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Mombasa investors transform boats into floating restaurants

Investors in Mombasa County have turned old dhows into floating restaurants to give local and foreign tourists a new hospitality industry experience.

Most of the high-end hotels in the region have opted for the trend, which is picking up in the Coastal towns of Mombasa, Lamu, and Watamu.

The old dhows were picked from a pool that was previously used to ferry cargo and passengers among the coastal towns.

They were then remodeled to fit the business classes, containing bar and lounges, dining, resting areas, and kitchens.

Hotel owners now allow their customers to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner afloat the Indian Ocean at specified fees.

There are three types of dhows the investors are offering their customers; Sundowners, lunch, and dinner cruises.

According to a manager at one of the cruisers, lunch is 2 hours while dinner cruisers operate up to four hours.

Lunch cruise starts from 1 pm to 3 pm while dinner cruise begins at 6 pm and ends at 10 pm.

The manager further detailed that once a customer gets on the dhow, they are served with a starter, soup, then served with the main course order and then the dessert.

Fair enough, some dhows even play music, with different bands performing in the morning, at noon, and in the evening.

Passengers who have had a test of the floating restaurants said they love the ambiance and the serene environment compared to spending time at a club or restaurant in the city.

The Ministry of Tourism had earlier noted that the industry was among the greatly hit sectors by the Covid-19 pandemic in the country owing to travel restrictions imposed across the world.

Hotels were closed down, leading to the loss of so many jobs affecting many Kenyans in the hotel industry.

However, the reopening of the economy and the move to allow hotels, bars, and eateries to operate up to 9 pm was a boost to the industry.

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