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Dhow Cruising in Doha Qatar

16 April 2019

There are plenty of interesting activities that visitors to Qatar could engage in, and one such popular activity in Qatar is Dhow Cruising. It is a popular sport and a recreational activity to relax your mind and soul.

A dhow was originally a traditional wooden sailing boat, used by merchants. But now, it includes latest amenities for tourists to make their journey more comfortable. From pearl diving to fishing to trading with neighbouring countries, Qatar enjoys a unique relationship with the open seas.

There are plenty of travel companies operating cruise tours around the stunning Arabian Gulf waters, with a range of luxurious vessels offering special packages to choose from. Dubai cruises could be the right idea of romance for the newly wedded for your next holiday abroad.

dhow cruising qatar

Dhow cruising spots

The traditional wooden boats or dhows of the Gulf can be seen along Doha Corniche, gliding back and forth along the fishing harbours of Al Khor and Al Wakra.  The boats are a legacy of how ancient Qatar was a simple sea-faring nation, before the richness of oil and gas was discovered.

The designs of the boat vary depending on its use, and are given an Arabic name. The fishing boats with domed traps are called Gargoor, and are lowered to seabed overnight. They were originally made of palm ribs, and are now formed from galvanized pipe and netting. The low walls of limestone in shallow waters seen in Al Wakra and along Qatar's northern shores are inter-tidal fishing traps, called Maskar.

Leading local tour operators operate full-day, half-day and evening sightseeing excursions, including a meal through a hotel, or through leading local tour operators.

In Qatar, Dhow cruising attracts tourists, and helps in promoting tourism. Local tour companies help in organizing private trips on large dhows, wherein you get to enjoy a barbecue, or go swimming, listening to music, or fishing.

A popular tourist spot for Dhow Cruising in Qatar is the Corniche Bay. You can also consider visiting islands like Palm Tree island, located off-shore. You are free to choose the day for your sail. There are dhows tied up along the seafront promenade, but you can set off from the dock in front of Museum of Islamic Art, then head down to the harbour at sunset and join an organized dhow cruise with other passengers. You can also consider chartering your own private boat and enjoy the privacy of using the vessel all by yourself, and most captains would be ready to negotiate for small groups.

If you so require, opt for dhows that include a barbeque dinner to their sailaways, wherein, you can expect a classic Middle Eastern fare including grilled meats, hummus and pistachio rice pudding for dessert, all served with good Qatari hospitality. Enjoy the impressive sight of the golden light of setting sun, when the liveliness of Doha skyline is also at its best. The twinkling lights makes for a colourful spectacle along the West Bay.

What better way to unwind in the evening after a busy day of sight-seeing and shopping in the heart of the city.

Best time to enjoy Qatar dhow cruising

Dhow cruising in Qatar is also inclusive of fine meals served in a hospitable atmosphere. The best time to go on a cruise is to start a little after the noon, as tourist can also choose a dinner cruise. Dinner cruise ensures a luxurious dining in a wooden dhow. The night dhow cruising experience in Qatar will prove to be a memorable one. 

But, if you are too busy to make it for dhow cruising in the evening, there are afternoon cruises too, in which, you could sail over to nearby Al Safliya Island for swimming, jet-skiing, sun tanning, fishing and more such activities. However, you may have to choose a dhow with air-conditioning and shade, as the sun will be at its peak mid-day.
Either way, Dhow cruising is an important activity and the best opportunity that should not be missed while in Doha.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries