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Video: Diving for pearls in Dubai
Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, the world's finest pearls were found in the waters of the Arabian gulf. Long story short, the industry was the only that thrived in the region until oil was discovered--but the tradition is not forgotten. Starting in March, travelers to the United Arab Emirates can take part in a traditional pearl diving experience with Dubai's Jumeirah Group. Participants will dress in traditional clothes and board a dhow, a traditional sailing vessel with a long hull design and a mast with a lateen sail. Once out in the water, guests will dive for oysters. Apparently, if guests snag an actual pearl they will be able to keep them as a souvenir of the trip. Part of the excursion will also include a typical meal of Emirati fish and rice. Watch the video above to get a feel for the entire process.
The excursion is open to anyone interested in learning more about the ancient pearling traditions (in other words, not just Jumeirah hotel guests) and will cost about 700 UAE dirhams, which is about $190. Reservations can be made through Jumeirah's Pavillion Dive Cener.