Port of Departure Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai, UAE with cruise terminal in foreground.
Dubai, ’City of Gold’
Dubai, situated on the shoreline of the Persian Gulf, is a member of the 7 emirates of the UAE. Just 60 years ago Dubai was a quiet trading and fishing town. Today due mostly to enormous trading riches a towering conurbation has emerged. Glass skyscrapers rise out of the bleak desert sands and fantasy islands have been constructed in the sea, shaped like palm trees or unbelievably a map of the world.
Dubai is now a huge trading zone and has become the most significant commercial centre in the area. It is named the 'City of Merchants', on account of the enormous amount of trade, or alternatively 'City of Gold', on account of its extensive tax-free Gold shops. Dubai's most characteristic aspect is its opulently appointed hotels and its gigantic shopping centres, sure to amaze even the most jaundiced of travelers.
In recent years Dubai has become a major cruise departure port. The number of cruises from Dubai on offer each year now exceeds a hundred.
The weather is hot so all indoor areas are air-conditioned. In winter, Dubai is perfect, warm and balmy, ideal weather for strolling outdoors. But during summer temperatures can hit 40°C, tiringly hot and humid.
Dubai Cruise Terminal
Early in 2010 the modern Mina Rashid cruise terminal was opened as part of an extensive redevelopment of the Rashid area. The new building covers more than three thousand square metres and is designed to handle four ships simultaneously. Characteristic arches, carvings and domes are included as major design elements in the building’s exterior. This facade, with old Arabic echoes, reminds the visitor of Dubai's long history as a trading port.
The terminal has a complete range of services including an information center, duty free and souvenir shops, a post office, ATM machines, a coffee shop, a business center with internet access and currency exchange banks. The port terminal offers two free shuttles, one each to Mercato Mall and City Center, departing on the hour.
Cruises From Dubai
A popular itinerary is a tour of the Arabian Gulf stopping at beautiful and exciting cities like Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah and Muscat. More extensive sailings to the Far East and India are also available. Another possibility is a repositioning cruise through the Suez canal to the Mediterranean sea. Cruises from Dubai are easily accessible, thanks to the cruise terminal's close proximity to Dubai's major airports.
Out and About in Dubai
Dubai Creek and Creekside Park
Dubai Creek, which bisects Dubai’s Deira and Bur Dubai areas, is a saltwater waterway which is busy day and night with boats on their way to and from East Africa, Arabia and India. Jump on a water taxi for a trip up the Creek and back. Next stroll along the creekside path, which extends from the shores of the Gulf to verdant Creekside Park. Here you’ll find fishing piers, a cafe, gardens and mini-golf.
Even if you are not thinking of buying anything, a tour of the glittering Gold Souk is a must-do. The stores offer incredible amounts of precious gems, platinum, diamonds, silver and gold. It’s a sensible idea to barter. On both sides of the narrow souk alleys, every store display is jam-packed with gold watches, necklaces, rings, bangles and earrings. Gold prices are among the lowest anywhere in the world. Situated on the north bank of Dubai Creek.
In the tiny alleys of the spice market, you can smell the atmosphere and the aromas of time gone by. Large containers of medicinal herbs, aromatic oils, spices, incense, flower petals and fragrances are on show at every stall. Next to the Gold Souk.
The Dubai Museum is housed in the Al Fahidi Fort, originally built to defend against storming by enemy tribes. Now it showcases the history, culture and traditions of Dubai. Visitors receive an insight into desert life. The museum's galleries reconstruct date farms, pearl diving, souks, mosques and traditional Arab houses. Sited on the south waterfront of Dubai Creek.
Mall of the Emirates
The huge Dubai center is among the the biggest anywhere, and contains a theater, a cinema multiplex, 2 mosques, seventy restaurants, a ski slope and fine art gallery. However the shops form the main magnet for tourists. You’ll discover more than 400 stores offering all the brands under the sun.
The ancient Bastakia Quarter is reminiscent of the years when Dubai was but a small Gulf port. Wander the narrow alleys and look at the characterful homes with their functional towers that directed any sea breeze downwards to the house to provide a cooling effect. The Quarter is found on the northern bank of Dubai Creek.
Burj Al Arab hotel
The fabulous Burj Al Arab dominates the Dubai skyline. Some would call its seven star rating ridiculous, however nobody would deny its spectacular design.
A way to visit the hotel without booking a room is to book a meal at one of its exclusive restaurants. One idea is the beach-based Majlis Al Bahar. You will get a close-up look of the hotel’s amazing exterior.
At 160 stories and 2,625 feet Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest building. Visitors can go to the observation deck at story 124 and the Atmosphere restaurant on level 122. Reached from the lower basement level of the Dubai Mall.
Al Mamzar Beach
Al Mamzar is a large public park with fine beaches and landscaped gardens.
It has cafes, picnic tables, restrooms, play area, lifeguards and showers.
On Wednesdays the beach park is reserved for children and women only.
About two miles in a northerly direction from the cruise ship port.
Jumeirah Beach Park
The public beach at Jumeirah boasts fine soft sand with clear seawaters. The beach can be very busy. Facilities available consist of lifeguards, showers, food kiosks, restrooms, picnic areas and play area.
Mondays are set aside for children and women.
The park is located 1 mile south of the cruise terminal.
Sample the desert outside the city on a 4x4 outing. After the exhilarating ride visit a traditional Arab village and eat a meal with belly dancing for entertainment.
Travelling to Dubai’s Cruise Terminal
Most passengers booked on cruises from Dubai travel to the cruise terminal from the airport.
Dubai Airport is sited three miles northeast of the city center.
The new airport is at Jebel Ali around twenty miles to the south of the city center. The easiest way to transfer from either airport to the cruise terminal is by cab.
Cruise Port Map (click on image for larger image)
Port Authority Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing
Port Website Dubai Cruise Terminal
Current Marine Traffic Dubai Marine Traffic
Currency United Arab Emirates Dirham AED
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Cruises From Dubai, United Arab Emirates