Although Dubai conjures up images of record-breaking skyscrapers, pristine beaches, massive malls, and luxury cars racing down wide 8-laned highways; its root lies in the traditional Bedouin culture of the Arabian Peninsula, in particular the tribe that lived along the Dubai Creek. Many cultural manifestations from the time can still be found today, playing an important part in the day to day life of Dubai. And none are more important than the dhow - traditional wooden boats that were masterfully designed and built by the local fishing communities and used for navigating the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Today, you can experience the ancient maritime culture of the city with a modern twist by experiencing a dhow cruise. Cruising the waters of Dubai Creek and the modern Dubai Marina, these dhow cruises are renowned for their one-of-a-kind sightseeing and dining experiences. Sailing by prominent landmarks as you engage your tastebuds and enjoy a wonderful dinner is an experience that you will truly remember.
In this guide, we will look at all the dhow cruise options in Dubai. At the end of it, you will hopefully be able to find a dhow cruise in that suits you best.
A Typical Dubai Dhow Cruise Experience
Typically in Dubai, dhow cruises are held either in Dubai Marina or the waters of Dubai Creek. While the Dubai Creek is the ancient lifeline of Dubai and flows through Deira and Bur Dubai in the older parts of Dubai, Dubai Marina is a 2-mile long artificial canal city that is flanked by some of the most amazing skyscrapers in Dubai.
Usually, a cruise begins at the pier where you are welcomed with coffee, dates and snacks. Cruises with the option of pick-up and drop-off at your hotel are also available. Once onboard, you will be seated at your table. The air-conditioned dhow has walls made of glass which allow you to look out of the dhow effortlessly as you enjoy your dinner. You can also walk out on to the open deck and take in the fresh air once you've enjoyed your dinner.
Sightseeing opportunities are plenty as cruising in both Dubai Creek and Dubai Marina affords you the opportunity to glance at all the major landmarks that you cruise past. When it comes to dinner, expect a three-course international buffet prepared with the highest standards. The global aspect of Dubai can be seen in the dinner itself, with cuisine from all over the world laid out for you to enjoy.
While you enjoy your dinner, you will be entertained by local artists performing traditional dance forms such as belly dance, tanoura and even magic and puppet shows. All in all, a dhow cruise experience is a wonderful way to experience Dubai and a must if you're visiting the city for the first time.
A local artist performing the Tanoura dance form
The culture of the Bedouin Arabs is rich with many dance forms, the most famous among which are belly dancing and the whirling skirts of tanoura dancing.
Dinner laid out before the dhow cruise commences
Most dhow cruises provide a dinner as well as a sightseeing experience. The lavish dinner buffet consists of dishes from around the world, keeping the global culture of Dubai in mind. Eat and enjoy to your heart's content.
Looking out of a dhow in Dubai Marina
The sights of Dubai lit up at night await you as you enjoy a delicious dinner with your loved aboard a dhow cruising the waters of Dubai Marina. Dhows truly offer sightseeing and dinner in a single package like no other experience does.
A dhow cruise anchored in Dubai Creek
Ready to provide its guests with an unforgettable evening, a dhow lies in wait in the waters of the Dubai Creek. The Dubai Creek is the waterway along which Dubai was founded and it still plays a prominent role in the life of Dubai.
Dubai Dhow Cruise Options
Sightseeing Dhow Cruise
Experiencing a dhow cruise is a wonderful way to go about sightseeing Dubai. The city has a host of landmarks and attractions that one can sightsee from the waters of Dubai Creek and Dubai Marina. Most sightseeing dhow cruises take place during the day while dinner cruises are dedicated to dinners.
Dinner Dhow Cruise
Most dhow cruises that operate at night are dedicated dinner cruises. The dinner consists of an international buffet prepared with 5- star standards and the cuisine consists of delectable dishes from around the world. With plenty of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, a dinner dhow cruise is something everyone would enjoy.
Dubai Dhow Cruise Locations
Dubai Marina Dhow Cruise
Dubai is called the city of superlatives because every new development here is bigger and better than the last and Dubai Marina’s rise to prominence in the ongoing decade has a lot to do with this title. The canal city of Dubai Marina with its shiny high rises and sprawling infrastructure has emerged as an awe-inspiring example of human excellence. With buildings like the Burj Al Arab and Dubai Mall, the canal district has the world’s most luxurious hotel and the largest mall that are part of the world’s ‘tallest block’. Other landmarks in Dubai Marina are Hotel Atlantis the Palm, Palm Jumeirah and the Dubai Marina Yatch Club Promenade.
