Trip Planning Itinerary of the Tour Brief History of Dubai & the United Arab Emirates Daily Log & Photos

Trip Planning

Cocktails - Queen Mary II! Virginia suggested we fly to Dubai for my 80th birthday as that is one country I haven't been to, and take a cruise through the Indian Ocean. And to celebrate my birthday in Dubai would be a treat.

We could also visit several other countries that would help me complete my world map of areas I have traveled to.

This trip would include besides Dubai, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Singapore. But due to the virus in Thailand and Singapore, we had to sail back to Dubai after touring Sri Lanka. We didn't really care as we had already visited Thailand and Singapore but others on the ship were sorry but as we all said, better safe then sorry!

Here we are celebrating our cruise on the Celebrity Constellation at one of our favorite cocktail lounges, the Martini Bar, 2020!

Leaving San Francisco - View from my apartment on the 28th Floor

We left the City with a great view and excited for the cruise to new places!

80th Birthday on the Celebrity Constellation!

Celebrity Constellation

Affectionately known as "Connie" by its fans, the 2,034-­passenger Celebrity Constellation debuted in 2002 as the fourth and final ship in Celebrity Cruises' Millennium Class. Over the years, the ship has developed a host of admirers and repeat cruisers who are drawn to its value, comfort, above-average food and drink offerings, friendly crew, spotless facilities and intriguing itineraries.

Constellation, and the Celebrity line as a whole, attract older cruisers looking for an experience that offers value and a bit of luxury. In both price, quality of food and service, and general ambience, Connie strives to balance the intimacy offered by smaller ships and the leisure, entertainment and dining perks offered by bigger ships. Passengers have access to nine bars and lounges; French, Italian and sushi alternative restaurants; a large casino and nightly Vegas-styled entertainment.

The staff is friendly and helpful, and senior officers, including the captain, are very visible and accessible. All go out of their way to chat with passengers on their frequent walks through the ship and at shipboard events.

GTS Celebrity Constellation is a Millennium-class cruise ship of Celebrity Cruises. She was originally named Constellation, but renamed in May 2007. Her three sister ships are the Celebrity Infinity, Summit, and Millennium.

She was built at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France. The ship is powered by a COGAS power plant of gas turbines and a steam turbine providing up to 60 megawatts for the electric systems and two 19 MW Rolls-Royce/Alstom MerMaid azimuth thrusters for propulsion. In 2007, an additional diesel engine was fitted as a fuel-saving measure. The ship can run on any combination of the gas turbines or diesel. In port, she generates electrical power from the diesel.

In 2007, Condé Nast Publications reported that Constellation had come top of their Traveler Cruise Poll six times in seven years. During the summer period the ship sails to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean (winter).

Celebrity Constellation is scheduled to undergo a dry dock in May 2020.

Sailing on the Persian Gulf

Arabian Sea The Persian Gulf is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia. The body of water is an extension of the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Oman) through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest. The Shatt al-Arab river delta forms the northwest shoreline.

The body of water is historically and internationally known as the "Persian Gulf". Some Arab governments refer to it as the "Arabian Gulf" but neither term is recognized globally. The name "Gulf of Iran (Persian Gulf)" is used by the International Hydrographic Organization.

The Persian Gulf was a battlefield of the 1980–1988 Iran–Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers. It is the namesake of the 1991 Gulf War, the largely air- and land-based conflict that followed Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

The Gulf has many fishing grounds, extensive reefs (mostly rocky, but also coral), and abundant pearl oysters, but its ecology has been damaged by industrialization and oil spills.

The Persian Gulf is in the Persian Gulf Basin, which is of Cenozoic origin and related to the subduction of the Arabian Plate under the Zagros Mountains. The current flooding of the basin started 15,000 years ago due to rising sea levels of the Holocene glacial retreat.

Trip Itinerary

Dubai Itinerary

Dubai Itinerary!

