Cruise ships dock at Port Rashid.
Three large modern cruise terminals next to each other offer their services. Taxis are plentiful. The drive to Dubai Mall is about 10 minutes. Around 10 Euro. Return rate slightly less. If you take a taxi anywhere in the UAE, ask for the meter to be switched on even if you make a tour by taxi.
Hop on/off buses will be at each terminal, transporting you to a point where the red and blue lines meet. (Wafi Mall) Here you can take an hop on/off bus. This bus will also take you back to the port. It is recommended to buy the 48-hour ticket if you want to see most of the sights.
As the whole terminal area is fenced off, walking is not an option here and there is nothing to see anyway within walking distance.
Some shopping malls also offer free shuttles, they have a desk in the terminal. (Marcato Mall, Al Ghurair City, Dubai Outlet Mall and Burjaman, the latter closest to a Metro station.)
From the cruise terminal to Dubai airport is about a 15-minute drive. About $15 per taxi.
Hotels in Dubai.
Map of Dubai.
Check here for festivals and events in Dubai when you are in port.
Watch a destination video.
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 center 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 center 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 huge 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 water sports 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. With so many attractive attributes, it is not surprising that Dubai rates highly with world-class travelers, businessmen and the international jet set.
Dubai Museum This excellent museum features a great collection of interesting artifacts from Dubai's pre-oil days when the city was known as an important pearl diving and trading center. The museum is air-conditioned and exhibits are labeled 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.
"Old Dubai" is best viewed at the Creek. Around bus stop 10 (red route) one will still see ships completely loaded by hand. A huge contrast in this city of glamor, but surely a photo opportunity.
The best way to see Dubai is by Hop on/off bus, see above. If there on a Friday take the Blue Line first and then the Red Line, as most of the downtown is "closed" in the morning.
Travel on foot is not recommended: too hot and the sights are too spread out. Taxis are very cheap!
The big thing to do in Dubai is to go to "At The Top", the viewing platform of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Don’t do this on a shore excursion – it’s too rushed. Instead, on the night you’re in port in Dubai , go it alone. It’s easy. Tickets are time-controlled so book online a long way ahead and time your visit for sunset. Take a cab from the port. Wander round the shops and market, watch the spectacular musical fountains and then head for At The Top to watch the sunset.
While you are there visit the Dubai Fountain, the world's largest dancing fountain and one with a very enticing display - a definite must see. The show takes place at the Burj Dubai Lake. An easy way to approach it is via the Dubai Mall. Daily 1 pm and 1.30 pm (on Friday 1.30 pm and 2.00 PM) and from 6 pm to 11 pm every half an hour.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Dubai is a shopper's paradise due to its free port status, low import duties and no taxation. Modern, air-conditioned 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 jewelry to designer creations, cameras, electronics and oriental rugs. Shops at the malls are open from 10 am till late at night.
The Mall of the Emirates even offers the largest indoor ski slope in the world. You have to see it to believe it!
Dubai Mall boasts over 1200 stores and eateries, a walk through the huge aquarium, huge waterfalls, an ice skating rink and the magic fountains in front of the Burj Khalifa. See above.
For automobile aficionados: just watch the world's most beautiful cars being parked around the entrances of the mall.
The currency is the United Arab Emirates dirham (AED, local abbreviation dhs). The Dirham is pegged to the USD, so rate variations with this currency are unlikely.
Free Wifi facilities in the terminal. When the crew members are using the facilities in great numbers, speeds are very slow to no connection at all. Wait till the crew has to be onboard (a half before guests boarding time) and you will find that the connections are improving. Some Hop on/off buses now also offer free WiFi.
Shopping hours Daily 0900-1300 and 1600-2100, but many and all mall shops are open all day. Shops sometimes close for prayers Fri 1130-1330.
Holidays in the United Arab Emirates
Thank you for printing this article! Please don’t forget to come back to whatsinport.com for new and updated port guides.