If you want to enjoy night-time views of Dubai in style you have a few options: you can head to one of the amazing rooftop bars for a drink, book a hotel room overlooking Dubai Marina or indulge in a sumptuous dinner cruise. Dinner cruises are a popular form of entertainment for both tourists and locals in Dubai, and for a good reason: they let you enjoy a great meal with a view that changes every minute. With so many options available it might be hard to choose just one so I prepared a breakdown of different dinner cruises for you.
First up is the most traditional version of the Dubai dinner cruise: you will voyage along floodlit landmarks such as the Grand Mosque and admire Dubai at its most historic. Dubai Creek is a dinner cruise hotspot crowded with dhow boats every night of the week. They’re colourful, extravagantly lit-up and buzzing with life. Watching other dhows on the Creek is almost as much of an entertainment as enjoying the views along the shore!
Pros: You get to enjoy the staple Dubai experience onboard a traditional dhow boat. The buffet-style dinner makes it more accessible to fussy eaters and the live shows are fun and colourful so this is a great choice for a an outing with kids.
Cons: The buffet dinner consists of a wide range of crowd-pleasers such as lasagne and BBQ meats so don’t expect the most sophisticated meal of your life. The live dance shows are an absolutely compulsory part of the true dinner cruise experience but they are also loud and might turn into an impromptu dance party. If peace and quiet is what you’re after, avoid this one.
Price: USD 56.00
A traditional dhow boat cruise with crazy live shows is great for families and groups of friends. If you’re looking for something quieter and more private, however, you can upgrade to a dinner cruise on Bateaux Dubai. Bateaux is the real queen of the Creek with incredibly beautiful interiors and a real fine dining restaurant feel to it that sets it apart from other dinner cruises.
Pros: This is a good choice for the hotter months as the entire boat is covered with glass. You get an unobstructed view of all the sights along Dubai Creek and enjoy the sweet, sweet air-conditioning at the same time. And if you want more than just the views, Bateaux is the perfect place. You will savour a 3-course gourmet meal brought to your table by a waiter and all that while being serenaded by live piano music.
Cons: Not a cheap choice! And definitely not a short one, either. This cruise is definitely a time commitment.
Price: USD 80.38
Dubai Marina, boasting the most beautiful night-time skyline, is another great spot for a dinner cruise. Here you can feel the luxury in the air with several 5-star hotels dotted around the Promenade and expensive yachts cruising by. If you want to taste a bit of that extravagance definitely choose the 5-star Luxury Dinner Cruise. The sunset cruise takes you on the journey at the most magical time of the day when the sun sets of over the city and the lights gradually turn on. If you prefer later dining, however, you can venture on an evening cruise starting at 8.30 pm.
Pros: Whether you choose the sunset or the evening cruise, the views are truly spectacular. Apart from Dubai Marina, you will see the Palm Jumeirah Lagoon and the famous Burj Al-Arab. The buffet-style dinner is definitely on the more fancy side so expect a satisfying meal.
Cons: The cruise is just an hour and a half long. If you want to enjoy the views on the deck after you’ve finished your meal you might feel a bit rushed. But for those who simply want a nice dinner with a beautiful backdrop, the timeframe should work just fine.
Price: USD 58
If you love the idea of cruising through Dubai Marina at night but you still want to experience the traditional dhow dinner cruise, I might have a solution for you! Al Wasl’s cruise is a combination of Dubai’s staple dinner cruise experience with contemporary setting.
Pros: You still get the buzzing atmosphere, the Arabic dance show and a sumptuous dinner buffet but you can enjoy it surrounded by skyscrapers and admire Marina Promenade along the way. It’s also the cheapest option on the list!
Cons: Al Wasl is a family-oriented cruise so they serve simple dishes to cater for all tastes, kids included. With children running around freely and the live shows dominating the night, this might not be a great choice for a romantic date. Also, bear in mind that alcohol is prohibited on this cruise.
Price: AED 149
Finally, the newest addition to Dubai’s dinner cruise scene! Dubai Water Canal was opened less than two years ago but it immediately became a prime cruise location thanks to some fantastic landmarks along the way. On this Buffet Cruise, you will see the mesmerizing “Imagine” Fountain Show, Dubai Design District which is the entrepreneurial heart of the city, the opulent Al Habtoor City and the central business district, Business Bay.
Pros: This is the only cruise on the list that will let you spot Burj Khalifa and take a good look at Downtown Dubai. If you’re dreaming of snapping some great photos of the main landmarks you will definitely get plenty of opportunities here. The cherry on top is gliding under the colourfully-lit Dubai Waterfall Bridge.
Cons: At 75 dollars, this is a rather expensive suggestion for a cruise that serves fairly straightforward buffet-style dinner. It is definitely a choice you make for views rather than culinary sensations.
Price: USD 75