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What to Know about the Ports on an Arabian Gulf Cruise

An Arabian gulf cruise is not on many people’s radar, which makes this cruise destination feel both adventurous and luxurious since you’ll be traveling somewhere that many Americans don’t go and you’ll be visiting some of the wealthiest cities in the world. The Arabian Gulf is also known by its official name of the Persian Gulf. Whatever you call it, you’re in for an exciting vacation to sky-high cities and alluring desert landscape bordering the emerald hued gulf.

The ports of call located along the Arabian gulf are both located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE): Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Both serve as embarkation ports for cruise itineraries out of the region and you’ll find a variety of entertaining, historic, and cultural activities to do while in each port.

Shopping Plus Other Mall and Theme Park Adventures

The United Arab Emirates is home to some of the most luxurious and largest malls in the world. Dubai Mall is the second largest shopping center in the world according to mass land area, and it has an assortment of high-end shops along its Fashion Avenue.

Dubai Mall is also home to more adventuresome activities like ice-skating, a virtual reality park, an aquarium, state-of-the-art movie theater, an Emirates A380 flight simulator, an innovative kid zone, and more.

At Mall of the Emirates, also in Dubai and also one of the world’s largest shopping centers, you’ll find more luxury boutiques as well as an actual indoor ski resort. At Ski Dubai, you can rent skis and spend the day riding the chairlift up the “mountain” before gliding back down atop glistening manmade snow.

Abu Dhabi also has numerous luxury shopping opportunities. If you’re looking more for active things to do while in port (and give yourself some loft ideas for car shopping) head to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, a Ferrari-branded theme park that is home the world’s fastest roller coaster and the world’s largest space frame structure.

Stunning Architecture to See on an Arabian Gulf Cruise

The aforementioned Dubai Mall has one more feat: it’s adjacent to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Burj Khalifa is an astounding skyscraper that reaches up into the sky for 2,722 feet. That’s over half a mile long! You can visit an observation platform on the 148th level that provides a 360-degree view of Dubai and the surrounding scenery.

Abu Dhabi is also known for its unique and beautiful architecture. The massive Sheikh Zayed Mosque is one of the landmarks at the top of traveler’s list to see due to its gleaming white color and 82 domes.

An Arabian Gulf Cruise Takes You to Amazing Desert Landscapes

Next to the stunning city skyline is a different type of sight: the low rolling horizon made by the miles of sand dunes surrounding. Extending out from Dubai and Abu Dhabi is a very different landscape from what you see right by the gulf. Instead of salty seawater, you’ll encounter an expanse of sand that creates a breathtaking horizon of tan earth against the blue sky with silhouettes of camels often seen.

Common ways to explore the dunes while in port in Dubai or Abu Dhabi are via 4x4 all-terrain vehicles or a camel caravan. An especially memorably way to see the dunes if you have a night in port is to do one of the overnight excursions that let you have dinner and then sleep in a glamorous campsite for the night.

Other Ports of Call on an Arabian Gulf Cruise

When on an Arabian Gulf cruise, you won’t just visit the cities of the UAE that are right on the gulf.

Near the Persian Gulf, on the Oman Gulf, is the picturesque city of Muscat, and our cruises in the region usually stop there as well.

Muscat is the capital city of Oman and is located on the northern coast of the country, a short distance from the UAE border, making Muscat a popular stop of Dubai and India cruise itineraries. Take a walking tour of the city and visit the picturesque mosques and harbor, or embark on an excursion to the nearby forts of Oman or take a traditional dhow boat ride off Oman’s coast.

Other ports of call typically visited on an Arabian Gulf cruise from Dubai or Abu Dhabi often include Aqaba, Jordan; Limassol, Cyprus; and the islands of Greece if sailing to the west. If traveling westward, you’ll typically travel to the western ports of India, including Bombay and Goa, and often onto ports of call in Southeast Asia like Phuket, Thailand; Penang, Malaysia; and Singapore.

Save Money on Your Arabian Gulf Vacation

As you’ve no doubt gleaned by now, the luxurious ways of the cities bordering the Arabian Gulf mean visiting those destinations often come with a steep price tag. Doing a land-based vacation to the region is hard to do on a budget and still get a taste of the glamorous lifestyle you can find in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Taking an Arabian Gulf cruise means you can spend multiple days visiting this region without having to shell out a hefty sum to stay in hotels or dine out for every meal.

Instead, you’ll stay in your comfortable stateroom or suite on your modern and luxurious cruise ship. In the morning, enjoy an included breakfast on the ship before heading out to enjoy the sights and sounds of that day’s port of call. You can still experience the cuisine of the region, though, if you’d like, thanks to culinary-focused shore excursions. Overnights are often offered in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on Arabian Gulf cruise itineraries, which give you an opportunity to eat at one of the city restaurants and then experience the nightlife after.

Start Planning Your Arabian Gulf Cruise

To book your Arabian gulf cruise, browse our itineraries to find the perfect fit for you. You also will want to check out City Stay options for Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as look into Flights by Celebrity to make your vacation as comfortable, memorable, and hassle-free as possible.

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