World Cup boosting Qatar dhow tourism

he dhow tourism is making money fast during the biggest sporting tournament in the world where visiting fans are trying to experience the beauty of the Doha sea through sailing.

The Peninsula talked to two dhow operators in the Corniche who said that with Qatar's hosting of the World Cup, it has boosted their business since the tournament began on Sunday.

Bipon who’s a dhow operator for eight years said they are earning as high as QR3,000 per day. “On normal days it’s around QR500 to QR1,000, now it’s QR1,500 to QR3,000. Business is booming as a result of the World Cup.”

He said they are receiving an influx of tourists everyday as they have been operating non-stop for 24 hours since the tournament started. 

“Mostly they are from Brazil, Argentina, Algeria, and Korea,” said Bipon. When asked what is the peak time when more tourists arrive, he said at 4pm because they want to see the sunset and the lighting is perfect for photo taking.

The price for a 20 minute dhow ride costs only QR20, and for a personal dhow ride, QR200 per hour.

Shahadussan who’s been working as a dhow operator for seven years expressed his happiness as his business is picking up. He explained that the quadrennial event has improved the dhow tourism drastically. “People are coming from all nationalities – Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Oman and Qatar.”

The two operators said that on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of a given week, the number of visitors doubled. According to Shahadussan, this is because individuals have more time to explore the city because they aren’t working.

Francisco from Ecuador, who tried the dhow cruise for the first time in the country, said: “It’s a wonderful experience, away from the busy street. The traditional Arabian dhow is remarkable. The ride was fantastic with the backdrop of the West Bay skyline. I can say it’s a perfect getaway if you want to relax and enjoy the calmness of the sea.” Qatar Tourism had earlier announced that it has refurbished 40 dhow boats that will operate during the global football tournament.