What better way to enjoy the sunset in Doha, Qatar? See the city from the sea, of course! That and a sumptuous dinner aboard a dhow cruise will make it even more memorable. Going on a dhow cruise is one of the popular activities that you can do in Doha.
Ever since setting foot in the Gulf, taking a dhow cruise was high on my list of things to do. And I finally got to check it off my list thanks to National Cruise and Fatimah of New in Doha. See the highlights of our dhow cruise below!
Try a different Dhow Cruise
Along Doha’s Corniche, one cannot miss the rows and rows of wooden boats. At night, they light up the otherwise pitch-black Arabian Gulf with their multicolor LED lights. Much like Hong Kong‘s junk boats along Victoria Harbour, sans the light and sound show popular in the cosmopolitan city.
These wooden boats are known as dhow boats. Traditional trading and sailing vessels, the origins of which are lost in obscurity. There are different types, and as I’m not a sailing expert, will not go into detail about how each of them differs from one another.
But one does not simply take a dhow cruise.
The ones along the Corniche, affordable they may be, are mediocre at best. I haven’t met someone yet who didn’t describe them as “boring”. This frankly discouraged me.
So when the opportunity came to experience a different kind of dhow cruise, I was definitely pumped for it.
The meeting place was Marina Gate 2 at the Pearl. An area that a lot of yachts and other boats called home. But one boat stood out, our ride for the day.
Dhow cruise sunset and dinner
It stood tall as high as the large yacht beside it but sported a wooden body and an open top. Compared to traditional dhow boats, its mast and sail were nowhere to be seen. This one was enclosed with glass windows and had air conditioning inside.
It was clearly made for a big group as it was able to fit in around 30 (bloggers) people on the lower deck! The open-air upper deck boasts of a comfortable seating majlis-style where we headed after a short introduction and a few safety instructions.
From Pier A, we slowly sailed off towards Doha’s Corniche. The sun was still a bit harsh, making us sweat as we try to enjoy the ride and look for the best spots to take photos.
Soon enough, the sunset was upon us. Portrait shots made way for silhouette shots, and bloggers went crazy trying to capture Doha’s skyline during the golden hour as best as they could.
The creative energy in the air was contagious. Having not seen a glorious golden hour for quite some time, I relished the experience even though at times, I felt myself getting a bit seasick from the occasional swaying.
As the sun dipped into the horizon, giving off its last few glares, I tried to enjoy the moment and calm my monkey mind. I waited for the moment the sun went down and the sky blazed golden. I let myself shoot a few more photos and then waited a bit until the golden light turned into the blue hour.
It is this in-between that I loved seeing more. The sky is painted with an array of subtle colors, the light competing with the oncoming darkness, and the moon claiming its rightful place in the sky. It was like the ending to a song, the melody slowing down, making you feel all the emotions that the earlier intense notes gave you.
After a few more shots of the Museum of Islamic Art against the now-blue sky, we headed down the stairs back to the lower deck where dinner awaited us. But first, we were introduced to National Cruise Company and what are the services they offer. Najla Nabil was also very gracious to teach us some tips and tricks about photography.
Dinner was surprisingly catered by Four Seasons Doha. Five-star dining on a boat! How luxe is that, right? The buffet spread, although limited, was filling and tasty. For my picks, I definitely enjoyed the Roasted Chicken and Mashed Potato, Grilled Catch of the Day with Saffron Cream Sauce, and the Pesto Marinated Grilled Vegetables Lasagna.
Beverages were served upon request by the service staff, who were all very attentive and polite.
By the time we finished dinner, we were already near to where we started. With our hunger sated, some chose to go back to the upper deck to enjoy the rest of the ride with the sea breeze blowing on their face while we decided to stay put inside the comfy air-conditioned lower deck.
The 3-hour cruise may be fleeting, but it was indeed “a moment to remember“. For this newbie expat at least.
Disclosure: I was a guest of the National Cruise Agency for the #BloggersCruise. However, all opinions are my own and reflect what I honestly experienced during the time of the event.
More details about National Cruise:
Office: 32 Al Khaleej St., Doha, Qatar
Open from 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Contact details: + 974 66 000 926 | + 974 77 999 666
Take your pick from their variety of cruises and boats available depending on your needs. Their services include a variety of activities from an hour-long Regular Cruise to fishing, diving, School cruises, Dinner cruises, and even water activities.
As for the catering, different packages are available depending on your budget.
They also provide you with medicine for seasickness.
You can book online via their website or just contact the numbers indicated above.
Have you tried any kind of cruise? How was it?
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