Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Destination Immersion

Ten Unique Shore Excursions in the Arabian Gulf and Emirates

Thursday, August 19, 2021
By Azamara

The Middle East and Arabian Gulf have so much to offer travelers. Yes, there’s luxury and opulence. But there’s also history, culture, and incredible cuisine. During your voyage, it’s possible to soak up all aspects of the region by selecting a variety of onshore activities. Azamara’s unique Azamara Shore Excursions tours provide an immersive cultural experience, without all the hassle of working out the details yourself. We’ve done all the research, planning, and preparation – all you have to do is show up!

There are many options for exciting, relaxing or enlightening shore excursions in the Middle East and Arabian Gulf. We’ve selected ten of our favorite onshore experiences available during the 10-Night Arabian Gulf & Emirates Voyage, embarking October 24, 2016. This is a special voyage for Azamara Circle members, as they’ll receive special experiences both onboard and onshore!


During this voyage, experts from PerryGolf will be onboard to assist you with every detail of your golf rounds at some of the most renowned courses in the world:

    • The Doha Golf Club
    • The Greg Norman designed Almouj Golf Club
    • The beachfront Saadiyat Golf Club in Abu Dhabi
    • The Majlis Course of Emirates Gold Club in Dubai

From daily pairings to handling your clubs, the attentive PerryGolf staff will make this voyage the best golf trip you’ve ever taken. 

Seaplane Aerial Tour

Dubai is an astounding city from any angle. From ground level, you’ll look up at countless staggering skyscrapers. Looking down on this spectacular city is even more fun. An aerial tour of Dubai gives you a whole new perspective on Dubai. Just imagine soaring over the famous Burj Khalifa, the World Islands, and the Palm Jumeirah. It will be an experience to remember!

Farmhouse Experience

For a different viewpoint on life in the United Arab Emirates, join a tour that takes you outside the city. Dubai is flashy and cosmopolitan, but many rural Emiratis work in agriculture, growing vegetables and dates and rearing animals like camels and Arabian goats. 

Our Cruise Global, Meet Local tours take guests to the heart of local culture and bring Destination Immersion® experiences to a whole new level. During this excursion, you’ll visit a local family on their farm to learn about their lifestyle and livelihood. One family member will cook traditional Emirati dishes. This tour is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn more about a culture very different from the Western world.

Dhow Cruise

In Khasab, Oman, you have the chance to board a traditional Omani dhow to the area’s most spectacular fjord. Towering limestone cliffs contrast the calm, turquoise waters of the “Norway of Arabia”. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, which are often spotted swimming alongside the dhow boats. When the dhow anchors, you can go for a swim in the warm waters or just relax and soak in the breathtaking views.

Lunch with an Omani

Muscat, Oman, also offers the opportunity to connect with a local through an Cruise Global, Meet Local tour. To be welcoming and hospitable is important to Omani culture, and a point of pride for Omani families. Through this shore excursion, you can experience that hospitality in a genuine, personal way. A lunch of several courses will introduce you to authentic Omani cuisine. You’ll even have the chance to try on some traditional fashions!

A Day at the Ritz-Carlton Beach Hotel

The Arabian Gulf and the United Arab Emirates are home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the world – including the Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa in Al Manamah. This magnificent seaside resort will take your breath away. Live like a celebrity for the day, swimming in the hotel’s gorgeous pool, enjoying an indulgent world-class lunch, and reading or napping in your private sunbed.  If a day of leisure and opulence sounds like a dream come true, this is the excursion for you.

Cooking Bahraini Cuisine

Bahrain is a small island nation, and fresh fish from the Persian Gulf is integral to its unique cuisine. This shore excursion is a must for foodies. It begins with a visit to the Al Manamah souq. This energetic bazaar is in the heart of the city. You’ll stroll the winding labyrinth of lanes and browse stalls selling spices, clothing, antiques and more.

You’ll visit the fish market, and the produce market. Bahrain’s local seafood includes grouper, mackerel, bream and shellfish. The tour moves on to Al Manamah’s twin city of Muharraq, the historic capital of Bahrain, for cooking classes, a traditional lunch and a visit to the Bahrain National Museum.

Best of Bahrain by Night

A defining feature of Azamara voyages is longer stays, overnights and night touring. During our Arabian Gulf & Emirates Voyage in October 2016, the Azamara Journey will be docked in Al Manamah, Bahrain, until 9:00 p.m., giving guests the opportunity to explore this great city after sunset.

This Cruise Global, Nights Local excursion helps guests see another side to Bahrain while guided by a local photography expert. Bahrain is known for its gorgeous architecture, and Al Manamah is particularly dazzling at night. Our expert guide will share photography tips and advice throughout the tour, so you’ll be sure to have some stunning additions to your vacation album.

High Tea at Emirates Palace

High Tea is very popular in the Emirates, and perhaps the most famous setting is the lavish Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. This five-star hotel is a global landmark and perfect illustration of the palatial architecture, extravagant décor and warm hospitality that has come to define the Emirates. Some travel writers have even joked that service at the Emirates Palace Hotel has an unofficial “seven-star” rating.

This Azamara Shore Excursions tour also includes a scenic drive along the Corniche and a photo stop at the beautiful Abu Dhabi Theater.

1001 Arabian Nights Music

Most Azamara voyages include an AzAmazing Evening. These complimentary events take place onshore and highlight the unique culture of the port. During our Azamara Circle cruise in October, the AzAmazing Evening is “1001 Arabian Nights Music”, set at the Yas Links Golf Course in Abu Dhabi. Local entertainment will transport guests back to the days of early Persian tradition – the music, dance, and costumes will be something to write home about.

These Azamara Shore Excursions tours are all available during the 2016 Azamara Circle itinerary – book now so you don’t miss out. Similar voyages include:


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