Check out our in-depth Dubai Marina dhow cruise guide to learn more and find the best dhow cruises. Read More
Dubai Canal Dhow Cruise
The Dubai Water Canal is one of Dubai’s most expensive and environment-friendly projects.Dubai Canal is a 3.2 kilometer long waterway that origins from Business Bay and pours into the Persian Gulf, stretching past Al Safa Park and Jumeirah through its course. One can traverse through the canal on a boat or ferry, but to truly enjoy the experience, sitting atop a traditional Arabic Dhow or an Abra would be the ideal way to go. Sitting on these traditional boats and feasting your eyes on the urban parts of Dubai - Business Bay Bridge, Safa Park, Dubai Festival City Mall, Burj Khalifa., JW Marquis Hotel and the Westin Hotel is an experience that often falls short of words.
Check out our in-depth Dubai Canal dhow cruise guide to learn more and find the best dhow cruises. Read More
Musandam Dhow Cruise
A popular getaway destination, the Musandam tour from Dubai is sought after both by residents and tourists. Musandam is where the mountains meet the ocean, a breath-taking paradise where time comes to a standstill. This tiny region belongs to Oman but is separated from the mainland by the east coast of UAE and lies in close proximity to Dubai. The picturesque landscapes of Musandam feature beautiful fjords, sparkling waters and the mighty Hajar Mountains. The quaint coastal villages, the eccentric culture, vibrant local markets, historic forts and towns along with an abundant aquatic wildlife make Musandam an unforgettable destination.
Check out our in-depth Musandam guide to learn more and find the best dhow cruises. Read More
Dubai Creek Dhow Cruise
Dubai Creek has been central to the region’s development as it was once the primary source of livelihood for the local communities. The bustling old city areas of Deira and Bur Dubai that spread out on either side of the creek are peppered with ancient monuments and market areas like the Heritage Village, Gold and Spice Souks, Sheikh Saeed’s House, the Grand Mosque, and Old Boat Fort. The various Dhow cruise experiences at Dubai Creek offer a panoramic view of all of these iconic sites, and more. All in all, a Dhow Cruise in Dubai Creek is a distinct experience and is a must-do activity if you are planning a trip to Dubai.
Check out our in-depth Dubai Creek dhow cruise guide to learn more and find the best dhow cruises. Read More
Dubai Dhow Cruise Tickets and Deals
With so many options and experiences available, you can pick a Dubai dhow cruise of your choice. To find a cruise that suits you best, check our guide on how to find the best dhow cruises in Dubai.
In the section below, you will find a select number of experiences that are the most popular Dubai dhow cruises. From morning Dubai Creek dinner cruises to dhow cruises in Musandam, you can find them all here.
Dubai Creek Sightseeing Cruise
• Hassle-free transfers from your place of residence
• 1-hour cruise on a modern dhow in Dubai Creek
• Enjoy the marvellous architecture of Dubai’s skyscrapers and other landmarks lining the Creek
• Refresh yourself with mineral water and soft drinks on the cruise
Dhow Dinner Cruise with Live Entertainment in Dubai Creek and the Open Seas
• 2-hour dinner cruise on a luxurious modern dhow in Dubai Creek
• Traditional welcome of coffee, dates and fresh juices
• Feast on a 3-course international dinner
• Entertainment such as the traditional tanoura dance, a magic show and a puppet show
• Take in stunning sights of Deira and Bur Dubai lit beautifully at night.
Dubai Marina Dhow Dinner Cruise
• Enjoy a royal welcome with a drink, fresh towels, Arabic dates, and coffee
• Cruise down the luxurious Dubai Marina coastline in a two-hour relaxing cruise
• Feast on a 3-course international buffet dinner
• Enjoy the marvellous architecture of Dubai’s skyscrapers and other landmarks lining the Marina
• Listen to peaceful Arabic music as you gently cruise down the canal
Luxury Sunset Cruise with Live Saxophonist
• Exclusive sunset cruise along the legendary Dubai Marina Esplanade
• Capture the towering skyline of Dubai with a gorgeous sunset in the backdrop
• Photograph the mighty Atlantis the Palm hotel as you sail through the Palm Jumeirah
• Catch a coastside view of the exotic Burj Al Arab
Premium Dhow Dinner Cruise (with Alcohol Options)
• 2-hour dinner cruise on a luxurious modern dhow in Dubai Creek
• Ttraditional welcome of Arabic coffee and fresh dates
• Feast on a 3-course international dinner prepared at a 5-star hotel
• Pair your dinner with an alcoholic beverage such as wine, beer, whisky and other premium alcoholic drinks
• Take in stunning sights of Deira and Bur Dubai reflecting on the waters of Dubai Creek.