Why you should explore Dubai and Abu Dhabi from the water

We love exploring cities from different perspectives. And exploring it from water is one of our most favourite - one can see the city as never seen before. Moreover, you enjoy the fresh breeze that is usually free of charge on a cruise and enjoys the stunning waterfronts. In fact, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are more special as you might not be able to see the spectacular sights otherwise. So we have checked what it is like to take a cruise in these stunning cities. Read more about what we have found out.

What is there to enjoy in Dubai on water

Dubai is undoubtedly one of the most unique cities in the world. We hardly know any traveller who would not have Dubai on their travel bucket list. Dubai has historic sights, futuristic architecture, active nightlife and out-of-this-world attractions. To take a break of the out-of-world attractions (and shopping), you may want to explore the out-of-the-world seafronts. We definitely recommend taking a cruise where you may explore the Palm Jumeirah Islands, it is truly stunning, these artificial islands shaped in a palm tree are just mind-blowing. So to have a full experience we took the Yellow Boat cruise which allowed us to start in the Marina. It is super centred and you don't have to commute anywhere far as you might be in the centre of all important sights anyhow. From there on we have cruised around the Ain Dubai, where you may take the only good shot of the Ferris wheel, from the shore it is almost impossible as this wheel is the tallest in the world. Jumeirah Beach Residence is the next sight on our tour, lay back and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the amazing waterfront with more than 40 tall towers overlooking the beach. The next 2 stops are definitely worth memorizing with a picture, cause their waterfront view is truly breathtaking. The only better view might be from the window of the most expensive suites in the world of the Atlantis The Palm or from the seven-stars hotel of Burj Al Arab. As we were taking the cruise, we took a picture with it, not in it. On our way back to the Marina we were able to have a nice view of the Royal Palaces and enjoy the vibes of the Palm Lagoon. Our tour took about 90 minutes. However, if you are in a bit of sightseeing rush, there are more options to enjoy a shorter tour. Or a slow-paced one with the sunsets.

Get lost in the 1000+1 waves of Abu Dhabi

Dubai’s slightly more conservative sister Abu Dhabi is surely not less fun. In fact, it has more diverse attractions for tourists to enjoy. Being home to the first and only Louvre Museum outside of France, it is far-reaching with everything from traditional heritage experiences, theme parks and historic landmarks, to animal encounters and nature activities. Also, it is perceived as the city where you may experience the glimpse of the oriental beauty and its rich Arab history. Getting out on the water is highly recommended, you will get a front-row seat to spectacular views of the city skyline and some of its most notable landmarks. Departing from the spectacular Emirates Palace marina will allow you to sneak on the exclusive yachts in the dock and be amazed by the palace itself. Presidential Palace is the next sight on your cruise, it is an architectural pearl, paying homage to traditional Islamic architecture and design. The beautiful thing about Abu Dhabi is its variety of nearby islands, some are deserted and some overwhelmed with luxury. While you cruise through the Persian Gulf to the Al Maya Island you may encounter some marine life and animals, like dolphins, home to many island’s shores. You will want to finish your cruise at the Etihad Towers known from the Fast and Furious films and take a few pictures with the up to 305 m tall skyscrapers.

The service and the trip was outstanding. The view at Abu Dhabi is beautiful. But the best thing was that on our way back we saw dolphins and had the chance to watch them playing for a couple of minutes. - Karl, Tripadvisor Review

Off the beaten track waterfronts

Abu Dhabi offers a bigger variety of waterfront, mainly because it has more variable shores and many islands in its neighbourhood. Taking a cruise from Yas Marina towards the Mangroves and the Al Raha Bay is surely the travellers icing on the cake experience. Starting at the Yas Island known for its vibrant restaurants you may see the iconic Yas hotel and race track. Cruise about the island you will pass by the Yas beach with crystal clear waters and white sands, then a shiny bright green colour will appear in the middle of the deserted nature - that is the Yas Links Golf Club. The hearths of those whole love fast wheels will melt while floating next to the Ferrari World, all others will be triggered with this massive construction that is supported with 13 thousand tons of steel. Last “stop” of Yas island is the Waterworld, you may encounter a waterpark that looks like a Tim Burton’s imagination come to life. Getting a bit of calm and nature nourishment comes when you enter the mangroves, you might encounter many species of birds, fish, even turtles. Further, on your tour, you will explore Arabian forth-like buildings at Jazeera Al Sammaliyah Island, perhaps get a glimpse of gazelles running at 65km speed in the Al Raha bay and get your head around the circular Aldar HQ. Enjoying this off the beaten path tour is a delight for the eye!

A pro traveller tip: Based on the season book your cruise wisely, morning hours are usually less foggy during hot summer days, so you might enjoy the sights with a clearer view. Also, if you are up to some sweet hour photo session, make sure to book your cruise toward the sunset hours.