Dubai is the United Arab Emirates’ biggest city as well as the capital of the Emirate of Dubai. On the eastern Arabian Peninsula and facing the warm, blue Persian Gulf, it’s a shining modern hub for global passengers and cargo. But beneath the super-modern facade of this extraordinary city lies an ancient and fascinating history. Here’s an exploration of the city, the area, the sailing, and some of the best things to do in Dubai.
Dubai – Where ancient history meets vast contemporary wealth
Dubai’s roots belong in the early Minoan period, when the place the city stands now was a huge mangrove swamp. By 3000 BC the land had dried out and became home to nomadic Bronze Age cattle herders, who eventually put down roots. Five hundred years later there was a date palm plantation on the site and the land was fully habitable. By the fifth century AD Jumeirah was a caravan station on the trade route linking Oman to Iraq, and by the year 1800 Dubai had become a walled city.
With the discovery of oil came the development of the city as we see it today. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum transformed the small cluster of settlements near Dubai Creek into a huge modern port, city and commercial hub offering all mod cons to tourists and businesses. The Dubai Creek was widened and the Dubai World Trade Centre completed, followed by the now-legendary developments we all know so well – the Burj Al Arab, the Burj Khalifa, and more.
Dubai’s long tradition of sailing – Here’s what you’ll discover
Dubai’s trademark show boats, the region’s traditional wooden sailing vessels, still sail the long, narrow Dubai creek to the Persian Gulf. There’s an annual offshore regatta between Dubai and Muscat, very popular with those who love competitive sailing. Buy a fractional yacht share and discover the stunning Dubai coastline as well as the Arabian Gulf itself, sailing past the extraordinary ‘eighth Wonder of the World’, the Palm Jumeirah Island, and onwards past The Atlantis, the Palm Jumeirah’s luxurious resort.
On the other side of Palm Jumeirah there’s the awe-inspiring Burj Al Arab hotel, standing proud on the coast. You can make your way to the astonishing offshore World Islands, designed in the image of the planet earth, and enjoy some excellent deep sea fishing as well as basking in the gorgeous guaranteed sunshine.
Palm Island, Atlantis, Burj Al Arab, Sheikh Palace, Dubai Eye, Dubai Canal, Marina Lagoon and Jumeriah Beach are all yours to discover at your leisure. The spectacular views of Dubai’s skyscrapers, the Mina Seyahi and Marina with their amazing beach clubs, resorts and berths, it all makes Dubai one of the region’s top tourist destinations.
Dubai’s stunning marinas – Endless eye-candy!
Dubai is home to several beautifully equipped, perfectly designed modern marinas with all the amenities you’d expect. The IGY Anchor Marina in Palm Jumeirah comes with 590 berths for boats between 10m and 30m and the 300 berth marina at the Dubai International Marine Club, close to Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, is actually home to the brilliant, internationally renowned Dubai International Boat Show, on soon. No wonder this place is home to so many impressive super-yachts, offering more than enough boat eye candy to keep you occupied for days!
Narrow Dubai Creek with its many tiny fishing boats, motorboats and luxury yachts. The old Dubai Creek Tower, the Deira Twin Towers, the Deira Corniche and Al Ras districts, Al Shindagha and the extraordinary Dubai Creek Park, the city of Muscat, capital of Oman. It is all laid out for you like a glittering jewel under the perpetual sunshine.
Oman’s old port is the perfect place to dock for a visit to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and Old Palace. You can actually sail to the lovely Old Muscat, separated from the capital by dramatic mountains. And bustling Abu Dhabi is also on your list, the beating economic heart of the Emirates. Simply dock at Yas Marina or the Emirates Palace Marina to experience the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Mosque or visit the venue where the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix takes place.
What are the weather conditions for sailing in Dubai?
The temperature in Dubai varies from 36° in the summer to 19° in January, and the sailing is absolutely glorious all year round. The tides and currents are both nice and gentle, as are the winds. You might encounter a powerful summer Shamal, a north west wind that blows in from Iraq and Iran, making the sea rather challenging for a while.
Last but far from least – It’s the magical Dubai to Muscat Offshore Sailing Race
Proving the area’s top class sailing credentials, the brilliant Dubai to Muscat Offshore Sailing Race is the longest offshore race in the region, a thrill for anyone who loves watching modern keelboats sail 360 miles in challenging seas around the Musandam Peninsula. A regular event since 1992, these days it’s organised by the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club – the DOSC – in association with the United Arab Emirates Sailing & Rowing Federation. Expect as many as 20 yachts competing against each other for the prize. What a sight!
Add all this to the fact that we’re about to open a base in Dubai, and you can understand why it’s such a popular destination for yachting. Are you inspired to take on fractional yacht share and discover this amazing place for yourself, at your leisure, at a fraction of the cost of owning your own yacht? And what do you think of these stunning 60 to 120ft yachts from Majesty Gulf Craft inc? If that’s your kind of boat, let’s talk.