Dubai and the Emirates
Not only is it one of the richest economic hubs on earth, Dubai has become one of its most memorable and luxurious holiday destinations.
They may seem a whole wonderful world away in terms of culture, climate and extreme affluence, yet the exclusive city of Dubai and its Emirate neighbours lie within exciting, easy reach of cruise ships.
Iconic, landmark, luxury hotels, unbelievable shopping opportunities and stunning beaches combine with a centuries old cultural richness for an irresistibly beguiling blend that more and more visitors are experiencing with each passing year.
The brilliantly beautiful Burj Al Arab with its boat-sail façade and its taller young brother, the world’s tallest hotel Burj Khalifa, punctuate Dubai’s awe-inspiring skyline and announce the city’s emergence on the world stage.
Explore a little further, though, and you’ll discover less flamboyant but equally magical features this part of the world has to offer, with traditional architecture framing the vibrant streets where aromatic spice stalls sit side-by-side with clothes and jewellery shops where you’ll find high-quality items at lower prices than just about anywhere in the world.
If designer shopping is your bag, bracelet or boots then visits to the Emirates Mall and the Dubai Mall – the world’s biggest shopping ‘resort’ in the surrounds of the Burj Khalifa – will blow you away.
Hundreds of glitzy shops, scores of fantastic restaurants, numerous cinemas and themed attractions make these incredible places a highlight of any visit to the city.
Your Emirates itinerary may also take in other significant Persian Gulf sites such as the relatively liberal state of Bahrain with its charming coffee houses, marvellous mosques and the chance to sail on a traditional dhow.
The colourful clash of ancient and modern continues to display itself as you continue to Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates where shore excursions include an opportunity to journey inland to ride a desert camel and enjoy the renowned Bedouin hospitality.
In Oman you can soak in the majesty of the port of Muscat by using one of its three magnificent forts as an amazing vantage point, or take a 4x4 ride to wonder at the incredible lost city of Ubar during a visit to Salalah.
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Costa Mediterranea | 16 February 2019
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MSC Splendida | 10 February 2019