Dubai Marina Cruises

Taking a boat trip around the Dubai Marina is one of the most fun experiences you can have during your holiday. Fancy a boat trip and I'll tell you all about the options?

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

7 min read

Dubai Marina Cruises

Dubai Marina | ©Sergio Boscaino

Spending a few days in Dubai? It's one of the most amazing cities in the Middle East and there's so much to see during a trip to Dubai, you'll be spoilt for choice!

However, one of the things you can't miss is a cruise around the Dubai Marina, a district built around a man-made canal with access to the sea, which is characterised by its lively atmosphere and is full of modern skyscrapers, luxury hotels and shopping malls.

Seeing Dubai from the waters of the Persian Gulf will give you a whole new perspective of the city and allow you to get a very complete view of the city - the perfect end to your holiday! Check out the coolest possibilities below.

1. Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeira Cruise by speedboat

Sunset at Dubai Marina| ©Oiva Eskola
Sunset at Dubai Marina| ©Oiva Eskola

The Dubai Marina is one of the best areas for strolling in the city but also for enjoying the beach and the warm waters of the Persian Gulf.

A fun way to explore the Dubai Marina is to take a boat cruise that shows you the Marina district from a different perspective, i.e. from the water, on a 60 or 90 minute boat tour.

The boat is designed so that the skipper can manoeuvre over the water quickly and you can experience the speed and adrenaline rush on board. It's super exciting! In addition, during the Dubai Marina tour you can enjoy spectacular, uninterrupted views of many of the city's main tourist attractions such as Burj Al Arab and Atlantis The Palm (two luxury hotels), Bluewaters Island, Jumeirah Beach, several royal palaces and the Dubai Lagoon.

There are options that also include a buffet dinner on board for a unique evening on a luxurious boat. You have to try it.

Book a dinner cruise in the Dubai Marina

2. Dubai Marina cruise on a yacht with picnic on board

Waiting to board the Yacht at Dubai Marina| ©LafullPicture
Waiting to board the Yacht at Dubai Marina| ©LafullPicture

This Dubai Marina cruise is similar to the previous one but instead of taking a boat cruise you will be on a beautiful yacht to enjoy the city's seascape in a more leisurely and relaxed way.

As well as being able to see some of Dubai' s most important tourist attractions from the deck (e.g. Burj Al Arab and Atlantis The Palm, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai Lagoon, Ain Wheel, Bluewaters Island and several royal palaces, among others) you'll also have the chance to have a delicious picnic on board for breakfast, lunch or dinner, depending on the time of day you choose.

These types of cruises usually last about 2-3 hours and have a tourist focus with formal etiquette. In other words, these are not activities where travellers are given time to take a dip in the water or sunbathe in their swimming costumes. In fact, a casual-elegant dress code is required to participate.

It doesn't take place in large groups and is an excellent opportunity to meet people who are also on holiday in Dubai for a few days, don't you think?

Book a yacht tour of the Dubai Marina

3. Traditional dhow cruise with buffet dinner and entertainment

Dubai Marina Dinner Cruise| ©Raja1847
Dubai Marina Dinner Cruise| ©Raja1847

If you are planning to visit Dubai as a couple and would like to experience a romantic and different evening during your stay, don't hesitate to take a dhow dinner cruise in the Dubai Marina. Seeing the city lit up at sunset from the water is one of the best experiences you'll take away from your trip.

You'll see some of Dubai' s most famous sights (Cayenne Tower, Bluewater Island, Jumeirah Beach, Ain Wheel and many more) under the stars on a dhow, a quaint traditional Arabian vessel.

Enjoy the sea breeze on your face as you sip a cold drink (you'll appreciate it after a hot day) and then take a seat for a fabulous buffet of international cuisine. Later you'll be entertained by the music and dance show. This is usually a concert or tanoura dance exhibition.

This type of dhow cruise in the Dubai Marina usually lasts around 2 hours.

Book a traditional sailboat ride in Dubai

4. Go parasailing on a Dubai Marina Cruise

Parasailing| ©Maria D
Parasailing| ©Maria D

If you're looking for a bit of adventure on your Dubai holiday, as well as planning a trip to the Dubai desert to go sandboarding or quad biking in the Dubai desert, you should also set aside some time to go parasailing over the waters of the Persian Gulf. It's a blast!

You'll soar 150 metres above the water in a kind of parachute as the boat speeds over the waves. From the sky you'll enjoy breathtaking views of the Dubai Marina with iconic sites such as Jumeirah Beach, Burj al Arab, Atlantis The Palm and Ain Wheel in the background for around 15 minutes, which is the duration of the parasail.

