Crystal Cruises to make Dubai debut

As Dubai continues on its awe-
inspiring climb as one of the world’s hottest travel destinations, Crystal
Cruises is expanding its travel opportunities to this stylish emirate with
four diverse cruises and a new pre- and post-cruise hotel stay. For the
first time, the award-winning luxury line will deploy both of its ships in
the region in 2007. Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, voted the best
ships in the world by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine, will
offer a total of four cruises that begin and end in Dubai.
  Considered the “pride of United Arab Emirates,” Dubai’s flourishing
tourism is attracting the attention of today’s most sophisticated
travelers. Located midway between Europe and the Far East, Dubai bridges
exotic destinations on four new Crystal itineraries:
  *  March 3; Cape Town, South Africa to Dubai, 17 days (Crystal Serenity),

  *  March 20; Dubai to Istanbul, Turkey, 18 days (Crystal Serenity),

  *  May 1; Singapore to Dubai, 16 days (Crystal Symphony), and

  *  May 17; Dubai to Rome, Italy.  At 14 days, this is the shortest of the
    Dubai cruises that also includes visits to Salalah, Safaga, Alexandria
    and Sorrento (Crystal Symphony).
  With its new hotel program, Crystal guests have the option of extending
their stays at the plush Grand Hyatt Dubai, a city centre resort set within
37 acres of lavishly landscaped gardens.
  “We’re offering twice as many cruises to Dubai in 2007 over 2006, and
interest in the region still surpasses our expectations,” says Bill Smith,
Crystal Cruises’ senior vice president, sales and marketing. “Dubai is one
of the world’s fastest-growing travel destinations—intriguing for its
mix of architecture, cultural tolerance and welcoming hospitality. Of
course, to many, one of its greatest attractions is its superb, tax-free
  Famous for its courtesy and hospitality, Dubai is a land of fascinating
contrasts. Ancient gold souks and traditional customs thrive alongside
soaring skyscrapers, man-made islands visible from outer space, haute
couture shopping and incomparable sporting opportunities such as sand dune
surfing, camel racing and even ice skating and skiing.
  Interesting facts about Dubai:

  *  In 2005, Dubai enjoyed a 60% increase over 2004 of visitors from the

  *  In a single day, a tourist can experience mountains, desert, beaches,
    lush green parks, small villages, luxurious residential districts,
    ancient primitive architecture and ultra-modern shopping malls.

  *  Many say that the exceptional travel-oriented facilities of the modern
    Dubai Cruise Terminal are due to it being the only cruise terminal in
    the world operated by a government department of tourism.

  *  The gold souk may be Dubai’s most famous market, but shopping ranges
    from Paris and Milan couture and high-tech electronics to traditional
    carpets, textiles and spices.

  *  Free of tax, many top brand-name products are cheaper in Dubai than in
    their countries of origin.