Ultimate Arabian Coast Cruise ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Dubai , United Arab Emirates | Dubai , United Arab Emirates | Bahrain , Bahrain | Doha , Qatar | Sir Bani Yas , United Arab Emirates | Khasab , Oman | Muscat , Oman | Abu Dhabi , United Arab Emirates | Dubai , United Arab Emirates

YOUR SHIP

JEWEL OF THE SEAS

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YOUR SHIP

JEWEL OF THE SEAS

JEWEL OF THE SEAS

HIGHS AND SHINE

After a day spent wandering new shores, dive into a world of thrills on Jewel of the Seas®. Scale the Rock Climbing Wall or catch a movie on the poolside screen. Grab your playbill for West End to Broadway and raise a glass at Vintages. It's time to go all-in on adventure.

DAY 1 - Departure Day

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

CITY GLAM

DESERT SANDS

A taxi from the airport to the port or the center takes around 30 minutes. For an overview of this sprawling city, ascend the Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world. Cruise from Dubai to step back in time in the Al Fahidi Historical District, and visit the Dubai Museum to learn about the fast evolution from fishing and pearling village to a global center of commerce, finance and tourism.

The Dubai Fountain on the Burj Khalifa Lake with skyscrapers in the background

A taxi from the airport to the port or the center takes around 30 minutes. For an overview of this sprawling city, ascend the Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world. Cruise from Dubai to step back in time in the Al Fahidi Historical District, and visit the Dubai Museum to learn about the fast evolution from fishing and pearling village to a global center of commerce, finance and tourism.

The Dubai Fountain on the Burj Khalifa Lake with skyscrapers in the background
Things To Do

in Dubai

Woman in traditional muslim black dress in old arabic city district with mosque minaret in Al Fahidi Historical District of Dubai

Old Ways Still Alive

Stroll around the nicely restored Al Fahidi Historical District, where you can get an impression of life in this emirate before oil was discovered in the 1960s. Explore the narrow walking lanes with their sand-colored houses, cafes and galleries. Then visit Dubai Museum, built in 1787 and the oldest existing building in Dubai.

Aerial views of the city of Dubai from the top of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper

On Top of the World

Stand on the Burj Khalifa for breathtaking views of this extraordinary city. At 828 meters, this narrow tower is the world's tallest so far. It has an observation deck on the 124th and the 148th floor, and a restaurant-bar on the 122nd. Book tickets well in advance.

Classic historical buildings in Dubai before the oil boom in the 1960s

Maze of Modern Life

Head to Madinat Jumeirah, one of Dubai's most attractive developments. With your Dubai cruise, stroll along the desert-colored villas and hotels, alongside waterways with palms, banana trees and bougainvillea. Sit down in one of the trendy local cafes for a refreshing fruit juice. At the heart of this modern village lies Souq Madinat Jumeirah, a maze-like bazaar with shops lining wood-framed walkways.

Cooking grilled meat shawarma to make hot kebabs, a typical street food in Dubai

Local Cuisine

You'll be able to find food from anywhere around the globe here — but focus on the local fare for the most authentic experience with Dubai cruises. While you're out on the town, pick up a shawarma, shaved strips of spicy spit-roasted meat served in pita bread. Try manousheh, a flatbread topped with local Akkawi cheese and za'atar herbs. Slate your sweet tooth with luqaimat, fried dough balls spiced with saffron and cardamom.

Carpets found in the markets of Dubai

Shopping

Pick one of the large number of malls in this shopping Mecca. There's Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping center, as well as the Mall of Emirates. For a more traditional experience, browse the colorful souqs in Bur Dubai and Deira for Persian carpets, Arabic coffee pots and other trinkets.

DAY 2 - DOCKED

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

DEPARTS:
5:00 PM
GET DOWN

IN THE DESERT

Start your adventure near Dubai Creek: Explore the sand-colored architecture and winding alleyways of the Al Fahidi historical district, and see the nearby market. Enjoy tea in the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel, one of Dubai's most famous landmarks. Or head to Palm Jumeirah, the famous artificial palm-shaped islands, where you can take the monorail to the Atlantis Hotel.

