Dubai by Water

GoNOMAD writer Habeeb Salloum writes a colorful article about his experience sailing in Dubai in his article Dubai: Sailing the Arab Dhow in a World of Fantasy. His story will make you smile, and Salloum shares some great tips for those traveling to Dubai.

“‘He was for years a nakhuda (captain) of a pearl-diving dhow – the best skipper in the Arabian Gulf.’ A distinguished-looking gentleman, made even more dignified by his flowing Arab dress, Abdullah appeared to be proud of the former dhow skipper.

After introductions, I asked the soft-spoken nakhuda to tell me about his seafaring life and if pearl-diving in dhows was continuing in our times.

‘Pearl-diving in dhows? Of course not! The youth today are spoiled! All they look for are the pleasures of life. It wasn’t like this when I was young.’ Ubayd al-Muh.ayri the former dhow captain smiled.

When I asked him if he yearned to sail the Arab dhows again, he seemed amused. ‘Sail again! I am 75 years old. Do you know that pearl-diving was a part of hell?’ He continued, misty-eyed, ‘Yet, for me the old days are preferable. In those days, we did not worry about material wealth. We were content to live on dates and coffee.'”