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Norwegian Dawn to cruise between Dubai and Doha during 2023/24 cruise season Norwegian Dawn to cruise between Dubai and Doha during 2023/24 cruise season

Norwegian Dawn will spend part of the 2023/24 Middle East cruise season sailing between Dubai and Doha on 7-night open-jaw itineraries, rather than the closed-loop roundtrip itineraries most lines sail from Dubai.

Norwegian Dawn will cruise twice from Dubai and twice from Doha during December and January. The first Dubai to Doha departure will be on December 13th, 2023, with the ship then sailing a return Doha to Dubai itinerary on December 20th.

On December 27th, she’ll again depart Dubai bound for Doha, and then on January 3rd, 2024, the ship will sail from Doha on a 17-night voyage to Port Louis, Mauritius, taking her into the Indian Ocean for her series of 2024 Cape Town cruises out of Cape Town.

Dubai is the primary cruise hub in the Middle East, and its cruise terminal at Port Rashid near Dubai Creek is one of the largest in the world, but the decision to alternate boarding between Dubai and Doha is a sign of Qatar’s rising prominence as a cruise destination.

These itineraries between the two cities will be a port-intensive exploration of the western Arabian Gulf, with calls in Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, Bahrain, Dammam in Saudi Arabia, and of course Doha and Dubai.

Dubai is a blend of Arab and western culture, home to the Burk Khalifa, the tallest building in the world at 2,722-feet, and the impressive Jumeirah Mosque, which is near Dubai’s expansive beachfront area.

There are also jet-set haunts in the city’s world-class hotels, such as the Burj Al Arab and Atlantis the Palm, as well as traditional labyrinth old-world souqs in the heart of the old city near Dubai Creek, selling gold, spice and textiles from around the world.

Along the creek, you’ll also find the Al Fahidi Historical District, home to Dubai Museum and traditional old tea cafes and restaurants, which sits adjacent an impressive shopping promenade that stretches along the creek with views of the dozens of wooden dhows that bring goods to the city from across Arabia, much as they have done for centuries.

After departing Dubai, Norwegian Dawn sails overnight for Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and one of the richest cities in the world in terms of per-capita income. Abu Dhabi is far less flashy than Dubai though, with a greater focus on historical and cultural attractions.

Abu Dhabi boasts a wealth of culture, history and adventure, from the emirate’s old souks, where you can sip a fragrant Arabic coffee, to the rush of the world’s fastest rollercoaster at Ferrari World on Yas Island.

The main island of Abu Dhabi city is also home to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, named for the founding president of the country and one of the largest mosques of its kind in the world.

Sir Bani Yas Island off the coast of the UAE is home to a massive game safari reserve, archaeological sites dating back thousands of years, and of course the Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach. There are also water sports, kayaking through the mangroves, and a pool day at a luxury resort on offer.

In Bahrain, Norwegian Dawn docks in Mina Salman in Manama, the capital of the tiny island Kingdom. There are walking tours of the city, bus tours and desert safaris on offer here. A highlight will be the Great Mosque, the largest in the country.

The stop in Dammam, Saudi Arabia is something of a flying visit as the ship docks at around 8am and departs at 3pm, but that provides enough time for passengers to explore the city, which offers striking views of the Arabian Gulf, peaceful waterfronts, lush green parks, and spotless beaches. The city features street art exhibitions which are quickly becoming one of its leading attractions.

Dammam is also home to Murjan Island, also known as Coral Island, a man-made tourist quarter with a scenic promenade, boat trips, fishing, and a zoo.

In Doha, the capital of Qatar, passengers can take a desert safari, explore the city, especially its expansive waterfront corniche, or dhow cruises in the bay with spectacular views of the city skyline.

Cruises in the opposite direction, from Doha to Dubai, are identical, but with cruise destination visited in the reverse order.

Source: Cruise Arabia & Africa