The Burj Al Arab with palm trees and water seen from Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Riding camels along the beach in front of the Dubai Marina on a summer day in the United Arab Emirates

Start your adventure near Dubai Creek: Explore the sand-colored architecture and winding alleyways of the Al Fahidi historical district, and see the nearby market. Enjoy tea in the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel, one of Dubai's most famous landmarks. Or head to Palm Jumeirah, the famous artificial palm-shaped islands, where you can take the monorail to the Atlantis Hotel.

The Burj Al Arab with palm trees and water seen from Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Riding camels along the beach in front of the Dubai Marina on a summer day in the United Arab Emirates
Things To Do

in Dubai

Woman in traditional muslim black dress in old arabic city district with mosque minaret in Al Fahidi Historical District of Dubai

Old Ways Still Alive

Stroll around the nicely restored Al Fahidi Historical District, where you can get an impression of life in this emirate before oil was discovered in the 1960s. Explore the narrow walking lanes with their sand-colored houses, cafes and galleries. Then visit Dubai Museum, built in 1787 and the oldest existing building in Dubai.

Aerial views of the city of Dubai from the top of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper

On Top of the World

Stand on the Burj Khalifa for breathtaking views of this extraordinary city. At 828 meters, this narrow tower is the world's tallest so far. It has an observation deck on the 124th and the 148th floor, and a restaurant-bar on the 122nd. Book tickets well in advance.

Classic historical buildings in Dubai before the oil boom in the 1960s

Maze of Modern Life

Head to Madinat Jumeirah, one of Dubai's most attractive developments. With your Dubai cruise, stroll along the desert-colored villas and hotels, alongside waterways with palms, banana trees and bougainvillea. Sit down in one of the trendy local cafes for a refreshing fruit juice. At the heart of this modern village lies Souq Madinat Jumeirah, a maze-like bazaar with shops lining wood-framed walkways.

Cooking grilled meat shawarma to make hot kebabs, a typical street food in Dubai

Local Cuisine

You'll be able to find food from anywhere around the globe here — but focus on the local fare for the most authentic experience with Dubai cruises. While you're out on the town, pick up a shawarma, shaved strips of spicy spit-roasted meat served in pita bread. Try manousheh, a flatbread topped with local Akkawi cheese and za'atar herbs. Slate your sweet tooth with luqaimat, fried dough balls spiced with saffron and cardamom.

Carpets found in the markets of Dubai

Shopping

Pick one of the large number of malls in this shopping Mecca. There's Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping center, as well as the Mall of Emirates. For a more traditional experience, browse the colorful souqs in Bur Dubai and Deira for Persian carpets, Arabic coffee pots and other trinkets.

DAY 3 - DOCKED

Bahrain, Bahrain

ARRIVES:
10:00 AM
DEPARTS:
7:00 PM

Discover Bahrain

Bahrain — Arabic for "two seas" — has plenty of hidden surprises. One example is the Adliya neighborhood, where you can get a sense of Manama's flourishing art and foodie scene. Meet locals and members of the large expat population in the art galleries, fine cafes and restaurants. Then visit the monumental Qa'lat Al Bahrain, with the stone arches of its 15th-century fortifications and an even more ancient archaeological dig dating back to the third century B.C.

Skyline of Manama dominated by the World trade Center building, in Bahrain
Front view of the Al Fateh Grand Mosque in Bahrain
Sunrise on a green garden in Bahrain

Bahrain — Arabic for "two seas" — has plenty of hidden surprises. One example is the Adliya neighborhood, where you can get a sense of Manama's flourishing art and foodie scene. Meet locals and members of the large expat population in the art galleries, fine cafes and restaurants. Then visit the monumental Qa'lat Al Bahrain, with the stone arches of its 15th-century fortifications and an even more ancient archaeological dig dating back to the third century B.C.

Skyline of Manama dominated by the World trade Center building, in Bahrain
Front view of the Al Fateh Grand Mosque in Bahrain
Sunrise on a green garden in Bahrain
Things To Do

in Bahrain

View of the Bahrain National Museum in Bahrain

Prehistoric to Postmodern

At Bahrain National Museum, you'll get a good introduction to Bahrain's history. One of the highlights is the archaeological finds from the ancient Dilmun civilization that called the island home. Next door at the waterfront is the huge Bahrain National Theatre, a fabulous showpiece of sleek, postmodern architecture.

