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The Arab Dhows

It is now believed that one of the first records of Arab trading goes as far back as 4000 years ago due to evidence found on Sumerian and Akkadian baked clay tablets referring to a region called Dilmun. This is now widely believed to be Bahrain.

To re-enact one of these early voyages, Thor Heyerdahl built a reed boat " The Tigris" and sailed her from Iraq to the Red Sea.

The history of Arab Sailing and trade routes is a subject at this point I do not wish to get into, although a very interesting subject.

This page is to introduce a few types and designs of Arab Dhows used to travel as far away as the East coast of Africa, the Red sea and India.

Many different types of Dhows were used to reach these places.
The Arab Dhow

Tour around.

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The Baghlah (Shuwai'i)


Length 70 - 130 feet Weight 150 - 400 tons.

This vessel was used during the 13th/19th centuries, mainly as a ocean going cargo vessel. Many were built in Sur Oman during these years .

The Ghanjah

Length 70 - 125 Feet. Weight 125 - 300 tons

Very similar vessel to the Baghlah and difficult to distinguish, the major give away being the stem head. The Ghanjah has a protruding stem head with a round ornament carved at the end, there is also a distinctive tri fingered design on top of the round ornament. The Ghanjah tended to be narrower than the Baghlah and has been known to carry three masts.