What to know

Sailing in Qatar – The Dhow

The people of Qatar have for long had a special relationship with the Dhow, a sailboat native to the region.

The Dhow was used for fishing, pearl diving and trade for centuries, if not longer.

The weather in Qatar makes it a perfect sailing destination. From morning to noon the winds blow gently and continuously over the sea, giving you an easy glide over the horizon. After sunrise, towards noon, the desert sun heats up the wind, making it rise, leaving way for the cool ocean wind to flow in. This creates equal and steady winds, perfect for an afternoon on the blue.

Today, sailboats and Dhows are still very common to see docked around Doha, but not because people still rely on them for food and trade, but because they have become a tradition. Sailing has become somewhat of a sport or hobby, for both natives and expats. All over Doha you can find sailing and yacht clubs, hosting everything, from mega-yachts to the smallest fishing boats. The perfect sailing weather, the great fishing spots, and the clear blue sea makes Qatar a prime destination for sea-lovers.

Annually, people from all over Qatar and the world gather for the Dhow Festival held in Katara Cultural village. The festival have turned into a tourist attraction with thousands of people making their way to see hundreds of Dhows from around the GCC. The whole beachfront stretch is turned into a chapter of Qatar’s history book, where you can take a step into the rich traditions of these ancient seamen.

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