Beautiful archway in Bahrain Fort in the Kingdom of Bahrain

Fortifying the Past

The phenomenal UNESCO World Heritage-listed Qa'lat al Bahrain, or Bahrain Fort, is a 10-minute drive from central Manama. The fort built by the Portuguese in the 16th century as part of their defenses along the Gulf, but the hill site itself has been occupied from about 2,800 BC. Find out more in the museum next door, which showcases an impressive range of 500 artifacts unearthed here.

The wind-catcher tower at sunset over a courtyard of the restored traditional Arabian house of pearl trader Shaikh Isa bin Ali, in Bahrain

Bahraini Brilliance

Stroll along the narrow lanes and byways of Muharraq and admire the restored traditional Bahraini houses. The Sheikh Isa bin Ali House features four courtyards and magnificently carved wooden doors. Equally spectacular is the Sheikh Ebrahim Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research, the former home of a renowned pearl merchant.

Arabic machboos, mixed rice dish in Bahrain

Local Cuisine

Great food is everywhere in Manama. Cruise to Bahrai and pop into a local, family-run spot for machboos, a simple classic dish or chicken or fish spiced with baharat — an Arabian spice blend that typically includes paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom — served over rice. Lamb is also a staple here: Try it as spit-roasted shawarma wrapped in pita bread or as ghoozi, grilled lamb stuffed with eggs, onions and spices.

Colorful dishes in a market in Bahrain

Shopping

Go shopping for pearls, perfume or colorful hand-painted ceramics at Manama Souq, the city's traditional open-air market. Pick up some silver jewelry, a brass coffee pot or a carpet from the shops in Adliya. During your visit to Bahrai, escape the heat to one of the air-conditioned shopping malls, such as the vast Bahrain City Centre, Seef Mall or the smaller Al Aali Mall.

DAY 4 - DOCKED

Doha, Qatar

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM

Metropolitan City

A fast-growing modern metropolis, Doha looks to the Qatar's future while preserving its traditions, too. If the weather is mild enough, get to know the city by strolling the 5 kilometers from the Museum of Islamic Art to the Sheraton on West Bay. You can also board a dhow, a local fishing boat, for a relaxing cruise on the bay. Or explore the chic Pearl, a human-made island featuring Mediterranean-style yacht-lined marinas, malls and restaurants.

The skyline of the many skyscrapers on the bay of Doha, Qatar
Traditional Arabic Dhow boats with Qatar flags in Doha, Qatar
A building in the Katara cultural village of Doha, Qatar

A fast-growing modern metropolis, Doha looks to the Qatar's future while preserving its traditions, too. If the weather is mild enough, get to know the city by strolling the 5 kilometers from the Museum of Islamic Art to the Sheraton on West Bay. You can also board a dhow, a local fishing boat, for a relaxing cruise on the bay. Or explore the chic Pearl, a human-made island featuring Mediterranean-style yacht-lined marinas, malls and restaurants.

The skyline of the many skyscrapers on the bay of Doha, Qatar
Traditional Arabic Dhow boats with Qatar flags in Doha, Qatar
A building in the Katara cultural village of Doha, Qatar
Things To Do

in Doha

Colourful textiles on show at a shop in Souq Waqif market, Doha, Qatar

See You at the Souq

The traditional Souq Waqif is a mesmerizing place to explore. There's been a market here for centuries, though the original one was destroyed in a fire in 2003. Today, the area has been redeveloped to resemble a 19th-century market, with mud-rendered shops and beautifully restored Qatari buildings.

The geometric architecture of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar

Fortress of the Arts

The extraordinary building of the Museum of Islamic Art is located on a purpose-built island. Marvel at the largest collection of Islamic art in the world — you'll see everything from traditional Persian rugs and ancient jewelry to astrolabes, an astronomer's tool used in medieval times — and admire the splendid views across the water.

The marina waterfront walkway at the Pearl in Doha, Qatar

Walk on Water

Join the Qataris and the large number of expats for a stroll along the corniche, a manmade waterfront promenade built to form an attractive crescent. Cruise to Doha to admire the spectacular view of traditional wooden boats in the foreground and the futuristic skyscrapers of West Bay that lie across the water on land reclaimed from the sea.

