The Abu Dhabi pearl journey is a 90 minute cruise on a Jalboot – traditional pearl diving boat. Guests are seated in Majli style (Arabic seating arrangement) and are served Arabic coffee, with dates. The journey begins with the Emirati guide narrating old stories about pearl diving, but, traditional pearl diving does not exist any more, you are told. Today, oysters are collected from farms where they are raised naturally.

Once you have had a crash course on pearl diving, it is time to find some pearls. Guests are asked to select an oyster, which is then opened with an oyster knife. You can look for the pearl and continue selecting oysters until you find one.


The pearl is coated in salt and washed before it is wrapped in a pouch. The oyster is also cleaned and handed over along with the pearl – there cannot be a better souvenir. You can even try the raw oyster meat. It tastes like prawns coated in egg white with a salty aftertaste.

Before returning to the Marina, light Arabian snacks are served as you cruise along the Mangroves.

  • The tour cost covers snacks and beverages. You get to keep the pearl(s) you find.
  • Evening tours can be booked in advance. Daily tours are available from 9 AM – 8 PM.
  • The Jalboot can carry a maximum of 10-15 people.
  • Bookings and more at

-Travel Secret #277