Do and Buy In Dubai

If you are sailing into or out of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the proverbial ‘so much to see, so little time’ is a gross understatement. If you can arrange a pre or post cruise stay, this arid outpost of rampant wealth, fueled by an urge to flaunt excess is well worth the effort. It may not be at the top of your bucket list wishes, but if there is anything you like to do or buy, it is likely you can do it or buy it here.


Photo: Steve Leland

At this joyous time of giving, why not zip over to Dubai for a shopping junket to one of the largest malls in the world, the Dubai Mall. If you feel a need to satisfy the urge to shop till you drop, there are more than ample opportunities.

This isn’t your average run of the mill mall. It’s a 3.77 million square foot entertainment center, tourist attraction, food emporium and a world class destination in itself.  And by the way, they have stores too, over 1,200 of them!  Add on two anchor department stores, and over 200 food and beverage outlets and you have a massive shrine to consumerism like you’ve never seen.

If you are so inclined to shop till you drop, there are more than ample opportunities to satisfy the urge. Over 200 of the most coveted luxury brands are slathered throughout the glitzy Fashion Avenue section.

When your feet scream for mercy there are chauffeured carts to take you wherever you wish to go. If your credit card hasn’t yet been swiped to oblivion, you can always finish off your available balance with a visit to the Gold Souk in the ancient Dubai Creek area for some serious jewelry bling


The entertainment aspect of the mall is also a showstopper.  Within the walls of this mammoth complex you will find the fabulous Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, an ice skating rink large enough to play a full court hockey game, a Virtual Reality Park, art exhibitions, light and sound presentations and stepping outside you can witness the world’s largest choreographed fountain show with the cloud piercing, Burj Khalifa towering half a mile overhead.

Getting high is never a problem with a high speed elevator ascent to the observation deck on the 126th floor of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, you can also visit the tallest hotel, the Gevora, take a ride on the longest driverless metro network or visit the largest man made island shaped like a palm tree

To escape the heat, flee to the Mall Of The Emirates for a visit to the indoor ski resort. This gigantic ski run is completely indoors and offers full rental and ski lift options. There is even a toboggan course along with a penguin parade.

Mall Of The Emirates Ski Hill | Photo: Steve Leland

For an intense adrenaline rush experience a white knuckle 4×4 ride bashing desert sand dunes followed by a camel ride and BBQ at a Bedouin camp.  Off of the beautiful beaches you can enjoy parasailing, banana boat rides or Jetski rentals.  Helicopter excursions offer a view of this futuristic utopian city from an eye popping perspective.

This is a city in constant evolution, serving up a virtual mixed grill of culture, entertainment and innovation seasoned by an ego driven aspiration to exceed expectations. Of course we all know that money may not buy happiness, but in Dubai it buys everything else.

Next up EXPO 2020, the greatest show on earth…

As a former Cruise Director, Steve has been cruising the world for the past forty years. Bringing a new dimension to cruise journalism, he continues to spin the globe searching for off the grid cruise adventures and unplugged destinations to share with Porthole Cruise Magazine readers.