Chicken Kabsa, homemade Arabian biryani, spicy rice with chicken in Doha, Qatar

Local Cuisine

The diverse people who built Doha also brought with them their home cuisines, which means you can sample food from anywhere in the world. For the most distinctive bites, try simple, traditional Qatari dishes like kabsa, which pairs chicken marinated in tomatoes and spices with fried almonds and raisins over rice, or thareed, a hearty stew of carrots, beans and potatoes with chicken or lamb.

Arabic brass souvenirs for sale in Doha, Qatar

Shopping

Browse the shops in the traditional Souq Waqif for perfumes, textiles, carpets and handicrafts. Visit the Falcon Souq, the Gold Souq, and the Bird Souq too. Doha cruises give you access to countless shopping malls, like City Center Doha, Landmark and the Venetia-themed Villaggio, offer a mix of dining, shopping and entertainment.

DAY 5 - TENDERED

Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates

ARRIVES:
11:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM

Explore Sir Bani Yas

Originally the private retreat of Sheikh Zayed, the desert island of Sir Bani Yas today is home to thousands of free-roaming animals and stark desert landscapes. Embark on a 4X4 adventure to spot cheetahs and oryx, a species of antelope native to the region. Visit the ruins of Sir Bani Yas Christian Church and Monastery, thought to date back to 600 A.D.

Beautiful clear water of the beach in Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates
Wild life antelopes with trees and mountains in the background, in Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates
Scimitar oryx in a wildlife reserve in Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates

Originally the private retreat of Sheikh Zayed, the desert island of Sir Bani Yas today is home to thousands of free-roaming animals and stark desert landscapes. Embark on a 4X4 adventure to spot cheetahs and oryx, a species of antelope native to the region. Visit the ruins of Sir Bani Yas Christian Church and Monastery, thought to date back to 600 A.D.

Beautiful clear water of the beach in Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates
Wild life antelopes with trees and mountains in the background, in Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates
Scimitar oryx in a wildlife reserve in Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates
Things To Do

in Sir Bani Yas

A cheetah walking around peafowls on Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates

Born to Be Wild

Take an exciting 4x4 vehicle tour of the Arabian Wildlife Park and spot some of the free-roaming wildlife. Look out for the oryx (a cousin of the African antelope), Barbary sheep, ostriches, sand gazelles, cheetahs and giraffes. In between wildlife sightings, admire some of the serene desert landscapes. There's a viewing platform you can take advantage of for supreme pictures.

Landscape of trees and mountains in Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates

Desert Disciples

Visit the United Arab Emirates' only ancient Christian monastic archaeological site on the eastern side of the island. The Sir Bani Yas Church and Monastery is believed to have been built around 600 A.D. and was discovered during excavations in 1992, but archaeologists are still unearthing treasures. A tour will give you a fascinating understanding of the area's history.

Sea landscape with canoes in the background on Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates

Get Into the Gulf

Step in a kayak to observe the captivating mangrove trees from close by. Watch the elegant flamingos in the shallows, and encounter schools of flying fish while you paddle through the tranquil waters. You can go paddle boarding as well, or take a swim in the warm sea water during your cruise vacation.

Chicken mandi, traditional seasoned rice Arab food in Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates

Local Cuisine

Sample the sumptuous cuisine at the hotel restaurants, managed by hospitality group Anantara. Savannah Grill serves gourmet delicacies from the African continent, and the Al Shams Restaurant and Bar offers authentic Arab dishes. Enjoy chicken mandi — a half chicken coated with cumin, cardamom and other spices, served over rice with almonds and raisins — with a glass of champagne and the lapping sounds of the ocean in the background.

Rows of typical oriental shoes at a market in Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates

Shopping

As opposed to most other destinations in the United Arab Emirates and in the rest of the Persian Gulf region, Sir Bani Yas isn't overflowing with malls. The Desert Islands Resort and Spa by Anantara features a small souvenirs shop. Cruise to Sir Bani Yas and pick up a lovely silk shawl, a handpainted lamp or ornate shoes for your journey home.

