Cruising the Arabian Gulf to 2019

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Abu , UAE, Accomodations, Advice, Dubai UAE, Itineraries, Middle East, Middle East, Muscat, Oman, Review, Story

 

Travel People is the preferred sales agent and shore excursion operator of Europe’s leading cruise company, Costa Cruises.  The attached itinerary provides an overview of our UAE and Oman Cruise.

Well, it was about time we ventured UAE as a destination rather than a usual stopover to and from Manila.  And happy we were, to explore such multifaceted places – loved how each one retained its exotic charm while welcoming the perks of modern, contemporary standards. We also came at a perfect time – Winter Season was a crisp 24° / 15° outdoors and December hails of many festivals and YE sales. A great way for some last hurrah!

Costa took such good care of us last December 2018 that my mom declared we take another YE cruise with them.  We liked the route and the comfortable flow of this itinerary.  It was an opportunity to experience Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat at a good pace with an average of 2 full days per city.   Unfortunately, the foggy weather didn’t permit us to see Sir Bani Yas Island but an additional Day of Pampering at Sea was good too.

We planned a few days in Dubai as our jump off point for our NY’s Cruise.  I discovered this gorgeous apartment right by the famous Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall.    Elite Royal Apartment Burj Residences.   It was the perfect location for my family to go about their own interests.  My mom and brother were entertained in the mall while the rest of us explored further.

 

 

Skirting the Burj Khalifa in downtown Dubai is every shopper’s paradise. The massive Dubai Mall is one of the largest shopping centers in the world and houses more than 1,300 stores. Even if you aren’t interested in buying anything, a visit to this immense retail center is a must: The Dubai Mall also contains numerous entertainment facilities, such as an ice rink, a movie theater and several kid-friendly attractions, including an aquarium that houses thousands of underwater creatures.

 

Whether outside of the mall or from our balcony, the Dubai Fountain was a magical sight.

 

We arrived Dubai on the crack of dawn.  We made use of our free time enjoying Dubai’s  beaches – clean, white expanses with turquoise gentle waters.  Umm Suqiem is a quiet public beach that features the famous Burj Al Arab as its back drop while  Jumeirah Beach Park is reminiscent of Waikiki’s Kalakaua Avenue lined up with shopping, dining outlets as well as fun activities for the kids.

 

We indulged in the Emirate’s landscape with some dune bashing, camel rides, apple and mint shisha, belly and fire dances capping it off with a traditional Bedouin Style dinner under the stars.

My visual narrative moves on to the highlights of our Arabian Cruise……..

 

Spent the day in Old Town Dubai.  It was fascinating to see its stark contrast to skyscrapers and state of the art technology.

 

Dubai has a number of enjoyable souks.  Its a tour in itself – Dubai Souks.

 

Water fun aboard Costa Mediterranea.

 

Its all about the food while cruising.  These past three cruises with Costa has never disappointed.  Food remains consistently delicious!

 

Oman was a pleasant surprise to us.  Didn’t really get to read much about it as I was just too relaxed with the Costa tours we enlisted ourselves in.  We availed of the family friendly – basic city tour to see the highlights but Oman has more to admire if you deem yourselves more adventurous.  I wish we had another day to do the rest.  https://theculturetrip.com/middle-east/oman/articles/the-most-beautiful-places-to-visit-in-oman/

 

Downtown Abu Dhabi has an array of steel and glass skyscrapers.
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The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one the world’s largest mosques and a massive architectural work of art that intentionally blends different Islamic architectural schools. It features 82 domes, more than 1,000 columns, 24-carat-gold gilded chandeliers and the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. The main prayer hall is dominated by one of the world’s largest chandeliers.
The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan built this mosque to convey historic consequence and to embody the Islamic message of peace, tolerance and diversity. He intended that the Grand Mosque be a living reference of modern Islamic architecture that links the past with the present and creates a place of Islamic science and learning that would reflect genuine Islamic values.

 

Took time to explore Abu Dhabi’s roots before the oil boom. Heritage Village Abu Dhabi was not only established for tourism but as a remembrance for younger generations to always appreciate their roots.  Even during simpler times, their people have always been innovative.

 

A short drive away from the Museum is Marina Mall, a local favourite.  There was a good selection of stores and popular restaurant brands. You can also enjoy views of the city from the Marina Eye and have a nice picture by the beach with the stunning Fairmont Marina Residences as a backdrop.

 

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Louvre Abu Dhabi’s motto is “to see humanity in a new light” and it intends to reach this lofty goal by presenting its visitors with a truly universal perspective on art and culture.  With works ranging from pre-history to the contemporary, created by a multitude artists, the institution’s collection is one of the most varied and diverse.  Louvre Paris is Original but this is definitely a global class if its own.

 

And this was what we did on our last full day in Abu Dhabi.  Happy to report we withstood the fastest roller coaster.  Note: Tighten your goggles if you don’t want it to flip away. I felt the instant face boost as we swooshed away.   But one was sad, she didn’t get to ride the fast rides with us.  The baby rides, were too gentle for her taste.  Nonetheless, she enjoyed the wall climb, analysing the fancy cars on display at the museum with her dad and having a go at an actual Pit stop.  Ferrari World is a must see for the whole family.

 

 

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