Have you spotted those glittering boats in Dubai’s emerald waters? You would have felt an urge to experience the journey. Well, those are Dhows, traditional Arabic boats which is reminiscent of the fishing and pearling heritage of this emirate. As Dubai grew to a world-renowned tourist spot over time, Dhow got an elevated status. These days, Dhows are dinner destinations. A floating restaurant which takes tourists through the stunning cityscape of Dubai and also its historical landmarks.
A Dhow cruise in Dubai is also the best way to unwind from the daily grind. It is a unique experience to the tourists and a chance to look into the incredible culture of the city. The tourists looking to spend some quality time with their loved ones can choose a Dhow cruise.
You can choose Dhow cruise in any of the two wonderful locations in Dubai- Creek, and Marina. If you wish to see the places where the significant history of the city is deeply rooted, visit Dhow Cruise Creek. It will cruise around Deira to throw light on the humble beginnings of Dubai. There are some heritage sites like Al Bastakiya, one of the oldest residential areas in Dubai.
Dhow Cruise Marina
A stunning modern neighborhood which was planned and built from scratch. That’s what Dubai Marina is. Testimonials to the immaculate planning and foresight are everywhere. Soaring buildings line the sky along the water canal. Some of these buildings are world-famous architectural feats.
The two hour cruise covers the entire length of the Marina canal starting from the JBR. Marina is full of opulence and sparkle. The lustrous waterfront apartments in JBR is a dream home of everyone who comes to Dubai. As the Dhow sails on Dubai Marina, you have the chance to see the opulent buildings in the city. The promenade on either side of the waterway is festooned with date palms lit from top to bottom. An onlooker might mistake it for lamp posts shaped like palms.
Most of the people who you see on the walkway and the malls are European and American expats and the local Arabs. The air is of fun and enjoyment. People come to Marina to unwind after a busy life. Therefore, the marina is full of entertainment opportunities with high-end restaurants, shopping malls, and whatnot. The cobblestone boulevard in the Marina Walk witnesses art performances on the weekends.
On one end of the canal city is a massive undergoing development which is an extension of Marina called The Bluewaters Island. Although there are a lot more to finish in the coming years, the island is open to public visits. Ain Dubai, the tallest giant wheel which is waiting to be unveiled in 2020, is on this island. The wheel can be seen from miles away.
There are a lot of things that cruise offers like barbecue, live performances, dance, music and different types of cuisine. Because of the delicious food, the tourists love the dinner cruise in Dubai.
Dhow Cruise Creek
Dubai’s history begins from Deira and Bur Dubai — two settlements developed along the naturally existing waterway. The natural harbor in the creek and generous tax relaxations helped Dubai to become a trading hub. From the beginning of the 20th century, it garnered global attention through gold trade. The expansion of Dubai was incredible after the discovery of oil. A Dhow Cruise Creek takes you through all these attractions in Deira and Bur Dubai, with a delectable dinner to top it off.
Earliest skyscrapers of Dubai are along the shores of the creek. Deira Creek Tower (not to be confused with the new Creek Tower), sail-shaped National Bank of Dubai building, and the iconic Rolex twin towers are some of the buildings that adorned the city’s skyscape from the latter half of the last century.
There is even more to the creek. The Gold Souk, which was the center of gold trading for centuries, is on the Deira side and is a popular tourist site. Spice souk and textile souks are also located in its precinct.
From the Dhow Cruise Creek, you can see the Bastakiya, which dates back hundreds of years. Nearby is the house of Sheikh Saeed al Maktoum, the great grandfather of Dubai’s present ruler, with a distinctive red glow of the coral stones.
Al Seef in Bur Dubai is a more recent attraction. There are two parts to it; one section built like exactly like the medieval fishing village in Dubai and the other one which is a marriage between the past and the modern. Al Seef stretches along the creek for two kilometers.
The crowd in creek is different than that of Marina. Creek is more about the daily life of the common people — mostly, expat working population. When you are on a Dhow Cruise Creek, you can see men walking to and from work, loading cargo vessels, and fishing boats coming back after the catch. Abras ferrying people across is another unique sight which is unique to Creek. These boats which have been used for hundreds of years are still operated to preserve the traditions. Currently operated by the Roads and Transport Authority, Abras offer a ride for one dirham.
Dhow Cruise Deira, i.e., Creek, is also cheaper and uses smaller boats as compared to Dhow Cruise Marina. So, which one you choose comes down to personal preference.
Why go for a Dhow Cruise
Dhow Cruises are something not to miss out when you visit Dubai. Almost every tourist who comes to Dubai should at least go for any one of the two cruises. There are many solid reasons for that.
1. Witness the fascinating views
A journey in the Boat cruise Dubai offers some breathtaking views through the water. As the Dhow passes through some of the fascinating sites in Dubai, don’t miss the views outside. While a trip through Creek explores the cultural roots, Dhow cruise Marina is all about the luxurious skyline.
Al Fahidi Heritage village, Al Seef, the old souks are some of the interesting sights to catch on a Dhow cruise Dubai Creek which is in stark contrast against the modern glittering cityscape of Marina.
2. Relish the delicious dinner
Another attraction in the Dhow is the luscious dinner. Dhow cruise is called a floating restaurant for the toothsome food it offers to the visitors. The dinner menu on the cruise is a combination of a lot of well-liked dishes from middle-eastern, European and Asian cuisine. A wide range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian platters offers a mouthwatering eat out. The desserts include some popular Arabic sweets which would blow away the foodies. Nowadays, those who are looking for novel evening dining prefers Dhow Cruise dinners.
3. Enjoy the entertainment shows
Once you are aboard a Dhow, there is unlimited fun. A male dancer will perform the Tanoura folk dance. Tanoura is a dance with Egyptian heritage. The dancer wearing colorful clothes and weighted skirts swirls from beginning to end all the while performing interesting tricks with his props. Spinning without getting dizzy for this long is one of the things that will surprise you about the dance.
After his dance, he will also let you try a move or two wearing his magnificent skirt. Don’t miss that chance.
4. Have a nice time with family
When your family wishes for a delightful evening with you, don’t think twice, take them on a Dhow cruise. It is the best way to have a great time with your loved ones. The ambiance, entertainment shows, and enticing sights will give them a memorable day.
Sail on a Dhow if you want to do something different in Dubai. The dining experience on a Dhow is incomparable with any of the restaurants because of the outstanding views.
What to wear for the Dhow Cruise
Dress code on Dhow for tourists (male or female) is, in fact, not complicated. You can wear anything comfortable for the trip. Usually, everyone wears casuals on the Dhow. Because the cruise is in the evening, you don’t have to don a hat, sunglasses or use sunscreen. The rule of thumb is to dress how you would when you go out for dinner at any regular restaurant.
Although clothing rules in Dubai is very forgiving, modest clothing is recommended to show respect to the local culture. Be considerate to other guests on the Dhow and make sure that you are not dressed outrageously. Showing too much skin can get you in trouble with the law. But wearing a knee length shorts is fine.
The upper deck of the Dhow is an al fresco dining which is not air-conditioned. Because Dubai experiences cold climate from December to March, it can be a little freezing on the upper deck. So, you should be prepared with a jacket and, maybe, a beanie for the colder months.