The Arabian Gulf: a stylish yacht charter location
With a coastline of painful beauty, the Middle East is endowed with ever-spectacular landscapes in which a melting pot of fascinating cultures awaits you. Increasingly popular to explore by yacht, the Persian Gulf is home to some of the most incredible sites, magnificent architecture and extraordinary splendor. Offering sparkling seas and powdery shores, the allure of majestic cities, ancient mosques and bustling bazaars offers an abundance of adventurous opportunities. A yacht trip brings a whole new perspective to this treasure trove of discoveries.
Capital and largest of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is full of magic. Translated from Arabic as “father of the gazelle”, Abu Dhabi is the political and industrial center of the country, in addition to being steeped in history and culture. A city of contrasts, the minarets and domes of traditional mosques nestle among contemporary skyscrapers and luxury hotels, the nearby rolling desert dunes dotted with camel trails proving an ever-popular attraction. This cosmopolitan place has one of the lowest crime rates in the world as well as the highest per capita income.
Yas Marina is one of the best superyacht marinas in Abu Dhabi, offering a range of excellent dining and leisure facilities, as well as 227 fully equipped berths. This bustling marina, located on Yas Island, offers iconic views of the Yas Viceroy Hotel and the Yas Marina Circuit, famous for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. As the sun sets, the waterfront promenade becomes a bustling scene, where nightlife and entertainment abound.
Cruise the scenic island of Nurai while keeping an eye out for the dolphins that frequent these waters. Located east of Abu Dhabi, in the unspoiled Persian Gulf, this idyllic slice of paradise is a perfect retreat for those seeking peace and quiet or wanting to enjoy water sports facilities. Inspired by “nur”, the Arabic word for “light”, the island lives up to its name; it is blessed with transparent waters and sparkling beaches as well as sensational breathtaking views of the gulf. Here you can choose from many options for lunch, from the rustic chic ambience of Frangipani to elegant French cuisine at Nurai Terrace.
Back at Yas Marina, have fun, whether you fancy going to Waterworld, Warner Bros Park, or Ferrari World theme park. World-famous Yas Waterworld is an iconic destination and promises great adventure, with over 40 exhilarating rides and countless attractions for all ages. If you fancy a nighttime visit, the cinema under the stars is a must. The indoor theme park featuring superheroes and Warner Bros. entertainment is the world’s largest with state-of-the-art rides and interactive entertainment for the whole family. The final choice of Ferrari World theme park offers the unique opportunity to ride the fastest roller coaster in the world of Formula Rossa, dare to ride Flying Aces, the tallest roller coaster in the world and see an impressive display of Ferrari cars.
Drop anchor at Emirates Palace Marina to enjoy some of the most impressive sightseeing in this region. This prestigious marina development was built specifically for large superyachts and offers instant deep water access to the clear seas off the Abu Dhabi Corniche, as well as the full superyacht facilities and services of the luxurious Emirates Palace Hotel. Here you can relax on the members’ terrace in an exclusive haven, overlooking the area’s most glamorous yachts.
Visit the fabulous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest in the world that uniquely captures the influences between Islam and the cultures of the world. The architectural styles of different Muslim civilizations celebrate cultural diversity by creating a haven of inspiration. There is an incredible capacity of 40,000 worshipers and visitors with the open door policy attracting tourists from all over the world who flock to marvel at the impressive onion-shaped domes, reflective pools in the courtyard and the hall. iconic prayer filled with sun. The mosque is also home to the world’s largest handmade chandelier and rugs, a sight to behold. This original monument is one of the most photographed landmarks in Dubai.
Bringing the shared stories of humanity to life, Louvre Abu Dhabi is a cultural beacon, a museum rooted in universal human values representing the dynamic nature of the contemporary Arab world. The choice of works for the museum’s collections is carefully selected, offering visions of cultural progression and human achievements that induce respect, curiosity, self-reflection and learning.
Shopping is a popular pastime, with a plethora of luxury brands available in Abu Dhabi. The Galleria on Al Marayah Island has 130 of the world’s most renowned brand name stores where the Avenue at Etihad Towers is a truly exclusive boutique experience. The malls here are spacious, modern, and air-conditioned, offering a huge choice of retail outlets and bustling with activity. During Eid or Ramadan, shopping malls have become prime venues for events such as dance or cultural performances and often feature international acts
For an evening, perhaps plan an exclusive dining experience at 225m above sea level sunset at the St Regis Abu Dhabi helipad, or visit the timeless Pearls & Caviar at the Shangri-La Hotel for fine dining in a glamorous setting while The artisanal regional Italian specialties at Abu Dhabi’s renowned restaurant, Mezzaluna, are exquisite. The choices are all equally appealing and there is something for everyone.
While on a yacht charter in the Persian Gulf, visit Sir Bani Yas, one of Abu Dhabi’s largest natural islands within the eight desert islands of the wildlife reserve. Explore the natural environment with a range of activities such as nature walks, guided tours, kayaking and mountain biking. Here you can get up close to island giraffes from a specific viewing platform, take 4 × 4 tours to see gazelles, oryx, hyenas, and cheetahs in their natural habitat. If you’re looking for adventure, horseback riding is available at Sir Bani Yas Stables, along with a range of marine activities, including diving at the local water sports center.
Cruise to Dubai where Bulgari Marina is a prestigious monument bringing together an exclusive destination with exceptional services, located just 2 minutes from Jumeirah. This is Bulgari’s very first yacht club, overlooking a marina of 50 yachts and it has a cool Mediterranean vibe. Superb amenities combine with a range of leisure facilities with something for families and couples. Dubai is a shopping magnet with duty-free status and countless boutiques to explore, so now might be a good time to indulge in a little retail therapy away from the yacht.
No visit to Dubai is complete without going to the Burj Al Arab Tower. This magnificent building in the shape of a glass veil rises majestically from the waters of the Persian Gulf, located 280 m off the famous Jumeirah Beach. Offering exceptional hospitality and repeatedly voted the most luxurious hotel in the world, the best experiences, restaurants and services are available here. Another must-see is the Dubai Miracle Garden, which comes alive every year from mid-November to mid-May. Filled with scents and colors, the garden features 150 million flowers intricately arranged in arches and patterns.
Thrill seekers will appreciate the time spent in Dubai with many exciting opportunities. Take a breathtaking free fall through the Dubai sky at the iconic Palm Jumeirah or perhaps above the Arabian Desert. Plan the adventure of a lifetime on an authentic desert safari, led by a conservation guide, spot exotic wildlife, stay overnight in a Bedouin camp, and dine under the stars. Nerves of steel will be solicited on the XLine, one of the steepest and fastest zip lines in the world located in the Dubai Marina, measuring 1 km with an incline of 16 degrees, it reaches on average 80 km / h . Double lines weaving through skyscrapers and across water mean you can share this daredevil activity with a friend or loved one!
Nicholas Dean is Managing Partner of Ocean Independence. Ocean Independence is a world leader in luxury yachting, offering a tailor-made experience through yacht charter, sale and management.
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