A Dubai dhow cruise is synonymous with romance, mystery and uniqueness. If you feel like you’ve tried every cruise under the sun or if you think you may have sailed in every type of boat or ship imaginable, but you still haven’t heard of a Dubai dhow cruise, then read on to find out about this amazing, but not so well-known cruise.
What is a Dhow?
Before we discuss Dubai dhow cruises, here’s a bit of background information about dhows. The short definition of dhow is: A traditional Arab sailing vessel. The long definition is: “A lateen-rigged sailing vessel that originated in the Middle East. Early dhows were of shell-first construction. Most dhows are known by names referring to their hull shape. The ghanjah is a large vessel with a curved stem and a sloping, ornately carved transom.
The baghlah, was the traditional deep-sea dhow; it had a transom with five windows and a poop deck reminiscent of European galleons. Double-ended dhows, like the boom, have both stem and sternposts.
The battil, featured long stems topped by large, club-shaped stemheads and sternposts decorated with cowrie shells and leather. The badan was a smaller vessel for when a very shallow draught was required.”
Dubai Dhow Cruise
Considered the most imaginative way to see Dubai, a Dubai dhow cruise offers amazing views of the city underneath a moonlit sky. Traditional wooden dhows tour Dubai creek and into the Arabian Gulf, at night, as passengers take in the beauty of Dubai and its past and present architecture. Just a few points of interest along the way include: the National Bank of Dubai, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Sheikh Saeed’s house, and the Heritage Village. Passengers will also observe other watercraft navigating the creek such as abras or water taxis.
A typical Dubai dhow cruise lasts around 2 hours and they generally sail between 8:30pm and 10:30pm. In addition to sightseeing by moonlight, just about every romantic Dubai dhow cruise features a delicious dinner (buffet of continental or oriental cuisine), traditional Arabic coffee, and Arabic music. Cocktails are also available on most cruises.
Booking a Dubai Dhow Cruise
Dubai dhow cruises aren’t just for couples or small groups. Large groups can book a Dubai dhow cruise for a discounted rate through most tour companies. While Dubai dhow cruises are popular for evening entertainment, they are also available for lunch cruises. If you would like to book a Dubai dhow cruise while you’re in Dubai or prior to arriving, voyages within the Creek or into the Gulf can be organized through local tour operators.