Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Known as the City of Merchants, Dubai is the second largest of the seven Emirates that make up the UAE. In the entire Gulf, there is no place quite like Dubai. Its history began in the 1830s when the city broke away from Abu Dhabi and became a centre of commerce and trading in its own right. In fact, Dubai's wealth is founded on trade, not oil. When oil was discovered in 1966, it merely contributed to the city's prosperity and sped up modernization.
Modern development began at the turn of the last century with heavy import-export trading, mainly in gold. What opium was to the growth of Hong Kong, gold was to Dubai. As the leading centre for business and tourism in the Middle East, Dubai offers a fascinating kaleidoscope of contrasts in a distinctive blend of modern city and timeless desert, east and west, old and new. As an exotic destination with a cosmopolitan lifestyle, Dubai combines the comfort and conveniences of the Western world with the unique charm of Arabia. Even with a high degree of tolerance for different lifestyles, Dubai remains close to its heritage.
Dubai's souqs and shopping malls are crammed with goods - at some of the world's best prices. But, there is more to the city than shopping. Visitors find an outstanding museum and superb recreational facilities, ranging from golf and watersports to desert safaris and dhow cruises. As the sports capital of the Middle East, Dubai boasts four championship golf courses; it is a regular fixture on the European and Asian PGA circuits and hosts the Dubai World Cup - known as the world's richest horse race. An endless array of restaurants and nightspots offers a wide choice of cuisine and entertainment.
Dubai is a place of fascinating contrasts, a distinct blend of modern city, timeless deserts, rugged mountains and miles of sandy beaches. The streets are clean and safe - Interpol has voted Dubai as one of the safest cities in the world. With so many attractive attributes, it is not surprising that Dubai rates highly with world-class travellers, businessmen and the international jet set.
Please note: Although the dress code in the UAE is more relaxed than elsewhere in the Middle East, it is still relatively conservative. As a rule, women should not wear miniskirts, shorts or sleeveless tops and men should always wear a shirt in public.
Please do not photograph people without their permission, especially women.
You may not take pictures of government buildings, embassies or anything military in nature, including airports.
Going Ashore in Dubai
The ship is scheduled to dock at Port Rashid Cruise Terminal 01, 02 or 03. Metered taxis are available at the Cruise Terminal Taxi Stand. The drive to the town centre is about 10 minutes. Some shopping malls are operating shuttles from the port Rashid cruise terminal randomly. But there is no guarantee on the same whether it is operational (or frequency) on the date
Dubai is a shopper's paradise due to its free port status, low import duties and no taxation. Huge, modern shopping malls are found throughout the city. The more traditional souqs can be a place for bargains, ambiance and entertainment. Interesting buys include everything from gold jewellery to designer creations, cameras, electronics and oriental rugs. The Gold Souq is a favourite with visitors and residents alike. Shopping hours are generally from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. On Fridays, most shops and the Gold Souq open only after 4:00 p.m. The local currency is the dirham.
Gold Souq Jewellery & souvenirs
Mina Bazaar souvenirs
Madinat Mall souvenirs, Paintings & Rugs
Dubai Mall, Mall of The Emirates, Festival City & Mercato Mall
Souq Al Bahar - Traditional market with galleries & restaurants (next to Dubai mall)
Dubai's many fine hotels offer an almost limitless choice of international and local cuisine. In addition, there are hundreds of restaurants and small eating places scattered throughout the city. At night, bars and pubs can be found in all top hotels, most of them featuring live music. Alcoholic drinks are only available in the bars and restaurants of hotels.
Authentic Arabic Cuisine Al Fannar (Festival City), Al Bandar & Barjeel (Bur Dubai Creekside) - no alcohol will be served
Authentic Arabic / Lebanese Cuisine Al Nafoorah (Jumeirah Emirates Towers), Awtar (Grand Hyatt) - Serves alcohol
Italian Andiamo (Grand Hyatt), Armani Ristorante (Armani Hotel), BiCE (Hiton JBR)
Indian Amal (Armani Hotel), Amala (Zabeel Saray), Asha's (Wafi)
The city centre is easily explored on foot. Streets are clean and safe. Take a stroll to admire Dubai's stunning architecture of traditional mosques next to ultra-modern buildings.
Dubai Marina Walk - full of variety of restaurants & bars
JBR Walk - Beach front promenade full of variety of restaurants & bars
Art Gallery - Al Serkal Avenue (Al Quoz)
Ras Al Khor - Bird Sanctuary (bird sightings are seasonal)end of Dubai Creek area
SMCCU in Bastakia (Dubai's old quarter) - for cultural understanding programs
This excellent museum features a great collection of interesting artefacts from Dubai's pre-oil days when the city was known as an important pearl diving and trading centre. The museum is air-conditioned and exhibits are labelled in both Arabic and English. Since its renovation, the museum has become one of Dubai's main attractions. On Fridays, the museum is closed in the morning.
The narrow lanes of the Spice Souq are redolent with the aroma of cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and incense. Wares are sold straight from open sacks. Shops in the Textile Souq carry silks, cotton, lace and wool in a wide variety of colours and prices. The glittering Gold Souq boasts one of the largest retail gold markets in the world. On Fridays, only the Gold Souq is open in the late afternoon.
Part of the Mall of the Emirates, this 242.188-square-foot (22,500-square-metre) indoor ski area is one of the largest of its kind in the world, with a capacity for 1500 guests. An efficient insulation system is the key to maintain the temperature of 30.2 Fahrenheit (-1 degree Celsius) during the day and 21.2 Fahrenheit (-6 degrees) during the night when the snow is produced. There are five runs of varying difficulties, the longest being 400 metres.
Private arrangements for individual sightseeing or transfers may be requested through the Concierge desk on board. Guests in transit to the following cruise may also consult the Tour Office about additional sightseeing options.