DAY 6 - DOCKED

Khasab, Oman

ARRIVES:
11:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM
THE WILD WEST

OF THE MIDDLE EAST

On the glittering shores of the Strait of Hormuz, Khasab is town full of tradition set against a dramatic landscape. Take in the slight Wild West-like atmosphere, with sandy desert and imposing hills as you walk from the porch down to quiet Bassa Beach. From here, you can go diving among the coral reefs or step aboard a dhow, a traditional wooden sailboat, to explore the coastline and its inlets surrounded by rugged fjords.

A cannon at the exterior walls of the Khasab Castle in Oman
Boats anchored in a fjord in Oman
A coastal road and village in Oman

On the glittering shores of the Strait of Hormuz, Khasab is town full of tradition set against a dramatic landscape. Take in the slight Wild West-like atmosphere, with sandy desert and imposing hills as you walk from the porch down to quiet Bassa Beach. From here, you can go diving among the coral reefs or step aboard a dhow, a traditional wooden sailboat, to explore the coastline and its inlets surrounded by rugged fjords.

A cannon at the exterior walls of the Khasab Castle in Oman
Boats anchored in a fjord in Oman
A coastal road and village in Oman
Things To Do

in Khasab

Interior of the Khasab castle in Oman

Castle in the Sand

Visit Khasab Castle, a large stone fort built by the Portuguese colonists in the 17th century. Check out the distinctive cylindrical central tower, and see the museum inside, displaying jewelry, rugs and other antique items from the period when the fort was built. Outside, you can see large wooden dhows, a type of wooden fishing sailboat traditional to the area.

A traditional dhow boat cruising through the water

Arabian Fjords

Experience a breathtaking harbor tour on a traditional Omani dhow to see Musandam's longest and most spectacular fjord, also known as the Norway of Arabia. Admire the views of towering mountains and small fishing villages. Go swimming or snorkeling in the calm turquoise waters, and watch dolphins swim past.

The Khor Najd fjord in Oman

Raw Nature

Explore the peninsula on a mountain safari, a tour with a 4WD. Visit Khor An Najd, a beautiful bay with a stunning viewpoint at the top of the graded road. Then continue the spectacular road to Jebel Harim (Mountain of Women) to soak in the scenery of limestone formations and crescent-shaped canyons.

Two grilled chicken skewer

Local Cuisine

In the Khasab center, you'll find a number of local restaurants serving simple, traditional fare. Try grilled local prawns or comforting madrouba, a porridge from soft rice, chicken and spices. Fill up on meshkak (grilled meat kebabs) or shuwa, slow-cooked lamb or other meat with cumin, cloves and other spices, served over basmati rice. Finish off with halwa, a sweet custard made with eggs, honey, rose water, nuts and spices.

Clay jugs for sale at a market in Oman

Shopping

Browse the small shops in the souq (market) area in the center of town. Buy some fresh palm dates to take home, or pick up a traditional handcrafted walking stick inlaid with silver. The shop at Khasab Castle also carries local Musandam and Omani handicrafts, including silver brooches and colorful clay jugs.

DAY 7 - DOCKED

Muscat, Oman

ARRIVES:
10:00 AM
DEPARTS:
10:00 PM

Coastal Castle

Explore this fairy-tale town of medieval Middle East heritage by foot. Get lost in the dazzling Mutrah Souq, a colorful labyrinth with ceramics, jewelry and spices. See the Portuguese forts of Al Mirani and Al Jalali on the sand-colored hillsides. Explore the massive Grand Mosque, and admire the city's many other architecture landmarks, such as the Royal Opera House, a blend of Omani and Italian-imported marble.

Views of the city of Muscat, Oman with clear skies and views of mosques and city buildings
Views of the mountain landscape and ocean in Muscat, Oman
Fishermen with their boats on the docks of Muscat, Oman

Explore this fairy-tale town of medieval Middle East heritage by foot. Get lost in the dazzling Mutrah Souq, a colorful labyrinth with ceramics, jewelry and spices. See the Portuguese forts of Al Mirani and Al Jalali on the sand-colored hillsides. Explore the massive Grand Mosque, and admire the city's many other architecture landmarks, such as the Royal Opera House, a blend of Omani and Italian-imported marble.

