The Difference Between a Dhow Cruise and a Marina Dhow Cruise


A Dhow – pronounced “daw” – is a type of ship that originated in the Middle East and India area about 2,000 years ago. Today these ships are often used in Dubai as a tourist attraction, being one of the best ways for you to see the city’s skyline.

Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates and is one of the most visited destinations in the Muslim world. Dubai also has the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa – which according to the official figures is 160 stories, or 2,716 feet tall!

What does a Dhow Cruise entail?

According to Alexandra Dhow Cruise Dubai Marina, a popular Dhow cruise in Dubai Marina, the cruises are broken up into two categories, with the traditional route being down the old Dubai Creek and the marina route starting in the recently created Dubai canal. I find the marina route more extravagant while the traditional route as calmer.

What is this about dancing and music? Dhow cruises typically come with a Tanura dance show – a type of dancing notable for the region. Tanura is a folk dance that started in Egypt and spread through Sufism. You’ll find this type of dancing has colorful and complex clothing, along with intricate spinning and rotating.

What kind of food do these cruises serve? Because of their large tourist industry, you will find a large variety of food from around the world offered on these ships – especially Indian, Mediterranean, Emirate cuisine. For the more adventurous you can find region-specific food like Al Jabab bread, Camel meat, Maqluba, and dates.

How long do these Dubai cruises typically last for? It can heavily depend on what your aspirations are – a simple dinner is typically around a couple hours, while others can start in the morning and not end until the evening. For the most enthusiastic is the dhow cruises that show off the whole coastline – which last a couple days.

What’s the big deal with traditional Dhow Cruises?

The traditional dhow cruises have been known to residents for many years as they follow the old creek of Dubai – an ancient pathway known since ancient Greek times. Along this route, are several historical buildings along with relaxing pathways along the waterfront.

I find this route as laid back and relaxing, with little in the way of hustle and bustle of the city. Because of the close vicinity to local businesses, there are often smaller, less noisy vessels. The less traffic translates to lower admission prices compared to the marina course.

What are some old landmarks along old Dubai? First and foremost is the creek you’ll be going down – it has been a route for trade and was called by the Ancient Greeks the River Zara. Along the route, you’ll see important landmarks like the Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Creek Tower, and the National Bank.

What is this Ra al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary? The Dubai creek cruise ends at the Ra al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary – a reserve notable for attracting large amounts of migratory birds, small mammals, and crustaceans. Along the 5 square miles, you’ll find mudflats, intertidal pools, and mangroves.

What the big deal with Marina Dhow Cruises?

On the newer side of Dubai is the 21st-century extravagance. This route will give you the best look at the city’s skyline and all the fascinating lights. You’ll also get to pass underneath lavish bridges.

What is the Marina Dhow Cruise experience like?

This route has much more movement – expect to see a lot of leisure vessels and yachts. This heavy traffic area has much more competition, allowing you more choices to pick what vessel you want. Despite this, the marina cruises are often more expensive.

What are the notable landmarks along new Dubai? You’ll be cruising along Dubai canal – an incredible feat of construction completed in 2013 that shows a host of different hotels and shopping centers. Specifically, you’ll find the Dubai Marina Yacht Club and the Dubai Marina Mall. You’ll also see the Burj Khalifa along the skyline.

What is this Sheik Zayed Road bridge? At a certain spot, the canal meets this 2,762 ft. bridge. This piece of architecture is considered one of the most complex bridges ever constructed – one of its most notable pieces being the light up waterfall that ceases movement when a ship gets near it.

So, what are the prices for these cruises like?

Along the best Dubai Dhow Cruises, you’ll find prices varying from as low as $25.00 all the way over $300.00. The discrepancy comes from the route – with traditional being the cheaper of the two – and the time spent, which varies anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days.

What else should I know?

You are pretty much covered, I would just recommend doing a little bit of studying on the different vessels. Take a look at the menu options and the type of entertainment. From here, it’s just a matter of picking the one that is most intriguing to you!

Tags: , , , ,