   Brief History of Dubai


The first human settlement in the history of Dubai was in approximately 3000 BCE, when the area was inhabited by nomadic cattle herders. In the 3rd century CE, the area came under the control of the Sassanid Empire which lasted until the 7th century, when the Umayyad Caliphate took control and introduced Islam in the area. The area was sustained by fishing and pearl diving for a thousand years, with the first records of the town being made in 1799 when the Bani Yas clan established it as a dependency of Abu Dhabi.

Dubai became a separate Sheikhdom in 1833, when the Al-Maktoum dynasty of the Bani Yas clan (initially from Abu Dhabi) took it over peacefully. The invention of artificial pearls in 1926 and the Great Depression in 1929 caused a collapse in the international pearl market, which resulted in the emir Sheikh Saeed looking for an alternative source of income and inviting Indian and Iranian traders to settle there without paying any tax and Dubai becoming one of the leading re-export ports in the world. In 1966, oil was discovered in Dubai, which changed the country beyond recognition and led to Dubai becoming the vibrant, modern, business-centred city.

   Brief History of United Arab Emirates (UAE)

United Arab Emirates (UAE) :

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula located on the southeastern coast of the Persian Gulf and the northwestern coast of the Gulf of Oman. The UAE consists of seven emirates and was founded on 2 December 1971 as a federation. Six of the seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah) combined on that date. The seventh, Ras al Khaimah, joined the federation on 10 February 1972. The seven sheikdoms were formerly known as the Trucial States, in reference to the treaty relations established with the British in the 19th Century.

Read More about the history of the United Arab Emirates.......

    My Personal Travel Agent - Setting up trips to Morocco, Portugal, Sicily and many other destinations. A top Travel Consultant.

I met Viviane in 1999, sailing from Southern Chile to Southern Argentina and visiting Patagonia in April. We celebrated the Millenium New Year in Vienna in 2000 and the actual New Year of 2001 in Morocco! She can plan great trips for you with years of unique travels under her belt!

Personnal Travel Agent........

    January 30th, 2020 - Lufthansa Engine Failure

We flew Lufthansas from San Francisco to Frankfurt and after two hours of flying, the engine on the outer right wing broke down. They had to jettison the fuel and we watched for over half an hour as the fuel was pumped out of the wing.

We flew back to SFO and waited four hours and called and were told we had a direct flight on Emerite Airlines, direct to Dubai at four p.m. the next afternoon.

We decided to go back to the City and I stayed at Virgina's house and we had a friend pick us up and drive us to the airport. The crew on Emerites heard it was my birthday so I ended up having six wines and a scotch and water plus all the snacks I wanted.

We missed the first day on the ship but I had put us on the second day tour of Dubai so it worked out.

Note: The following is a MOV movie clip of the fuel dump and you may select this link to view the video. Caution, it may not work depending on the browser!

........Lufthansa Fuel Dump!.........

 Tour of Dubai

    Day 2 - February 2nd - Tour of Dubai - Evening Sailing to Oman

Dubai Tour - $229.00 a Person

I told Virginia I might as well sign us up for the expensive tour as I will never go there again and definitly want to go to the 124th floor of the tallest building in the world.

Immerse yourself in the wonders of Dubai on this adventure that will take you to the thrilling observation deck of the Burj Khalifa, followed by a luxurious high tea service at the Burj Al Arab Hotel. Begin with a scenic drive past the engineering, architectural, and design wonders that have made Dubai into a cosmopolitan commercial business hub. At the Burj Khalifa—the tallest structure in the world - feel the rush of climbing to the elegant observation deck located on level 124 and enjoy breathtaking views. Then, journey to the five-star Burj Al Arab Hotel where you'll enjoy a British-style high tea service. Surrounded in the lap of luxury in a hotel that rises from a man-made island, drink unlimited tea and coffee paired with gourmet sandwiches, house-crafted specialty pastries, warm scones with clotted cream, and home-made passion fruit jelly, rose petal, and strawberry jam.

