What Is a Dhow in Dubai?

By Anna Duncan

What Is a Dhow in Dubai?

Dubai, the vibrant city in the United Arab Emirates, is known for its rich cultural heritage and picturesque landscapes. One of the most iconic symbols of Dubai’s maritime history is the traditional Arabian sailing vessel called the dhow.

History of Dhows

The dhow has been an integral part of Dubai’s heritage for centuries. These wooden boats were originally used for fishing, pearl diving, and trading along the Arabian Gulf. The design of dhows has remained largely unchanged over time, reflecting the skill and craftsmanship of local boat builders.

Types of Dhows

There are several types of dhows that can be found in Dubai:

  • Al-Baggar: This type of dhow is mainly used for fishing and has a distinctive triangular sail.
  • Boum: The boum is a larger dhow primarily used for trading purposes. It has a square sail and can carry heavy loads.
  • Jahazi: Traditionally used for pearl diving, this dhow features a long hull and multiple masts.

Dhows Today

In modern times, dhows have evolved from being solely work vessels to becoming popular tourist attractions. Many tourists visiting Dubai choose to embark on dhow cruises to experience the city’s stunning coastline and enjoy traditional entertainment onboard.

Dhow cruises offer visitors an opportunity to relax on deck while taking in breathtaking views of Dubai’s iconic landmarks such as the Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, and Atlantis The Palm. These cruises often include delicious dining options with authentic Arabian cuisine.

Traditional Dhow Features

Dhows are typically made of teak wood and have a distinctive shape with a curved hull. The sails are often adorned with colorful patterns and designs, adding to the beauty of these vessels.

Traditional dhows also feature spacious decks that can accommodate large groups of people. This makes them ideal for hosting events such as weddings, corporate gatherings, and private parties.

The Dhow Building Process

The construction of a dhow is a labor-intensive process that involves skilled artisans. The boat builders carefully select the wood and meticulously carve each piece to create a sturdy and seaworthy vessel.

Once the structure is complete, the sails are added, showcasing intricate craftsmanship. The finishing touches include painting the dhow in vibrant colors, making it visually appealing.

In Conclusion

Dhows hold great historical significance in Dubai and continue to be an important part of its culture. Whether you choose to admire them from afar or embark on a dhow cruise, experiencing these majestic vessels is an essential part of any visit to Dubai.

So next time you find yourself in this mesmerizing city, don’t miss the chance to explore the beauty and charm of dhows – a true testament to Dubai’s maritime heritage.