Dubai Cruise Terminal
The Dubai Cruise Terminal—situated about 7 miles (12 kilometers) from the center of old Dubai—serves as the gateway for cruise passengers taking shore excursions into the city and its surrounding desert. Also known as Port Rashid, the port boasts a modern and comfortable terminal, but nothing by way of visitor attractions, so new arrivals head straight off into the waiting metropolis.
Most shore excursions center on half-day or slightly longer panoramic tours around Dubai’s landmarks, showcasing the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al-Arab, and other sights. Many also cover old Dubai, with time to visit the Dubai Museum—housed in a picture-postcard 18th-century fort—and ride an abra (traditional wooden boat) across Dubai Creek to shop at the old gold and spice souks. Other trips include 4WD adventures into Dubai’s desert to enjoy everything from dune bashing to falconry displays, folklore shows, and a barbecue dinner at a Bedouin-style camp.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Burj Khalifa and Burj Al-Arab are 9 miles (15 kilometers) apart, making a tour the easiest way to view them both.
Many of Dubai’s attractions require that you wear modest dress that covers your knees, shoulders, and (sometimes) hair.
Be sure to wear a sunhat and sunscreen whenever you’re outdoors, whatever the season.
If you’re souvenir hunting at Dubai’s traditional souks, remember to haggle—it’s an essential part of the shopping experience.
How to Get to Dubai From the Dubai Cruise Terminal
The Dubai Cruise Terminal is a fenced-off industrial dock area a long walk away from any public transport hubs. Port pickup and drop-off is included in all shore excursions, but if you’re exploring independently, taxis are available along the dockside. In addition, complimentary and paid shuttle buses run to shopping centers such as the Dubai Mall and BurJuman Mall, both stops on Dubai’s metro system, which can run you to other sights.
Many large cruise lines call at the Dubai Cruise Terminal. The official language in Dubai is Arabic, but English is widely spoken everywhere aside from in the older parts of the city. The local currency is the UAE dirham, and the cruise terminal has an ATM and currency exchange desk. ATMs can also be found at all of Dubai’s major shopping malls.
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