What is a Dhow?
A “Dhow” is a traditional wooden vessel that is common in the Middle East and has been used historically for a variety of purposes, primarily for trading.
Dhows are made in a variety of sizes and in the UAE have been most used for trade between UAE and Iran aswell as for pearl diving.
Over the last decade the demand for dhows has gone down and has been replaced by more modern vessels.
Nonetheless, Dhows have played a cruicial role in the history and evolution of the gulf and are iconic as a mode of sea transportation.
In the last couple of decades, a lot of the ‘Dhows’ have been repurposed for tourism purposes, one of them being dhow cruise dinners.
A Dhow Cruise Dubai Marina is a nice concept. Read on.
The History of Dhow Cruise Dubai Dinners
In the 90’s, some entrepreneurs began converting the larger dhows that were traditionally used for trading into refurbished floating restaurants that would operate dinner cruises in the Dubai Creek.
That segment has grown and over many years has evolved into a rather important and iconic type of tourist attraction in Dubai.
Starting with only handful of Dhows in early 90’s the segment has grown into over 30 dhows in the Creek and 8 in Dubai Marina.
One the elements of the Dhow Cruise ‘culture’ has been to have live entertainment onboard in a variety of forms.
Originally, belly dancing was most common, but with time, Dubai Government has been eliminating this form of entertainment and has now been almost entirely replaced by ‘Tanura’ – a traditionally Turksih dance that is usually performed by a male dancer that is spinning in a flowing and elaborately decorated dress, creating a very interesting sight.
Dinner onboard a Dhow Cruise in Dubai Marina
As always, with the opening of Dubai Marina as a new area and tourist destination, there was room for starting new business ventures.
Alexandra was one of the first boats that began its operations as far back as 2009.
Now there are around 7 boats that operate in Dubai Marina.
Dubai Marina Dhow Cruise vs. Creek
So what is the difference between a Dhow Cruise in Dubai Marina versus a Dhow Cruise in Dubai Creek?
Well, this article will give you a very detailed answer, but funadmentally – the main difference is location.
Dubai Creek is the old part of town, and Dubai Marina is a new area in Dubai.
Fundamentally, that is the only difference, and the difference then lies in the actual operators of each boats. There are many good boats in Dubai Creek and some in Dubai Marina.
It must be noted however that Dubai Marina has MUCH less boats 8 versus more than 25 in the Creek.
As a rule of thumb, the quality of operators in Dubai Marina on average is higher, due to the the higher parking fees and the need to compensate by attracting a higher quality clientele.