Dubai, a captivating city in the United Arab Emirates, is well-known for its high standard of living and impressive cruiseist attractions. A dhow cruise down Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina is one of the city’s most sought-after activities. These cruises provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity to take in the city’s breathtaking cityscape and vibrant culture. Dhow cruises in Dubai range from the traditional to the luxurious, each providing its own unique experience. Let’s explore the realm of dhow cruises and learn about the many options available to you.

Traditional Dhow Cruise

traditional dhow cruise

What is a Traditional Dhow?

Dhow is a general term for a variety of historic sailing vessels common in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. These ships typically have one or more masts and are rigged with a settee or, less commonly, lateen sails.

Dhows are commercial vessels that are often found along the coastlines of Eastern Arabia, East Africa, Yemen, and coastal South Asia. Their long, thin hulls make them ideal for transporting heavy goods like fruit, fresh water, and other commodities. Crew sizes range from twelve on smaller Dhow to thirty on larger ones.

What are the Features of a Traditional Dhow Cruise?

Traditional dhow cruises in Dubai are a unique and real way to learn about the city’s long marine history. Some of the most important things about a typical dhow cruise are:

●     The famous Dubai Creek

The famous Dubai Creek, which was once the center of the city’s trade, is where traditional dhow cruises take place. This setting lets you see into the past and understand where Dubai came from.

●     Traditional Dhow Boats

The cruises use traditional wooden dhow boats that have been used by the people for hundreds of years. Beautifully made and painted in a traditional Arabian style, these boats give off a feeling of nostalgia and charm.

●     Authentic Atmosphere

When you step on board a traditional dhow, you’ll be surrounded by the history and culture of the area. The dhow is decorated in a traditional Arabian style, which makes it feel warm and welcoming.

●     Traditional Sitting

On a traditional dhow cruise, you’ll find sitting in the style of an Arabic majlis. These low-floor seating setups with soft cushions make guests feel comfy and at home.

●     Traditional Arabic Food

The traditional Arabic food spread is one of the best parts of a traditional dhow cruise. You’ll be able to try kebabs, grilled meats, rice meals, freshly baked bread, and tasty sweets that are made with real ingredients.

●     Traditional Entertainment

There will be live music and dance shows while you’re on the cruise. Traditional music, like rhythmic oud tunes, is a part of the culture. Skilled dancers do traditional folk dances like the Tanoura dance, which is mesmerizing because it includes spinning colorful skirts.

●     Panoramic Views

As the dhow sails along the Dubai Creek, you can see the city’s scenery, famous sites, and busy shore in all directions. This is a unique way to see Dubai’s beauty because it shows both old and new things.

What Kind of Entertainment is Offered on a Traditional Dhow Cruise?

On a traditional dhow cruise in Dubai, you can expect to be entertained by a variety of cultural performances and traditional forms of entertainment. Here are some common types of entertainment offered on a traditional dhow cruise:

  1. Live Traditional Music: Traditional dhow cruises often feature live music performances that showcase the rich musical heritage of the region. Skilled musicians play traditional Arabic instruments such as the oud, a stringed instrument, creating melodious tunes that add to the ambiance of the cruise.
  2. Traditional Dance: Dance performances are a highlight of traditional dhow cruises. One popular dance form you may witness is the Tanoura dance. This mesmerizing dance involves a dancer spinning continuously in a colorful skirt, creating a captivating visual spectacle.
  3. Belly Dancing: Another popular form of entertainment on traditional dhow cruises is belly dancing. Professional belly dancers showcase their talent, captivating the audience with their graceful movements and intricate choreography.
  4. Henna Painting: Henna painting is a traditional art form in the Middle East. Some traditional dhow cruises offer henna artists who can adorn your hands with beautiful and intricate henna designs. It’s a unique and temporary way to embrace the local culture and add a touch of elegance to your experience.
  5. Magic Shows: To add an element of surprise and wonder, some traditional dhow cruises may include magic shows. Skilled magicians perform tricks and illusions that entertain guests of all ages.
  6. Storytelling: Dubai has a rich history and a wealth of fascinating stories. Some traditional dhow cruises may have storytellers on board who share captivating tales and anecdotes about the city’s heritage and culture. It’s a great way to learn more about the region while enjoying the cruise.
  7. Interactive Performances: Traditional dhow cruises often encourage guest participation. You may be invited to join in traditional dances or learn some basic steps. This interactive aspect allows you to immerse yourself more fully in the cultural experience and make lasting memories.

