where it’s impossible to be bored.

City Guide: Dubai – Luxury and Culture in the Emirates

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Fast becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations the world over, people are flocking to Dubai to get a taste of the luxurious lifestyle it promises to visitors and residents alike. With headline-grabbing architecture adorning its skyline and tales of falcons being transported by private jet, it’s no wonder that Dubai holds such a fascination for travellers. Along with the spectacular culinary scene, world renowned hotels, and glamorous shopping, Dubai’s traditions of Bedouin storytelling and song are still strong in the city. This is a city that not only dazzles you with its beauty, but also captures you with the soul beneath.

City Guide: Doha – Qatar’s Thriving Artistic Capital

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Qatar’s capital city is unique in the Emirates for its strong sense of history and Islamic culture, even as the city’s economy booms. As well as the impressive modern skyline of architectural marvels that many of the cities in the region boast, Doha has a wealth of bustling marketplaces and traditional eateries. Islamic culture plays a strong role here, so be prepared to marvel at the beautifully-adorned locals in traditional dress, gossiping, eating, and smoking shisha in the bustling public spaces. If you are hoping to bring home some true treasures, from gold to Persian rugs, Doha’s markets are the best place to find them.

In-Depth Guides

If there’s a particular reason you’re travelling to this part of the world, whether it be food, culture or sights, our in-depth guides can help you find what you’re looking for.

The Beginner’s Guide to Emirati Cuisine

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The renowned culinary scene of the UAE stems from the influences of all the people who have flocked here for generations, due to the strong trade in the region. Many people brought new spices and cooking styles that have created the diverse foodie scene in the area today. Eating is an important part of Emirati culture, so dive in and try some of the amazing local foods to discover the flavours of the Emirates. Whether you try delicious curries in the marketplaces of one of the cities or you try your first bite of camel in a world-class restaurant, Emirati cuisine will soon become one of your firm favourites.

The Top 8 Luxury Shopping Destinations the UAE Has to Offer

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Synonymous with all things luxury, the UAE is developing a reputation as a leading destination for luxury shopping. More than just a necessity, shopping is a popular pastime here and people flock to the air-conditioned megamalls to avoid the heat of the day and indulge in a little retail therapy. As well as the impressive malls that house everything from ice rinks to aquariums, the UAE has hundreds of souk markets, where visitors and locals alike can haggle for everything from spices to gold. Whether you’re a fashion-forward style connoisseur or you tend to wear your investment pieces until they fall apart, shopping in the UAE is an experience you can’t miss.

A Tour of the Emirates’ Architectural Marvels

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Dubai and the Emirates have a growing reputation as world leaders in innovative and dramatic architectural design. The stunning skylines of the region’s cities boast some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and architectural masterpieces that push the boundaries of imagination and skill. Even if you aren’t an architecture buff, you can’t fail to be mesmerised by the beautiful creations that line the sandy beaches and adorn the skylines of Dubai and the Emirates.

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The Cruise Traveller’s Guide to Dubai and the Emirates
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The Cruise Traveller’s Guide to Dubai and the Emirates
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Visiting Dubai and the Emirates as part of a cruise holiday is one of the best ways to explore the diversity of the region’s remarkable cities
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Belinda Goodman

Cruise 1st veteran Belinda has a passion for travel, especially cruising. She has worked in the travel industry for over 20 years, including a 3-year stint working on cruise ships as a croupier. Belinda regularly writes for the Cruise 1st blog, with a focus on company news and advice for first-time cruise travellers.

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