    Day 2 - Chuck's 80th Birthday Party in Dubai at the Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa known as the Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration in 2010, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. With a total height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft) and a roof height (excluding antenna, but including a 244 m spire of 828 m (2,717 ft), the Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure and building in the world since its topping out in 2009.

Construction of the Burj Khalifa began in 2004, with the exterior completed five years later in 2009. The primary structure is reinforced concrete. The building was opened in 2010 as part of a new development called Downtown Dubai. It is designed to be the centrepiece of large-scale, mixed-use development. The decision to construct the building is based on the government's decision to diversify from an oil-based economy, and for Dubai to gain international recognition. The building was originally named Burj Dubai but was renamed in honour of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Abu Dhabi and the UAE government lent Dubai money to pay its debts. The building broke numerous height records, including its designation as the tallest building in the world.

Burj Khalifa was designed by Adrian Smith, of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, whose firm designed the Willis Tower and One World Trade Center. Hyder Consulting was chosen to be the supervising engineer with NORR Group Consultants International Limited chosen to supervise the architecture of the project. The design is derived from the Islamic architecture of the region, such as in the Great Mosque of Samarra. The Y-shaped tripartite floor geometry is designed to optimize residential and hotel space. A buttressed central core and wings are used to support the height of the building. Although this design was derived from Tower Palace III, the Burj Khalifa's central core houses all vertical transportation with the exception of egress stairs within each of the wings. The structure also features a cladding system which is designed to withstand Dubai's hot summer temperatures. It contains a total of 57 elevators and 8 escalators.

    Day 2 - Chuck's 80th Birthday Party in Dubai Burj Al Arab Hotels High Tea

The Burj Al Arab Hotel is a luxury hottle locatit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At 321 m (1,053 ft), it is the fowerth tallest hottle in the warld. Burj Al Arab stands on an airtificial island 280 m (920 ft) frae Jumeirah beach an is connectit tae the mainland bi a private curvin brig. The shape o the structur is designed tae mimic the sail o a ship. Whiles referred to as "the warld's only seven-Star hotel", its status is in dispute.

The elevator doors are covered in gold leaf. The lobby is soaring and beautiful. The floors are mosaics and so beautiful. Next door is a hotel in the shape of a sail on a ship!

    Day 2 - Dubai Museum

The Dubai Fort is situated at the south of Dubai Creek, at the Al Souk Al Kabir area which teems with vigorous trade and is close to the Ruler's Court (the monarch's divan). It was built back in 1787, about 200 years ago, as the premises of the monarch and a fort of defence, since it sat on the border of the urban Dubai at the time. Later on, this fort turned into an arsenal for artillery and weapons. It was also used as a prison for the outlaws. This fort was renovated during the reign of the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. It was opened in 1971 (the year the federation was formed), to be an official museum that displays the history of Dubai and its original heritage. In 1995, another underground museum was established and added to the old fort.

The visitors of Dubai Museum "Al Fahidi Fort" have an opportunity to get rich, full and integral knowledge of the very old history of Dubai that interacted with different people and civilizations across history. Visitors will get acquainted with the different environments of urban and rural lives in Dubai, whether they are marine, coastal, desert, mountain or agricultural life. Rare authentic monuments, original samples, drawings and diagrams, audio and video media are scattered all over the wings of the museum. The museum consists of the monuments wing, which displays antique monuments such as pottery, weapons, tombs, buildings and urban communities. The wing of Dubai between the past and the present, the market in the 1950s wing, displays comprehensive examples reflecting the market atmosphere, vendors, shops and goods sold in those times. There is also the traditional home and masjid wing, the oasis wing, desert, story of the water and desert at night. There is also the astronomy and natural phenomena wing along with a sea wing that takes the visitor on a breathtaking tour to get to know shipbuilding and the manufacture of shipping equipment, the profession of pearl diving and the marine life on the floor of the Arabian Gulf. Also, there is the folklore wing, as well as the weapons and Old Dubai fortification wing. In the centre of Fahidi Fort lies a spacious yard that is used for displaying models of local boats and bamboo houses with their traditional furniture.

