The tiny Arabian peninsula of the United Arab Emirates is best known for the ambitious reputations of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. But let’s be honest: you would likely be hard pressed to name any of the other Emirates. Or be able to point to them on a map.
Bordered by the countries of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman, these far-flung destinations may not factor into everyday bucket-list fulfillment, but a 7-day Arabian Gulf itinerary with Azamara Club Cruises delves into an exotic exploration of Arabian fantasy. Ingrained perceptions of cultural disparity hold some degree of validity but are nearly forgotten when cruising in sequestered luxury. The view aboard Azamara Quest elicits eye-popping imagery of these arid outposts where wealth flows rampantly.
Splendor of Dubai
The bounty of oil and foreign investments has developed the embarkation port of Dubai into an incomprehensible desert mirage of urban extravagance, a love fest of architectural ingenuity. The futuristic landscape of resplendent towers monopolizes the skyline, encroaching on the sovereignty of the clouds.
Fueled by an urge to flaunt excess, adding the suffix of –est to descriptions comes as second nature. The city boasts the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa), the tallest hotel (the Gevora), longest driverless metro network (Dubai Metro), and even the largest choreographed fountain (Dubai Fountain).
Money may not buy happiness, but in Dubai, it buys everything else. This is a city in constant evolution, serving up a virtual mixed grill of culture and innovation seasoned by an ego-driven aspiration to exceed expectations.
Complementary Cruise on Azamara Quest
While on the subject of exceeding expectations, the 700-passenger boutique-style Azamara Quest aptly delivers on the premise of indulgent travel with the company’s trademarked approach to “Destination Immersion.” The concept of extended overnight stays in Dubai and the UAE capital city of Abu Dhabi showcases these awe-inspiring cities in ways not possible with shorter one-day visits. It’s an experience for cruise guests to bask in a sentiment of entitlement and belonging, a privilege otherwise reserved for the exclusive club set.
This is not a ship hell-bent on animation, but rather the tendency to encourage tasteful civility. Confidently bucking the trend, Azamara replaces the concept of a floating playground at sea with authentic pampering, mitigating grand scale with intimate and personal hospitality.
Aesthetically, the vessel displays perfected panache with a dose of traditional cruise-ship design. Emphasis on culinary creativity is highlighted with themed buffets in the ….
By Steve Leland
Photo: Ingram Image