Zuwaina, sharing Oman’s seafaring traditions
Please tell us a bit about yourself
I am a qualified accounting technician working during the day as an Investment Analyst for Fund For Development of Youth Projects. It’s a company that has helped me enhance my skills on projects and encouraged me to be my own boss. In the evenings I am the Managing Partner of my own dhow cruise company – Star Of The Sea Tourism.
What is your business?
We are a small amazingly cultural Omani dhow cruise company established with the mission of entertaining, educating and preserving Oman’s unique sea history. We run various dhow cruise packages for our guests, for example the sensational sunset cruise, the fun day cruise including kayaking and snorkelling etc.
Where are you based?
We are based in Muscat inside Marina Bander Rowdha. This is where our authentic dhow is docked.
How long have you been in business?
It is two years now. We registered the company in February 2011 and officially started operating in April of the same year. Prior to that, it took us two good years to do the feasibility study.
How do you reach your customers?
Various social media channels but mainly word of mouth.
How does your business build on local culture and traditions?
Despite modern lifestyle, the dhow remains a part of the valuable culture and traditions.
Since our concept is culture and traditions, we have built the dhow and the business in general, with the same theme. The Sultanate of Oman has a rich heritage. Starting from building the Omani dhow, the handcrafted excellence reflecting craftsmanship reminicent of the glorious traditions of the past, to the strong arabic design of the majlis (arabic seating) creatively decorated with vibrant colour schemes, up to its service. This amazingly cultural dhow is a symbol we pledged to continue preserving for the young generation.
What’s a typical day like?
Up early in the morning, go to day job office, offset emails/dhow enquiries for an hour or so. Then seriously get involved in project analysis and evaluations, site visits if required and attending meetings. Finish by 4pm in the evening and head off to Marina. I log in an hour or two arranging cruises, its logistics etc. Call it a day and head home for some hotusework and relaxation. Most of the time, at nights, I would put in a couple of hours attending to urgent business matters.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
The sense of accomplishment after executing successful trips and the fact that I can go unwind in my dhow and enjoy this beautiful country whenever I want to!
What’s the hardest thing about what you do?
Juggling jobs. My ultimate goal is to fully concentrate on Star Of the Sea once it can stand on its own two feet.