15-Days Dubai To Mahe Aboard Silverseas Spirit
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai sits on a golden sandy coastline in the Arabian Gulf, where the warm azure waves of the sea meet the desert. A high-rise oasis, this city is a pleasure-dome surrounded by dunes; one of the most fashionable on the planet thanks to its ability to satisfy the needs of legions of demanding vacationers. Dubai is about having fun—and it's one big adult playground. Nature plays her part here, with year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches, dramatic arid landscapes, and warm waters, but it's the man-made attractions that make Dubai so alluring. You can launch yourself into high-adrenaline desert adventures, diving and water sports, and some of the world's best golf courses.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Just a few decades ago, Abu Dhabi, the island capital of the United Arab Emirates, was a small fishing village with houses made of mud-brick and palm fronds. Today, as a result of revenue from oil, Abu Dhabi is one of the world's richest cities, with wide, tree-lined okulevards, lush green parks, gushing fountains and imposing skyscrapers. Somewhat of a dichotomy, Abu Dhabi is a combination of ultra-modern sophistication and Arab mystique, with friendly and hospitable people offering a warm welcome to visitors. Abu Dhabi's history originated in the 18th century, when, according to legend, a group of tribesmen pursuing a gazelle came upon a freshwater well which they named Abu Dhabi, or "Father of the Gazelle".
Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates
Located 105 miles/170 kilometres southwest of Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas is the largest natural island in the United Arab Emirates. Known not only for its spectacular beauty, conical mountains, gently sloping shores and crystal clear waters, Sir Ban Yas has gained international recognition in recent years for its spectacular nature reserve. Established in 1971 by Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the reserve now covers 60% of the island — a vast 1,400 hectares — and is home to some 13,000 rare and indigenous animals (over 100 species), including gazelles, Barbary sheep, giraffes and the hawksbill turtle; rarities include the Indian blackbuck and Arabian oryx, one of the world’s most endangered species.
Fujairah, United Arab Emirates
Fujairah is one of the seven Emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is the country’s only Emirate on the scenic East coast. With a stunning setting against a backdrop of the rugged Hajar Mountains, Fujairah is a place of contrasts, attracting a growing number of visitors in search of a less visited destination. Thanks to its strategic location at the crossroads between East and West, Fujairah has experienced considerable development in recent years. Today, the Emirate enjoys a bustling economy due to its natural resources, strong industrial and commercial base, as well as a thriving sea port and free trade zone.
Oman is the second-largest country in the Arabian Gulf after Saudi Arabia, sprawling over 212,500 square km (82,047 square mi) roughly the size of the state of Kansas. The country was enigmatic and isolated until the present ruler of the country, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, assumed the throne in 1970. Since then, Sultan Qaboos has been busy transforming this once-feudal nation into a modern state. Unlike its more cosmopolitan neighbor, the United Arab Emirates, this progress has been slow but steady.
Delhi may be the capital city, but it's Mumbai that encapsulates all the dynamic, chaotic parts that make up modern India. This is where you'll find everything from succulent street food to haute cuisine, bargain-basement bazaars to the finest haute couture, humbling poverty to staggering wealth, sacred temples to hedonist nightclubs. Mumbai is India—vibrant, hectic, frustrating, enervating, and exhilarating, warts and all. Mumbai is a city of extremes, where slum-dwelling strivers making dollars a day serve Bollywood stars and industrial billionaires. It's a 24-hour city stocked with some of the best late-night street food in the world, as well as fine-dining restaurants of renowned chefs.
Kochi, formerly and still commonly known as Cochin, is one of the west coast's largest and oldest ports. The streets behind the docks of the historic Fort Cochin and Mattancherry districts are lined with old merchant houses, godowns (warehouses), and open courtyards heaped with betel nuts, ginger, peppercorns, and tea. Throughout the second millennium this ancient city exported spices, coffee, and coir (the fiber made from coconut husks), and imported culture and religion from Europe, China, and the Middle East. Today Kochi has a synagogue, several mosques, Portuguese Catholic churches, Hindu temples, and the United Church of South India (an amalgamation of several Protestant denominations).
There are many nations around the world with bragging rights to miles of pristine white coral sand and balmy turquoise seas but few can take it to the same level as the Maldives. Its 1,200 islands are spread out over 26 coral atolls; the combined land of all the islands is little more than 100 square miles. That means you are rarely more than a few steps from the beach. Many of the villas are actually built on stilts out over the water, so you may actually have to walk onshore in order to get to the beach. Besides curling your toes in the sand, many people come here to sample the Maldives enviable world-class dive spots. Others simply snorkel among the endless coral reefs.