The City of Dubai forms one of the seven emirates of the UAE. The city sits on the southern coast of the Persian Gulf. As recently as the 1950’s Dubai was a georgic quiet trading and fishing town. Since those times thanks mostly to huge oil riches a soaring skyline has emerged. Everything is larger, taller, and more spectacular, at times even supernal. Concrete and glass towers emerge out of the sterile desert sands and fantasy islands have been built in the sea, created in the shape of trees or even a map of the world.
The city is now an extensive trading zone and has become a key business centre in the area. Dubai has the nickname the ‘City of Merchants’, thanks to the huge amount of trade, and also ‘City of Gold’, because of its enormous tax free Gold shops. The city’s most distinguishing feature is perhaps its wonderfully appointed hotels and its vast shopping centers, certain to amaze every holidaymaker.
The air is sizzylingly hot making it necessary that all indoor areas are air-conditioned all year round. In wintertime, Dubai has a superb climate, warm and pleasant, guaranteed beach weather. From April onwards temperatures can easily hit 40C, tiresomely hot.
Dubai Cruise Port
Early in 2010 a modern cruise facility was opened as part of an extensive redevelopment of the ageing Port Rashid area. The modern terminal covers 3450 square meters and is planned to manage four ships at the same time thus allowing a rising number of visiting ships.
Ornate inscriptions, domes and arches are the main architectural elements of the exterior facade. This frontage of the modern terminal is of traditional Arabic architecture, and reflects Dubai’s long heritage as a trading center. The cruise terminal contains many services like duty free shop, currency exchange, a post office, ATMs, business center and souvenir shops.
The cruise terminal offers two free bus shuttles, one to Mercato Mall and City Center, leaving every hour.
5 Best Things to Do in Dubai (Editor’s Choice!)
1. Dubai Creek and Creekside Park
Dubai Creek, which separates Dubai’s Deira and Bur Dubai portions, is a saltwater inlet which is busy all the time with dhows disemboguing to India, East Africa and Arabia. Jump on a water taxi for a trip up the Creek and back. Then saunter along the waterfront trail, which runs between the waters of the Gulf and verdant Creekside Park. Here you’ll find fishing piers, gardens, mini-golf and a cafe.
2. Dubai Museum
Al Faheidi Fort, built in the eighteenth century, is home to the Dubai Museum, which has an impressive collection of cultural, military and artistic finds. The fort, Dubai’s oldest still standing building, was originally built to defend the town from pirates. These days visitors can see alabaster statues, traditional musical instruments, pearl diving tools, clay pots and copper jewelry. Situated on the south waterfront of Dubai creek.
3. Gold Souk
Whether or not you’re considering to purchase, a visit to the dazzling Gold Souk is a must. The stores offer incredible amounts of jewels, gold, platinum, silver and diamonds. It’s a sensible idea to negotiate. All along the alleys of the gold souk, each store display is full with gold necklaces, earrings, bracelets, watches and rings. Gold prices are amongst the lowest in the world. Situated on the north bank of Dubai Creek.
4. Jumeirah Park
Jumeirah Beach boasts clean soft sand and clear waters. The beach is sometimes very crowded. Facilities available include lifeguards, toilets, food outlets, picnic areas, playground and showers. Mondays are set aside for women and children only. The park is situated around 2 miles in a southerly direction from the cruise port.
5. The Desert
Sample the desert outside the city with a four wheel drive safari. After the ride visit a traditional bedouin village and eat a feast with belly dancing for entertainment.
Picking a Cruise From Dubai
A typical itinerary is a tour of the Gulf of Arabia visiting interesting cities like Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Muscat and Fujairah. More extensive cruises to Far East and India are also on offer. Another possibility is a cruise to the Mediterranean.
Travelling to Dubai Cruise Terminal
Dubai Airport is located around three miles to the north of the city center. The new airport is at Jebel Ali around fifteen miles to the southwest of the city center. The easiest way to travel from the airport to the cruise port is by cab.