So put on your safety gear and get ready for one of the coolest experiences of your trip.

Book a speedboat ride in Dubai

5. Private Dubai Marina Cruise

Dubai Marina Cruise| ©Krzysztof Skóra
Dubai Marina Cruise| ©Krzysztof Skóra

If you're looking for an exclusive experience during your getaway and you're on a budget, I recommend a private Dubai Marina Cruise where you can take in the stunning views of the coastline on a relaxing journey on the water aboard a luxury boat.

During the tour you'll see iconic sites such as Jumeirah Beach, Burj Al Arab, Atlantis The Palm, Ain Wheel, several royal palaces, Bluewaters Island and the Dubai Lagoon, among others.

Private cruises usually last between 1 and 2 hours. During this time you'll have plenty of time to take pictures of the seascape and soak up the sun. Some of these tours also include music for a little party on board.

6. Luxury mega yacht cruise with dinner

If glamour is your thing and you're coming to Dubai to treat yourself, of all the cruises available at the Dubai Marina you might be interested in the one that takes you on a luxury mega yacht cruise around the marina for around three hours.

With the breathtaking views of Dubai at night in the background you'll enjoy a cruise for the more discerning tourist without breaking the bank. From around 60 euros you can enjoy the yacht cruise with buffet dinner and refreshments, but if you prefer you can add unlimited drinks for around 30 euros more or VIP dinner (with reserved seating and champagne) for around 130 euros per person.

Book a mega yacht cruise in Dubai

When is the best time of day to take a Dubai Marina cruise?

Dubai Marina| ©Enrico Strocchi
Dubai Marina| ©Enrico Strocchi

Any time is a good time to cruise the Dubai Marina, but an afternoon cruise is a great time to enjoy the sea, the views of the coastline and the sunset. When you return to land, you can take a pleasant stroll around this beautiful district and stay for dinner in one of the fantastic restaurants.

In addition, at sunset the Dubai Marina landscape illuminated with thousands of coloured lights looks spectacular and you can take some wonderful souvenir photographs.

How much does it cost to take a Dubai Marina cruise?

Money in Euros| ©Pixabay
Money in Euros| ©Pixabay

From 32 € you can take a cruise in the Dubai Marina. In pages like Hellotickets you can find many options to suit all tastes and pockets.

The price of these tours varies depending on factors such as the type of boat, the size of the group, if it includes lunch or dinner on board, if there are activities during the tour or if it is a private cruise or not, to mention some examples.

How long are the Dubai Marina cruises?

Dubai Cruise| ©Marianna S.
Dubai Cruise| ©Marianna S.

Depending on the option you choose, Dubai Marina cruises can last from 15 minutes to 3 hours.

Is it advisable to take a Dubai Marina cruise with children?

Dubai Cruises| ©Michael Beyer
Dubai Cruises| ©Michael Beyer

Of course it is! Besides being a fun plan that will make the kids feel like real sailors, it is also a very comfortable way for them to go sightseeing without getting too tired.

And, of course, they'll love riding on a boat if they haven't had the chance to do so before - it'll be a memory they won't forget!

Tips for cruising the Dubai Marina

View from the Dubai Marina cruise| ©Yogibaer2001
View from the Dubai Marina cruise| ©Yogibaer2001

There is no doubt that one of the must-do experiences during a trip to Dubai is a Dubai Marina cruise, but before you embark on this adventure, take a look at these tips to make the most of the activity.

Before you buy your tickets, remember to check what kind of activities are on the cruise and what the itinerary is to make sure they fit in with your plans.

Dubai Marina cruises are very popular. To make sure you have a place on the day and time you want, it's best to book your place in advance.

Be on time for boarding. Arrive at the pier in good time and take the opportunity to wander around the Dubai Marina beforehand. Plan your day well because the ship waits for no one. To get there on time, check out the post How to get around Dubai to help you plan your journey there.

If you are going on a special Dubai Marina cruise (with dinner and live entertainment) pay attention to the etiquette of the event. They usually require smart casual attire, so avoid the 'tourist look' as much as possible.

Frequently asked questions

  • What will I see from a Dhow cruise?

    You'll pass Dubai landmarks such as the Clock Tower and Al Maktoum Bridge, while relaxing and taking a breather with the sunset over the city skyline in the background.

  • Is dinner included on Dhow cruises?

    Most cruises include lunch or dinner, in the form of buffets or 4 or 5-course menus.

  • What is the etiquette of a Dhow cruise?

    Men are required to wear long trousers or shorts and closed shoes, and sportswear is not allowed. Casual but smart attire is fine.