Though it’s a glittering modern metropolis during the day, Dubai really comes into its own as night falls. The sun sinks slowly into the blue waters of the Gulf and the skies light up with gold and pink, which reflects in the windows of skyscrapers. However, it can be hard to appreciate the spectacle from inside the city streets. This shared sunset cruise on a traditional dhow gives you a chance to enjoy the view of Dubai’s skyline from the water.
The cruise takes place on a traditional wooden dhow — sailing ships that have been historically used to trade along the Gulf coast. You can choose to sit inside with the air conditioning, or outside for unobstructed views. The evening also includes a buffet dinner and tasting of traditional Arabian coffee.
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel in the evening to board the ship with the other passengers. The traditional design of the wooden dhow dates back at least 1,400 years. Its distinctive shape and lanteen sails offer a sharp contrast against the ultra-modern yachts and buildings that you’ll find in the marina.
The ship will cruise along Dubai Creek, which divides the city in half. This saltwater creek flowed through the city long before it developed into the expansive modern metropolis you see today. It once served as a small port for dhows that had journeyed from as far as India and East Africa, and was at the heart of the city’s successful pearling industry during the early 20th century.
You’ll travel through the heart of the city’s fast-fading old town and can see its oldest buildings slide past as you cruise through. You’ll also be able to take in views of the city’s distinctive skyscrapers, lit up by the last rays of the sun, including the towering Burj Khalifa and the spiral twist of the Cayan Building.
Enjoy an international buffet for dinner, with the option to buy your own drinks on board. The cruise lasts about three hours and you’ll be driven back from the dock to your hotel afterwards.