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The Arabian Gulf

By HarryFriday 13th January 2017

We know that a trip to the Arabian Gulf is likely to be at the top of your bucket list. A sparkling urban metropolis in the middle of a vast golden desert and home to an array of extravagancies and unique experiences, the hardest part of visiting the Gulf is choosing what to do first! We’ve come up with a number of things to see and do, to help you make the most out of your dream holiday onboard Vision of the Seas!

DUBAI

shutterstock_499733083 Filled with luxury cars and glittering shopping malls, Dubai is arguably the world’s most exciting city. A cultural hub in its own right, a visit wouldn’t be complete without a climb up to the top of the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa. Visit the 122nd floor (if you dare), and enjoy a cocktail whilst admiring the city’s magnificent skyline. You’re bound to be pulled in by the aromas and souvenirs of Dubai’s local souks, full to the brim with traditional gems, delicacies and treasures. The market hall is a must for those wanting to delve further into Dubai’s exotic side. Pick up some high-quality saffron strands – these can be found at a bargain price, and you can even sample before you buy – some bespoke glitzy jewellery, or some locally-made perfume to take back home with you. Why not bid a farewell to the city and take an Arabian adventure into the desert? Enjoy camel rides across the sand dunes, a magical evening spent in a Bedouin tent, and a sumptuous meal of tender grilled meats with fresh, crisp salad. Make sure you fill up on traditional Arabic desserts before sitting back to enjoy some enchanting local music, complete with dancing from hypnotizing belly dancers! Once you’ve seen the incredible sights, make the most out of the sun-kissed beaches and jewelled seas that line Dubai’s west coast. Grab your towel and soak up the rays to top up your tan before heading back onboard Vision of the Seas.

Want to know 16 things about Dubai that you definitely didn’t know before?

KHASAB

  shutterstock_377415568 Built on the banks of breath-taking Fjords, Khasab is widely known as the ‘Norway of Arabia’. Here you will discover the Arabian Gulf’s natural grandeur, with traditional boats bobbing languidly on the water, surrounded by local souks alive with the buzz of locals haggling. Take a trip out to sea on a traditional dhow ship to meet Khasab’s original settlers – pods of friendly dolphins – or bathe in the shade of the city’s palm groves in-between discovering famous forts and castles. Take a safari ride to the peninsula’s highest peak, Jebel Harim, to experience Musandam’s mountainous terrain. Spot mountain villages and grand Acacia forests on an exhilarating 4x4 ride, remembering to take pictures as you go!

MUSCAT

shutterstock_140772187 Discover a desert oasis when you visit mysterious Muscat. Magnificent mountains and rolling dunes stand against cool, sandstone-lined streets, which are host to a number of culture-soaked spots. Bustling markets and restaurants linger at the border of the Royal Opera House. Muscat’s musical landmark is surrounded by manicured gardens and plays host to an array of the city’s musical talents. With jaw-dropping architecture and a schedule brimming with cultural events, it’s certainly a spot that deserves a place on your schedule. Make sure that your next stop is Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Only completed this century, the building can hold up to 20,000 people and acts like a lighthouse, attracting visitors from all around the world. Its stunning marble columns and arches are home to an enormous hand-woven carpet that lines the praying hall. The carpet is made up of 1,700 million knots, weighs 21 tons, and took about 27 months to make!

TIP: Always remember to dress modestly and respect your surroundings when visiting places of worship.

ABU DHABI

shutterstock_418210990 The capital and largest city in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is a sun-soaked destination with temperatures that range from 18°C in January to 36°C in August, so you’ll need to remember to pack your sunglasses! Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’s stunning exterior means that it’s much more than a place of worship. With 100,000 tonnes of marble and limitless precious stones, including 40kg of gold and 12 tonnes of Swarovski crystals, prepare to be blown away by the sheer extravagance of its stature. Visiting times can vary due to prayer sessions, so be sure to check before you make a trip. If you need a cool down, make a stop at Yas Waterworld Water Park. You and the kids can enjoy nearly 50 exhilarating rides, as well as stop for a tasty bite to eat and some all-important souvenir shopping! With special play areas for the little ones, this is the perfect day out for some frolicking and fun in the sun. In order to get a hint of what Abu Dhabi was like before it was home to the vast skyscrapers and resorts that exist there today, it’s essential that the history buffs amongst you visit Abu Dhabi Heritage Village. A reconstruction of a traditional desert village, here you can capture a true glimpse of the capital’s past by getting involved in workshops and demonstrations, while also treating yourself to some authentic spices and handmade soaps. Another picture-perfect day out for the family can be found about an hour and a half away from Abu Dhabi by car. Based in Al Ain (also known as ‘the Garden City’), is Al Ain Zoo, which is home to some fabulous creatures! Your kids will enjoy feeding the birds, you can take a ride on the back of a camel, and you can all make friends with a giant turtle, before gazing at the majestic lions and tall giraffes.

VISION OF THE SEAS

VOTS A trip to the Middle East is made even better when onboard Vision of the Seas. In between destinations, you can relax as a family by the pool by day, watch West End style theatre productions by night, and enjoy world-class food at one of our amazing onboard dining experiences whenever you fancy. With an outdoor movie screen, spacious and comfortable accommodation, and cocktails made by expert mixologists, a trip onboard will ensure that you have your pick of extraordinary comforts, whilst visiting some of the most incredible holiday destinations in the world.

Astounded by the Arabian Gulf? Make the most out of an array of exciting itineraries available!

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