Views of the city of Muscat, Oman with clear skies and views of mosques and city buildings
Views of the mountain landscape and ocean in Muscat, Oman
Fishermen with their boats on the docks of Muscat, Oman
Things To Do

in Muscat

Impressive twin forts called Fort Al-Jalali at the entrance of Old Muscat's harbor near Sultan Qaboos palace in Muscat, Oman

Portuguese Past

The Portuguese occupiers built the impressive Al Jalali and Al Mirani Fort in the 16th century. Although they're closed to the public, they're a stunning backdrop for stroll along the harbor. The forts are on both sides high on the cliffs guarding the city's entrance.

Impressive twin forts called Fort Al-Jalali at the entrance of Old Muscat's harbor near Sultan Qaboos palace in Muscat, Oman

Play Sultan

Visit the Grand Mosque (open in the morning), a gift to the nation from Sultan Qaboos and a mix of Omani, Islamic and modern architecture. It can accommodate 20,000 worshippers and has a rich prayer hall, an elaborate chandelier and a huge Persian carpet that took four years to weave.

The National Museum entrance in Muscat, Oman

Picturesque Heritage

Learn more about Oman's past in the elegant New National Museum in Old Muscat. Browse the beautifully presented archaeological artifacts, manuscripts and ship models during your Muscat cruise. When you're done, snap a photo of the Al Alam Palace with its blue and gold pillars opposite the museum.

A traditional arabic meal with rice, meats, and sauces

Local Cuisine

The traditional dish of Oman is majboos (also called kabsa), basmati rice with spicy beef, chicken or fish — typically local-caught lobster, mackerel or red snapper — served with yogurt sauce. Perk up with a cup of kahwa, the local coffee mixed with cardamom powder, served alongside dates and sweets after a meal.

Beautiful and colorful decorative lamp shade lanterns being sold at the Muttrah Square in Muscat, Oman

Shopping

Head to Mutrah Souq, Muscat's oldest market and one of the most characterful souqs in the region. Cruise to Muscat and browse a variety of goods and souvenirs like frankincense, perfumes, gold and silver jewelry, Omani hats and ornate decorative lamps with traditional geometric patterns. You can also shop in The Avenues or one of the other big modern malls for more modern retail therapy.

DAY 8 - AT SEA

CRUISING

CAN'T MISS FAVORITES

Girl Climbing the Rock Wall while Parents Watch
Family Playing Mini Golf on Liberty of the Seas

Girl Climbing the Rock Wall while Parents Watch
Family Playing Mini Golf on Liberty of the Seas

Things to Do

DAY 9 - DOCKED

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

Modern City

Stroll along the Corniche, lined with the beach, children's play areas, separate cycle and pedestrian pathways, cafes and restaurants. Take in the city's past with a visit to the Al Hosn Palace, the oldest building in Abu Dhabi. Then go shopping — a national pastime in Abu Dhabi — in Yas Mall, or one of the many other large, modern shopping centers.

The orange sand desert in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Middle East United Arab Emirates with reflection on water in Abu Dhabi
View of Abu Dhabi's skyline from above during sunset

Stroll along the Corniche, lined with the beach, children's play areas, separate cycle and pedestrian pathways, cafes and restaurants. Take in the city's past with a visit to the Al Hosn Palace, the oldest building in Abu Dhabi. Then go shopping — a national pastime in Abu Dhabi — in Yas Mall, or one of the many other large, modern shopping centers.

The orange sand desert in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Middle East United Arab Emirates with reflection on water in Abu Dhabi
View of Abu Dhabi's skyline from above during sunset
Things To Do

in Abu Dhabi

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Majestic Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is constructed with 100,000 tons of white Greek and Macedonian marble and can accommodate 40,000 worshippers. It's one of the few mosques in the region open to non-Muslims. Admire the 1,000 pillars, the floral designs inlaid with semi-precious stones and the 80 marble domes.

The modern museum called the Abu Dhabi Louvre in Saadiyat Island

Story of Humanity

Head to Saadiyat Island, where the Abu Dhabi Louvre opened in November 2017 in an extraordinary building designed by notable architect Jean Nouvel. The museum's art works encompass the history of civilization. There are also special exhibition spaces, a Children's Museum, restaurants and retail shops.

