Dubai Cruise Terminal at Port Rashid is where cruise ships dock. This is a very well-developed terminal, in fact there are three separate ones, considered one of the five top luxury cruise ports in the world. There are plenty of facilities at the port itself, there are shops and eateries, currency exchange shop, post office, even a concierge to organise shore trips. There is a business centre with free Wi Fi as well. Getting around is very easy, plenty of taxis (very affordable in Dubai, just make sure the driver always has the meter on) and most of the shopping malls send their shuttles to pick up potential customers from the port. It’s not really possible to walk to anywhere. The nearest metro station is about 12 minutes by car away. Dubai International Airport is 15 km away or 25 minutes by car. Central Dubai is the same distance.
The local currency is the Emirate Dirham – AED. Exchanging money is very easy, the rates in Dubai would normally be better than the rates at home. There are quite a few money exchanging shops scattered around the city. Getting cash from ATMs is also safe and easy, but do check with your bank whether there are any fees for getting different currency and make sure you have notified your bank you will be abroad.
The language spoken in Dubai is traditionally Arabic, but being such an international trading and financial hub everyone in Dubai speaks English, since more than a third of the population is foreign.
Opening hours and bank holidays. The working week in Dubai is normally Sunday to Thursday. Some small independent shops would only be closed on Friday, which is the locals’ Sunday. All of the malls work with extended working hours every day, sometimes they are open until as late as midnight. Many of the businesses take a break from about 1 pm until 4 pm, and then work until 7 or 8 pm to avoid the midday heat. Smaller shops and businesses will either be closed, or operate with reduced hours on the national holidays, such as the holy month of Ramadan, which is in summer months. Most of the food outlets will be closed during that month, very few are open for tourists and serve food and drinks behind curtains. You are not allowed to eat, drink, chew or smoke in public outside of those areas before midnight. Hotels are less affected, normally there is no alcohol served until midnight. Every year the rules differ slightly, as the directions are issued by the Sheikh of Dubai just before Ramadan. Do make yourself aware of any other bank holidays and how they may affect your trip.
Dress code. Although very open to tourists, Dubai remains a strict Muslim city and the local ways have to be respected. If you are out and about in the city’s markets and malls, the ladies’ shoulders and knees should be covered with non-transparent clothing. Underwear should not show. Swimwear is allowed on beaches, but not going topless. If you are going on a public beach in swimwear and you are a woman, be prepared for stairs from the local male beach-goers. You are also not recommended to show public signs of affection to your partner (including holding hands), and it is absolutely forbidden to swear and appear drunk in public. Same sex couples and marriages are not recognised and are considered illegal. Cross-dressing is also considered illegal. If you are carrying medicines with you, make sure you have doctor’s prescription for all of them, covering the illness and the period of travel.
Tipping in Dubai is quite common, although there are service charges and taxes added to your restaurant bill. The norm is 10-15%. Taxi drivers would not expect a tip as such, rounding up the fare would be enough. Between 5 and 10 AED is enough for hotel staff.
The localtime in Dubai is GMT + 4 hours and the dialling code is + 971.
Things To Do
Head off to Burj Khalifa in central Dubai. Still the tallest building in the world since 2008, it offers not only magnificent vistas of Dubai from its observation deck, but is also a viewing platform for the Dubai Fountain show – an explosion of colour, music and water in motion.
Don’t miss a visit to Dubai Aquarium – one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world, located at Dubai Mall – the world’s largest mall. It’s a home to more than 33000 aquatic animals of over 200 species. The Underwater Zoo is also here.
Seeing the Etihad Museum is an absolute must if you wish to learn more about the history of the United Arab Emirates. The former name of the building is the Union House and this is where the leaders of the seven emirates have signed the declaration that outlined the formation of the UAE. Opened only recently, in January 2017, the museum holds a permanent collection of artefacts and presents interactive programmes and educational experiences that describe all aspects of the history of the Emirates. It also aims to provide information about the constitution of the Emirati nation.
The Grand Mosque of Dubai is a monument of worship that can hold up to 1200 worshipers and has the tallest minaret in Dubai – 70 metres of height. This Persian style building blends beautifully with the surrounding structures in Bur Dubai and is an architectural masterpiece with its 9 large and 45 small domes, artistic mosaic work and handmade wooden ornaments.
There are a lot more attractions in Dubai worth mentioning. The rulers of the city put great efforts into building the first, the tallest, the largest, the fastest, the most luxurious and the best of everything, so the city is a home to some record breaking attractions mentioned above – the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall, but also home to the world’s only 7 star hotel – Burj Al Arab, the world’s highest restaurant At.mosphere at 441.3 metres, the only indoor Ski slope at Mall of the Emirates, the world’s largest indoor theme park – IMG Worlds of adventure and many more. The thrill seekers can car race at Dubai Autodrome, the nature lovers can see The Green Planet Dubai, and those looking for cultural experiences can visit the XVA Gallery Dubai. For an authentic taste of Dubai we recommend taking an “abra” (traditional boat) to explore Dubai creek, taking a stroll around a couple of the world renowned markets in Dubai, called “souks” – the Gold Souk, the Spice Souk and the Textile souk. You can take a glimpse into how local used to live at the Heritage Shindagha Village or try your skills at Dubai’s oldest tradition – falconry.
All Cruises and Flight details are subject to availability and price variation. Final package price is available upon payment of deposit and confirming your ATOL & ABTA protected cruise holiday