Dinner Dhow Cruise

dinner dhow cruise

What is a Dinner Dhow Cruise?

A dinner dhow cruise is a type of cruise that blends a beautiful boat ride with a delicious meal on a traditional or modern dhow boat. It’s a special way to enjoy a meal while looking at the Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina.

During a dinner cruise on a dhow, guests are usually greeted with a warm and friendly environment. The show is beautifully furnished and makes for a charming place to eat. Most of the time, the cruise takes place in the evening, when the skyline and other sites are lit up and can be seen from the water.

A wonderful dinner is served on the dhow as it sets sail. On a dinner dhow cruise, food is usually served in the form of a spread with a wide range of dishes to suit different tastes. Most of the time, the table has a variety of appetizers, major dishes, and desserts. The food provided can be anything from traditional Arabian meals to popular dishes from around the world, so there’s something for everyone.

What Types of Cuisine are Served on a Dinner Dhow Cruise?

What makes a Dhow supper so wonderful, some would ask. Dubai’s dinner cruises are more than just a great way to explore the city and have fun; they’re also some of the best restaurants at sea.  A dinner dhow cruise in Dubai typically offers a diverse range of cuisines to cater to various tastes and preferences. The specific types of cuisine served may vary depending on the cruise provider and the dhow cruise you choose. However, here are some common types of cuisine that you can expect to find on a dinner dhow cruise:

●     Traditional Arabic Cuisine

Traditional Arabian cuisine is often a highlight of dinner dhow cruises. You can expect to find a variety of authentic Arabic dishes that showcase the flavors and culinary traditions of the region. This may include dishes like hummus, falafel, tabbouleh, kebabs, grilled meats, shawarma, freshly baked Arabic bread, and aromatic rice dishes.

●     International Cuisine

Many dinner dhow cruises also offer a selection of international dishes to cater to a broader range of tastes. You may find a diverse array of options such as continental, Mediterranean, Asian, or fusion cuisine. This can include dishes like pasta, grilled seafood, sushi, stir-fried noodles, salads, and more.

●     Seafood

Given Dubai’s coastal location, dinner dhow cruises often feature a selection of fresh seafood dishes. This can include a variety of fish, prawns, lobster, crab, and other delectable seafood delicacies prepared in different styles such as grilled, steamed, or marinated.

●     Vegetarian and Vegan Options

Many dinner dhow cruises offer vegetarian and vegan dishes to accommodate dietary preferences. These options can include an assortment of vegetable-based appetizers, salads, main courses, and desserts, providing a range of flavorful choices for vegetarian and vegan guests.

●     Desserts

No dining experience is complete without desserts, and dinner dhow cruises certainly deliver on this front. You can expect a selection of sweet treats to indulge in, such as traditional Middle Eastern desserts like baklava, umm ali, or kunafa, as well as international favorites like cakes, pastries, and puddings.

Is There Any Live Entertainment During a Dinner Dhow Cruise?

Live entertainment is often part of a dinner dhow cruise in Dubai. This adds to the overall experience and makes the setting lively and interesting. Live entertainment may be different based on the ship company and the type of dhow cruise you choose. During a dinner dhow cruise, you may see or hear the following types of live entertainment:

  1. Live music: On dinner dhow cruises, live music acts are a popular way to have fun. Skilled artists play traditional Arabic instruments like the oud (a stringed instrument), the qanun (a plucked string instrument), and the flute, making beautiful tunes that add to the cruise’s atmosphere. The music is often a mix of traditional Arabic tunes and famous songs from the present day.
  2. Traditional Dance: One of the best parts of many dinner dhow cruises is the traditional dance shows. You might see acts like the Tanoura dance, which are very interesting to watch. In this mesmerizing dance, a dancer in a bright skirt spins all the time, making for a very interesting show. Other ancient dances, like belly dancing, may also be shown to show how graceful and skilled the dancers are.
  3. Dj Option: Some dinner dhow cruises have a DJ and a dance floor. The DJ plays a wide range of music, including Arabic, Western, and foreign hits. This makes the party feel lively and full of energy, which makes people want to get on the dance floor and show off their moves.
  4. Participatory Performances: Some dinner dhow cruises offer participatory performances to keep the guests interested and keep them entertained. So, this could mean asking guests to join in on traditional dances or showing them the basics. It’s a chance to have fun, learn something new, and fully experience a different culture.
  5. Magic Shows: Some dinner dhow cruises may have magic shows as part of the entertainment. Magicians with skill do tricks and illusions that leave people amazed and amused.

