Dubai, UAE

Soaring skyscrapers rising high above the desert landscape stand side by side with ancient history, creating one of the world’s most iconic and impressive metropolises – Dubai.

6 hours in… Dubai

There are two distinct sides to Dubai – old Dubai and modern Dubai – and unless you opt for a hotel stay in the city either before or after your voyage, it may be difficult to fully experience both parts during a single day here.

Travellers hoping to discover more about Dubai and the United Arab Emirates’ ancient culture and fascinating heritage should head straight for old Dubai. Here you will find a wealth of historic landmarks and wonderful experiences to savour. Visit the beautiful Jumeirah Mosque or take a walk through the historic Bastakiya district – one of Dubai few as-yet-untouched historic areas. The Dubai Museum is also an essential calling point for anyone with an interest in how the city has grown and developed over recent decades.

The Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest building

The Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building

In contrast, Dubai modern districts are brimming with contemporary structures, soaring skyscrapers and marvellous attractions. The Burj Khalifa is perhaps Dubai’s most famous building – and standing at over 800 metres is the world’s tallest man-made structure. Nearby you’ll also find some of the city’s other impressive landmarks, incredible the unique Burj al Arab – one of the world’s only six-star hotels – alongside the stunning Dubai Marina and the iconic Palm Islands, located just offshore.

Been before?

If you didn’t have chance on your first visit to Dubai, then a trip to the city’s bustling souks is a must upon your return. Many traditional souks are located across old Dubai, each with their own niche – so whether its fabrics, spices, gold and handicrafts you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it here.

Dubai's stunning marina

Dubai’s stunning marina

On the other hand, shopping in one of Dubai’s incredible contemporary mega-malls can be equally as exciting. From the grand Dubai Mall to the colossal Mall of the Emirates, each of the city’s huge shopping centres offer a unique experience and the chance to browse for a plethora of well-known branded products as well as authentic local trinkets.

Can’t keep away?

Outdoor activities are abundant across Dubai, and if you find yourself in the city with a taste for adventure, why not experience Dubai with a unique kind of tour.

A desert safari – or Dune Bashing – is a great way to explore Dubai’s outlying regions and cover vast areas of spectacular desert in a 4×4 jeep or dune buggy. Alternatively, you could climb atop a camel and – with an expert guide, of course – embark on a trek across the region’s rugged landscape. However, surely one of the most awe-inspiring ways to see Dubai is from above on a thrilling hot air balloon ride over the city, offering a birds-eye view of some of the region’s most iconic landmarks and historic districts.

Don’t even bother!

It is very important to respect local laws and culture whilst in Dubai, as doing or saying the wrong thing can get you into trouble. Avoid public displays of affection or overly lewd behaviour and dress appropriately in public places to avoid offending the locals.

Emma Smith
Emma has more than seven years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for nearly five years. She loves learning about new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Princess Cruises, Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Avalon Waterways and Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in her diary for 2024! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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