Monday, October 26, 2015

Dubai Creek Dinner Cruise Aboard Al Mansour Dhow

One thing I have recently crossed out from my long list of things to try in Dubai was to go on a Dhow Cruise Dinner along the Deira Creek.

I didn't know why it took me so long to do this but a decade of procrastination has paid off when we all boarded the newly refurbished Al Mansour Dhow owned and managed by the five star Raddisson Blu Hotel, Deira Creek Dubai.

My family and I along with friends and other media personalities cruised the quiet waters of the Dubai Creek one fine evening a couple of months ago.

The Dubai creek is one of the oldest and busiest water channel in Dubai. It is home to many remarkable buildings like the Deira Twin Towers, Dubai Creek Tower, Sheraton Dubai Creek, National Bank, Chamber of Commerce and Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. 

It divides the city into two mainland area - Deira and Bur Dubai. Bur Dubai is where the Baniyas Tribe now known as the Al Maktoum family first settled back in the 19th century. Dhows mainly used for fishing and pearling used the creek as a minor port. It was in 1961 that it was first dredged to allow bigger vessel to pass through its waters. A couple more dredging was made between the 1960's and 1970's so it could offer anchorage to 500 tons local and coastal ships. 

To this day, the Dubai Creek remains a very important part in Dubai's commercial and tourism industry. 

Boarding time is at eight in the evening for a two hour cruise.

Ferald and I were smiling from ear to ear to the kids who were giddy with excitement.

Once boarded, one of the staff welcomed us with some refreshing mint jalab.

Al Mansour Dhow's upper deck is spaciously elegant. Tables covered in red and white mix of silk and linen cloth lined both sides of the dhow while the middle part was left open with an Arabian style sitting on the floor where guests catch up with the henna artist for a free henna tattoo.

We could have stayed aloft the dhow and dined al fresco if it wasn't so humid that night.

There are many dhows berthed in the creek and it was hard to miss them as they are anchored side by side the Al Mansour Dhow. It was a sight to behold, with its bright and colorful light installation, Deira Creek was beaming and teeming with life.

We enjoyed the sights and sounds of the creek in the upper deck for awhile, watching other dhows ferry diners to and fro

which I think I can do all night with a faithful company

When we were ready for dinner, we went down to the air conditioned lower deck where Nikol, our lovely host welcomed us all aboard.

When the family has settled down and ordered drinks, I went on to check the buffet spread.

Unlike stories I've heard about bad dhow cruise dinner food, Al Mansour Dhow buffet was nothing short of grand. It was like dining in another five star hotel restaurant except that we were in a traditional wooden boat.

Food is one main reason why some people say dhow cruising in Dubai Marina is a lot better than the Deira Creek but I beg to differ, for Al Mansour Dhow of course. Since this is my first dhow cruise experience, it is going to be my benchmark for all future dhow cruises for now.

The Food

There was a wide variety of mouthwatering salads and starters to chose from. For the soup, there was the warm and comforting cream of lentil soup, a personal favorite.

If you are new in Dubai and it's your first time to eat Arabic mezze, you can never go wrong with humus, muthabal, and tabbouleh - a staple in any Mediterranean theme buffet.

There was roasted vegetables, corn and shrimp salad, chicken liver parfait spiced with bezzar and date jelly and fennel and orange salad with pan fried quail breast and quail egg

An array of tempting desserts on the other side of the table makes me want to go for desserts first.

On a separate table, there were baskets of freshly baked bread and Turkish delights served in a traditional Arabian brass serving tray.

The water was so calm I didn't feel we already started sailing, but I guess someone actually noticed

Mica asked me if we can go see the henna artist so we can get our hands done. My daughter having been born and raised in the UAE is accustomed to getting henna tattoo from time to time.

These exquisite floral designs were done is less than ten minutes but we have to stay still careful not to smudge it till it's dry.

When the covers of the hot buffet was taken off, I just took a few photos and started dinner.

This mini burger sliders caught my attention. I am not a big fan of burgers but this one looks really tempting.

and so it landed on my buffet plate and was devoured first.

When I was about to have dessert, one of the staff approach us and ask if we liked the camel burger. We were caught by surprise since we didn't know it was camel meat in there. It was our first time to eat camel meat and to be fair, it was really good, actually even better than beef or lamb. Very juicy and there was no after taste, there's nothing not to like about it. It was the highlight of the food for me. The rest of the dishes taste good, I have no complaints what so ever.

My chap on the other hand was raving about the Thareed lamb, I don't eat lamb meat a lot but I tried it and I am sold. The meat was very tender and the dish was flavorful.

In the end, happy faces and thumbs up from the kids. Overall, it was a happy experience. I am planning another dhow cruise dinner because Prince is requesting for us to go again. I think he liked the idea of dining on a boat. Watch this space for updates.

If you would like to go on a dhow cruise with Al Mansour Dhow price is 185 AED/person, inclusive of buffet dinner and soft drinks. Kids 4-12 yo pays 50% (wine & fresh juices for an additional charge)

For reservations email
Tel: 04 205 7033 or 04 222 2717
Boarding is at 8:00 pm and cruise starts 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm

For more information, please visit their website or get social facebook, twitter or instagram


  1. Wow such a lovely post. Thanks for sharing this information.As we all know that Dubai is very famous for everything. Dhow Cruise dinner in Dubai is one of the good idea take the taste of delicious food items. keep blogging like this.

  2. I haven't blogged and hopped for ages, so many entries I have missed!

    I remember my very first and so far the only dhow cruise experience I had was in 2008. My first year in the UAE and that was in Dubai Creek, too. It was a memorable one and do remember my curiosity about shisha which I haven't tried until now. ;)


    1. Hello Jho,
      I noticed that you have not blogged for quite sometime because I visit your blog from time to time to read. i hope you'll have time to do so because you really are one of my inspirations in blogging.

  3. Looking for fun in Dubai i suggest you to join one of the best adventurous Boat Cruise Dubai i am sure you gonna love it just try it ones.


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