The JLS Yacht & Charter Services Company, an AYSS member since 2006, provides shoreside yacht agency services along the entire UAE and Gulf region and is based in Dubai. With a rapidly expanding marine environment, the JLS team of 30 marine professionals provide a wide range of agency, concierge and guest services from their head offices in Marina Zones and Dubai Creek Marina right in the centre of all the action. We talked to Captain Stephen Corbett to find out more about what makes cruising this region so special.
It’s a true melting pot waiting to be explored
Almost 85% of Dubai’s population is made up of foreign nationals who outnumber local Emiratis by a ratio of about 6 to 1. The majority of the population is Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Asian, and Western. It is the safest city in the world with a crime rate that is near 0%; add in the zero income tax, and this is one of the most convenient places in the world to start a business.
The airport is incredible
Dubai airport is one of the busiest in the world and is well equipped to handle private aircraft and VIP guest services in addition to commercial traffic. However, it’s the airport building itself, that offers a spectacular introduction for what guests can expect in the UAE. In addition to the luxury amenities, shopping, and eateries, arriving will shortly become a little more interesting for passengers as they will walk through virtual aquarium tunnels for security checks.
The city’s souks or bazaars are places you should get lost in
A titan of trade for centuries, step back and get a glimpse of what commerce was like back in the day. The Gold Souk, on Dubai Creek’s south bank in the Deira, is the place for glitz and glamour. With over 300 retailers, the Gold Souk is one of the most famous gold trading centres in the world with 20% of the world’s gold passing through here every year. It’s exceptionally regulated so there’s no chance your guests will walk away with a counterfeit. And Yacht Chefs, you won’t want to miss the Spice Souk just on the other side of the creek.
You need to check out the police cars (they’re awesome)
With so many supercars on the roads, you wouldn’t expect local law enforcement to drive around in any old car right? In fact, keep a close eye out and you’ll see a collection of some of the fastest luxury automobiles out there being driven by officers. A McLaren has just been added to the fleet of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and Bentleys.
Shop till you drop in the ridiculously large mall
While Dubai is famous for its luxurious brand-name shopping, the Dubai Mall puts retail therapy on a whole other level. Your guests will love browsing some of the best luxury outlets in the world, while crew will delight in the 22-screen cinema, indoor theme park, underwater zoo, giant aquarium, and a list of shows and events that would rival Vegas any night of the week. This mall isn’t for the faint-hearted, and don’t think you’ll get in and out in just a few hours!
Skiing in the desert will blow your mind
An afternoon at Ski Dubai, located in the Mall of the Emirates, is perhaps the most unusual experience you’ll ever have in the desert. Despite the year-round summer temperatures, you’ll be able to rent skis or inner tubes to experience perfect powder any day of the year.
The Bastakia Quarter should be on your must-see list
Located between the Dubai Creek and the buzzing Bur Dubai district this is an area not to be missed. It harks back to the city’s fishing village past and is filled with shops, art galleries and cafés in addition to the XVA Gallery (contemporary art), the Majlis Gallery (Middle Eastern art), and the textile souk where you can barter for brightly coloured fabrics.
Be sure to let your hair down in Dubailand
Dubailand is a Disneyland for children of all ages. This entertainment complex is more than just a theme park (there are six if we have to be specific); it is also filled with tourist attractions, luxurious real estate, entertainment, spas, golf, retail, and dining options.
Go to the Burj Khalifa if you’re not afraid of heights
Towering above the skyline is the Burj Khalifa, the tallest freestanding structure in the world. While you can’t miss it from anywhere in the city, you must take advantage of the opportunity to check out the views from the 134th-floor observation deck, particularly in the evening!
Check out Palm Island
Usually just called the “The Palm”, this architectural wonder was designed into the shape of a date palm tree with a massive trunk, a full palm crown with fronds, and a crescent island that acts as a breakwater wall.
Thinking about a stopover in Dubai or looking at cruising the region this winter? JLS is able to manage your stay from start to finish; with their excellent relationships with local marine suppliers and authorizes, they can make sure your stay in the UAE is exceptional.