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Dubai – the cruise gateway to the world

Recognised as the Destination of the Year at the 2018 Seatrade Cruise Awards, Dubai has cemented its position as an international cruising hub and welcomes more visitors than ever before. With its purpose-built Cruise Terminal, premium facilities and modern infrastructure, Dubai is charting the course for the perfect cruise holiday. Here’s all you need to know.


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Setting sail

Explore the best of Arabia

The waters of the Arabian Gulf, stretching from the UAE’s sandy coast to the island country of Bahrain, offer guests an array of sights. The majority of cruise ships start and end their itinerary in Dubai. From here, they traverse through Oman, Bahrain and beyond, allowing tourists to take in a wide range of topographical contrasts such as desert oases, lush wadis and urban landscapes.

Most itineraries through the Arabian Gulf take place over the course of one week in which tourists are invited to make use of the cruise ships’ many amenities and be part of the various sightseeing excursions on land. Upon return to Dubai, tourists may extend their stay to further explore the emirate’s plentiful attractions and enjoy a relaxing beach break or city holiday.

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Cruise Lines

Enjoy an unforgettable cruising experience

With its central location that effortlessly connects the east to the west, Dubai’s cruise terminal serves as a permanent homebase for many international cruise lines. These include Costa and MSC Cruises from Italy, Marella Cruises from the UK, TUI and AIDA Cruises from Germany, and Royal Caribbean International from the USA. Most recently, the UK-based P&O Cruises and Pullmantur from Spain also made Dubai their homeport.

Cruise holidays are growing in popularity among affluent travellers, families, honeymooners and empty-nesters, providing a hassle-free holiday option. Come aboard and enjoy an unforgettable luxury experience with first-class accommodation, excellent international cuisines as well as a broad leisure programme, including live theatre shows, cinema screenings, kids’ entertainment, sports and spa facilities.

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The Performances

Welcome to the city that always surprises

Most cruise ships spend two nights in Dubai – one night before and one night after their one-week-itinerary through the Arabian Gulf. During their stay, passengers have the opportunity to explore the city and its many attractions, for example Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab.

At the cruise terminal, there are dedicated buses for sightseeing tours and a free shuttle service taking tourists to leading shopping malls, including The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates. In addition, all cruise passengers can choose from more than 25 shore excursions, ranging from desert safaris, beach trips to heritage and culinary tours.

For all those who want to discover Dubai on their own, we recommend taking the Dubai Metro which is an affordable way to get around the city. The metro connects Jebel Ali on the southern outskirts of Dubai, with Deira and Bur Dubai in the northern part of the emirate.

For more information about the city and its offerings, please visit the tourist help desk at the cruise terminal.

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Essential information

Plan ahead for the best cruise experience

Dubai provides a 30-day multiple entry visa for guests arriving in the UAE for a cruise holiday. This visa lets you move in and out of the city seamlessly for the duration of the visa, offering the opportunity to extend your stay beyond the cruise. Additionally, cruise staff are granted a six-month multiple entry visa, easing up immigration and boarding processes at the terminal.

Dubai is an award-winning holiday destination, renowned for its warm hospitality. As when visiting any foreign country, it’s recommended to familiarise yourself with local customs and culture. Being a largely Muslim country, it’s advisable to dress modestly.

The currency in Dubai and the UAE is the dirham (AED or Dhs). Credit cards are largely accepted but it is recommended to carry some cash, especially when you visit the souks. For added convenience, there is a money exchange house and an ATM machine at the cruise terminal.

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