Sunset Dhow Cruise

Sunset Dhow Cruise

What is a Sunset Dhow Cruise?

A sunset dinner cruise is a really romantic African experience that combines all of the senses; you will witness the magnificent Zanzibari scenery, listen to evocative taarab music, and savor the taste of the island’s distinctive cuisine – all while enjoying the views of Zanzibar’s spectacular sunset.

What are the Highlights of a Sunset Dhow Cruise?

  • Breathtaking Sunset Views: Experience the beauty of Dubai’s skyline bathed in the warm hues of a mesmerizing sunset.
  • Tranquil Ambiance: Enjoy a serene and peaceful atmosphere as you sail along the calm waters, away from the bustling city.
  • Scenic Waterways: Cruise along iconic waterways such as the Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina, witnessing stunning views of architectural marvels and landmarks.
  • Romantic Setting: The tranquil ambiance and picturesque sunset provide a romantic backdrop for couples to enjoy a special evening together.
  • Spectacular Photo Opportunities: Capture Instagram-worthy photos as the sun sets behind the city’s skyline, creating stunning silhouettes and reflections on the water.
  • Delicious Dining Experience: Indulge in a sumptuous dinner onboard, featuring a variety of delectable dishes from Arabian and international cuisines.
  • Live Music and Entertainment: Be entertained by live music performances or traditional cultural entertainment, adding to the enchanting atmosphere of the cruise.
  • Relaxation and Unwinding: Take this opportunity to unwind and let the gentle sway of the dhow and the soothing sea breeze melt away your stress.
  • Iconic Landmarks: Sail past iconic landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, or the traditional architecture of the Dubai Creek, admiring their grandeur from a unique perspective.
  • Memorable Experience: Create lasting memories with loved ones as you enjoy a magical sunset cruise, surrounded by the beauty of Dubai’s skyline.

Can I See Any Famous Landmarks During a Sunset Dhow Cruise?

During a sunset dhow cruise in Dubai, you can witness and admire several famous landmarks along the waterfront. Here are some of the notable landmarks you may encounter during your cruise:

●     Burj Khalifa

The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, stands majestically in the heart of Dubai. As you sail along the waterways, you can catch glimpses of this iconic skyscraper, which becomes even more breathtaking as it glows in the colors of the setting sun.

●     Burj Al Arab

Known as the symbol of luxury and opulence, the Burj Al Arab is a distinctive sail-shaped hotel. It stands on its own man-made island and is one of Dubai’s most recognizable landmarks. Admire its stunning architecture and capture memorable photos as the sun casts its golden rays on the iconic structure.

●     Palm Jumeirah

A man-made palm-shaped island, Palm Jumeirah is an engineering marvel visible from the water during your dhow cruise. Marvel at the luxury villas, hotels, and resorts that adorn the shoreline, creating a picturesque view against the backdrop of the setting sun.

●     Dubai Marina

As you cruise through the Dubai Marina, you’ll be surrounded by a stunning skyline of high-rise buildings and luxurious waterfront developments. The marina’s impressive architecture and vibrant atmosphere make it a must-see landmark during your sunset dhow cruise.

●     Dubai Creek

If you opt for a traditional dhow cruise along the historic Dubai Creek, you’ll pass by traditional dhow, bustling souks (markets), and traditional Arabian-style buildings. The traditional architecture and cultural heritage along the creek provide a charming contrast to the modern cityscape.

●     Atlantis, The Palm

Situated at the tip of Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis, The Palm is a renowned five-star resort and entertainment complex. The distinctive architecture and location make it a captivating sight, especially during a sunset dhow cruise.

●     Sheikh Zayed Road

This major highway is lined with impressive skyscrapers and architectural marvels, including the iconic Emirates Towers. As you sail along the water, you can enjoy panoramic views of these towering structures, which illuminate the cityscape as the sun sets.


Dubai has a wide variety of dhow cruises that appeal to different tastes and let guests see the city’s beauty and charm from the water. There is a dhow cruise for everyone, from traditional wooden dhows that show off the history and culture of the area to modern dhows with lots of amenities. Whether you choose a traditional dhow cruise with cultural shows and authentic food or a luxury dinner dhow cruise with beautiful views and gourmet food, each type offers a unique and unforgettable experience. So, go on a dhow cruise in Dubai and experience the enchanting mix of culture, luxury, and beautiful scenery that awaits you on the city’s waterways.

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