Dubai boat tours: Everything you need to know
Sail along the marina on a boat tour in Dubai to see the city’s modern skyline. Or cross the Dubai Creek on a traditional dhow. Both experiences reveal what Dubai is best-known for: contrasts between old and new and a luxurious lifestyle.
Private boat tours in Dubai
Choose a private boat cruise if you prefer an independent sightseeing experience but still want the perks of a guided tour. While in Dubai it always seems like bigger is better, private boat cruises take a different approach.
Traveling with your other half? Consider a smaller boat cruise, like the Dubai Marina private boat tour, to include as part of your itinerary. In addition to a skipper, the boat has room for two people. On a 1-hour cruise, you'll get to see the Burj Al Arab, Atlantis, or Jumeirah Beach Residence.
Private cruises for up to 10 people are a great option if you’re traveling with friends or family. In addition to sightseeing, most include stops for a swim in the Arabian Gulf at Jumeirah Beach. If your goal is to relax, choose a fixed duration cruise, like the 2-hour mini yacht ride from Dubai Marina.
Luxury dinner cruises in Dubai
Take in the sights while cruising and dining along the Dubai Creek. Depending on personal preference, travelers can choose between a dhow-style boat or something more contemporary. Whatever you decide, expect comfort, spectacular views, and a mix of local and international cuisine.
If you’re interested in Arabic delicacies, look for a menu with dishes like mutabel, fattoush, or shish taouk. The Deira Creek 5-star buffet dinner dhow cruise is an excellent option for traveling groups. The menu includes local dishes, salads, pasta, and vegetarian options.
Choose a dinner cruise with traditional Arabic entertainment if you're looking for an experience with a local feel. “Tanoura” and “youwla” folk dance performances are examples of what you can expect.
Traditional boat tours in Dubai
Locals use the traditional water taxis, called “abra," to cross the Dubai Creek. Looking for this type of experience? You can hop on one of these boats and travel on one or all of the four routes. Old Dubai truly comes alive on a guided tour. Opt for a one-hour tour on an “abra” if you’ve done most of the sightseeing. This way you can enjoy a trip on the Dubai Canal at sunset.
If you want a more general alternative, choose a walking guided tour that includes an "abra” cruise. Enjoy sites like the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, the souks (markets) of Old Dubai, and the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House.
Speed boat tours in Dubai
Add a speedboat or jet ski tour to your must-do list. This is perfect if your itinerary in Dubai includes thrill-seeking experiences like skydiving or hitting all the rides at one of the theme parks. Duration ranges from 30 minutes to three hours.
Choose the jet ski option if you’ve driven these vehicles before. Even if you can only spare half an hour, it’s still a different way to see top attractions. Tours include an experienced escort and accommodate groups or couples.
Speedboat tours accommodate travelers who like the adrenaline pump but prefer sightseeing to driving. A great experience for group travelers, these tours have a balanced mix of speed and time to snap a photo of top attractions.
Helpful tips and good things to know for Dubai boat tours
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes but respect the semi-formal dress code on dinner cruises. On most of these cruises, expect non-alcoholic drinks only, unless they include a licensed bar.
Keep in mind that most boats don’t have room for luggage. This is important to know if you’re visiting Dubai on a layover or are planning to take a cruise before check-in at your hotel.
Are you traveling on a budget? You can choose to ride on the Dubai Ferry instead of a guided cruise. Although it's public transportation, the ferry routes take visitors into account. The boat goes by top attractions like the Dubai Marina and the Dubai Creek. Itineraries may change over time, so double check upon arrival in Dubai.