A visit to Dubai Museum "Al Fahidi Fort" offers an opportunity to get acquainted with the history of Dubai, which gives an impression that Dubai's current development, modernism and distinction are only a continuation of a journey of a unique and distinguished civilization that was subjected to different cultures and people, as well as an example of the strong bond with Arabism and Islam. The comparison between old and modern Dubai, which are separated by a few number of years, show you the great, continuous efforts that led Dubai to its current state of progress and pioneering. It also consolidates the confidence that all that Dubai has become today is based on a deeply rooted civilization.

    Day 2 - Dubai Creek

The Dubai Creek is a saltwater creek located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Previously, it extended to Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary but as part of the new Dubai canal it extends through to the Persian Gulf. Some sources say that the creek extended as far inland as Al Ain, and that the Ancient Greeks called it River Zara.

Historically, the creek divided the city into two main sections – Deira and Bur Dubai. It was along the Bur Dubai creek area that members of the Bani Yas tribe first settled in the 19th century, establishing the Al Maktoum dynasty in the city.[2] In the early 20th century, the creek, though incapable then of supporting large scale transportation, served as a minor port for dhows coming from as far away as India or East Africa. Although it impeded the entry of ships due to current flow, the creek remained an important element in establishing the commercial position of Dubai, being the only port or harbour in the city.[3] Dubai's pearling industry, which formed the main sector of the city's economy, was based primarily on expeditions in the creek, prior to the invention of cultured pearls in the 1930s.

The creek's initial inlet into mainland Dubai is along the Deira Corniche and Al Ras areas of eastern Dubai and along the Al Shindagha area of western Dubai. It then progresses south-eastward through the mainland, passing through Port Saeed and Dubai Creek Park. The creek's natural ending is at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) from its origin at the Persian Gulf. The traditional form of transport between the eastern and western sections of Dubai via the creek was through abras, which continue to operate in Dubai. In addition, the eastern and western sections are linked via four bridges (Al Maktoum Bridge, Al Garhoud Bridge, Business Bay Crossing, and Floating Bridge) and one tunnel (Al Shindagha Tunnel).

    Day 2 - Dubai High Rises

Mile after miles of Dubai High Rises makes one wonder who is working and living in these buildings. The temperature most of the year is around 112 degrees! There are many interesting buildings, the top right is a new museum to open soon as a tech museum!

    Day 16 in Dubai - Crown Plaza Festival City

We ended up at the Crown Plaza and I talked the desk attendant into giving us a special room and he gave us a room on the top floor and said it was a VIP room with a view of Dubai. The ceilings were about 18 feet high and the beds were queen sized. The bathroom was about 12 by 12 feet! This was paid by Celebrity.

We decided to have room service as the room was paid for by the ship line. We had a bottle of champagne so around 11 a.m. we ordered two glasses of orange juice, a plate with three small dips, a salad about three inches by one inch high, a cup with 10 olives and 8 pieces of flat bread and a bucket of ice. Cost, $115.00! Virginia yelled out, "Do you know what this costs?" The tax on this was 25 percent! We really cleaned up that plate!

    Day 17 - Flight Dubai to Amsterdam and on to SFO San Francisco

Since we were to fly from Singapore to San Francisco, after the coronavirus scare in Thailand and Singapore, we sailed back to Dubai, spent a day in the upscale hotel and we had a flight the next morning at two a.m. We had a free ride to the airport and there a woman at the counter was so helpful, got us on the KLM flight as it was booked solid. We flew to Amsterdam and then to San Francisco, landing around 12:30 p.m.!

I decided to take Bart, our subway system home as Virginia had a ride and it was easier for me to just take the subway home as it stops a block from my apartment.

What an 80th Birthday, new places I had never been to, parties, wines, martinis, champanges, food, entertainment, and lots of tours and new friends!

    Day 17 - End of Chuck's 80th Birthday!

Created on: 2017.02.28
Return to Chuck Buntjer's Home Page
Updated on: 2020.02.22