View from above of the mangroves in Abu Dhabi

Water Labyrinths

Go kayaking or join a boat trip to the Eastern Mangroves off the northeast coast of Abu Dhabi. Cruise to Abu Dhabi and paddle or sail along the narrow labyrinths of the subtropical mangroves. Keep your eye out for crabs, turtles, fish, shrimps and birds.

Local cuisine in Abu Dhabi is chicken tagine with preserved lemon and green olives

Local Cuisine

As a home for a wide array of expatriate communities, Abu Dhabi's cuisine is delightfully varied. Seek out Moroccan tagine, meat cooked with fragrant spices in an earthenware pot, or Lebanese zataar-crusted rack of lamb. Or head to Hakkasan for high-end takes on Chinese classics, like Peking duck with caviar or grilled Wagyu beef with soy.

Handmade pillows sold at the local markets in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Shopping

There are many ultra-modern shopping malls with the most luxurious tax-free items. Head to The Galleria at Maryah Island or Avenue at Etihad Towers for an exquisite shopping experience during your Abu Dhabi cruise. If you're looking for traditional handicrafts, perfumes and sweets, visit Souk Qaryat Al Beri, the Women's Handicraft Centre or Abu Dhabi Heritage Village.

DAY 10 - Arrival Day

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

ARRIVES:
4:00 AM
GET DOWN

IN THE DESERT

Less than 10 percent of Dubai's population are original Emiratis (the majority are South Asian expats). To meet locals and taste local home-cooked food, join the Cultural Breakfast at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Before you leave, pop into a mall — also a welcome escape from the heat. You can seek out some world-class bargains or indulge in some ultra-luxurious retail therapy.

Skyscrapers towering over downtown Dubai
The Luxury Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Less than 10 percent of Dubai's population are original Emiratis (the majority are South Asian expats). To meet locals and taste local home-cooked food, join the Cultural Breakfast at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Before you leave, pop into a mall — also a welcome escape from the heat. You can seek out some world-class bargains or indulge in some ultra-luxurious retail therapy.

Skyscrapers towering over downtown Dubai
The Luxury Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Things To Do

in Dubai

Woman in traditional muslim black dress in old arabic city district with mosque minaret in Al Fahidi Historical District of Dubai

Old Ways Still Alive

Stroll around the nicely restored Al Fahidi Historical District, where you can get an impression of life in this emirate before oil was discovered in the 1960s. Explore the narrow walking lanes with their sand-colored houses, cafes and galleries. Then visit Dubai Museum, built in 1787 and the oldest existing building in Dubai.

Aerial views of the city of Dubai from the top of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper

On Top of the World

Stand on the Burj Khalifa for breathtaking views of this extraordinary city. At 828 meters, this narrow tower is the world's tallest so far. It has an observation deck on the 124th and the 148th floor, and a restaurant-bar on the 122nd. Book tickets well in advance.

Classic historical buildings in Dubai before the oil boom in the 1960s

Maze of Modern Life

Head to Madinat Jumeirah, one of Dubai's most attractive developments. With your Dubai cruise, stroll along the desert-colored villas and hotels, alongside waterways with palms, banana trees and bougainvillea. Sit down in one of the trendy local cafes for a refreshing fruit juice. At the heart of this modern village lies Souq Madinat Jumeirah, a maze-like bazaar with shops lining wood-framed walkways.

Cooking grilled meat shawarma to make hot kebabs, a typical street food in Dubai

Local Cuisine

You'll be able to find food from anywhere around the globe here — but focus on the local fare for the most authentic experience with Dubai cruises. While you're out on the town, pick up a shawarma, shaved strips of spicy spit-roasted meat served in pita bread. Try manousheh, a flatbread topped with local Akkawi cheese and za'atar herbs. Slate your sweet tooth with luqaimat, fried dough balls spiced with saffron and cardamom.

Carpets found in the markets of Dubai

Shopping

Pick one of the large number of malls in this shopping Mecca. There's Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping center, as well as the Mall of Emirates. For a more traditional experience, browse the colorful souqs in Bur Dubai and Deira for Persian carpets, Arabic coffee pots and other trinkets.

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