06 September 2015

Making Radisson Blu Memories on Al Mansour Dhow

Back in 2006, Mama and Gabe were in town for a visit when my sister treated all of us to a dhow cruise on the Al Mansour Dhow. It was my first time on a traditional Arabian boat and all I remember was enjoying the experience all throughout. Fast forward 9 years later, I received an invitation to an exciting dinner on board the newly renovated dhow. And since it’s been a long time since Ate Ning and I went out just the two of us, I tagged her along because…well, it just made sense.

Walking along the creekside of Baniyas Street, you can’t miss Radisson Blu’s famous dhow. She was docked right across the hotel, brightly lit to welcome everyone who boarded.
The evening was hot, but the refreshing welcome drink that was offered to us as soon as we set foot on the upper deck quenched our thirst and hydrated us immediately. My sister and I finished ours in one gulp…that’s how thirsty we were, and how delicious it was! Actually, that was the only drink we asked for all throughout the cruise; we didn’t want anything else.
Seeing a henna tattoo artist, we excitedly asked to have our hands done. I’m always impressed at how fast these artists work, and the lady that night was no exception. After asking which hand I used the most (the right one), she swiftly applied the henna to form an Arabic floral design on the back of my left hand.
Upon entering the lower deck which was already buzzing with several bloggers and foodies, we were instantly cooled by the air conditioning.
A small area at the end of the lower deck
Between the two of us, I admit my sister is the outgoing and confident one. There was an instance when Ate and I were trying to take pictures of our tattooed hands, and since we couldn’t find a light background for the designs to stand out in the picture, she approached one of the men nearby, asking for him to stand so that we could use his shirt. Kulit lang
After about half an hour, we noticed that the old lady had started gliding across the creek, and soon after, the sumptuous buffet was open for us to help ourselves.

Now I’ve gone on a few dhow cruises before, but out of the ones that I’ve tried, Al Mansour Dhow is the only one that has never disappointed in terms of food, service, and overall experience. Since she is handled by a 5-star hotel, you can expect her spread is the same delectable quality as her restaurant counterparts in Radisson Blu. Just look at these pictures and you’ll see why our tummies were satisfied that night:
As we sampled the various dishes, a musician entertained us all by playing his oud. 
The servers were very attentive, promptly making and giving us more of the tangy beverage whenever we requested.
And the manager, Lucille, often approached our table to make sure we were having a good time. In fact, she was the one who recommended the camel meat sliders, and they really were delicious!
The star of the night
My first plate
In between plates, Ate Ning and I would go out to take pictures while enjoying the view of the creek and other landmarks along Deira and Bur Dubai…and then rush back down again because it was really hot and humid outside.
Sooner than we wanted, the cruise ended and we returned to where we had been earlier.
All in all, it was another terrific experience. A dhow cruise is always one of the things you should do when in the UAE, and you can't go wrong with Al Mansour Dhow. And now that the winter season is fast approaching, the weather would be perfect to dine al fresco on the upper deck.

Thank you, Radisson Blu and Al Mansour Dhow for the invitation. My sister and I had a memorable night!

Price is Dhs149 per adult and half-price for kids 4-12 years old, inclusive of soft beverages
Boarding time is 8pm, sailing at 8:30pm, and return to creekside is 10:30pm
Call 04-2227171 for reservations

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