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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Dhow catches fire in Doha bay

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Video by Baba Tamim

Updated at 09:20am on Friday, April 15 with details about the cause of the fire.

A boat near Doha’s main dhow port has caught fire, sending thick plumes of black smoke over the Corniche near Souq Waqif.

First responders could be seen heading to the area.

Here is what appears to be the aftermath:

The fire started on the upper deck of the vessel, where electrical repairs were underway, according to Gulf News.

“The wires caught fire from the short circuit in a generator and burned down everything on the upper level,” the newspaper quoted the boat’s owner, who it did not name, as saying.

Dhow safety

This is at least the second time in less than a year that a ship has caught fire in the area. In August 2015, the Coast Guard contained a blaze that gutted a show loaded with animal fodder, the Gulf Times reported after the incident.

Authorities have previously scrutinized the safety of dhows, which are popular among tourists and residents, and attempted to raise quality standards among operators.

In 2014, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) – along with Civil Defense and the Public Transport Affairs Department – introduced new licensing requirements for dhows in an attempt to increase passenger safety.

“While popular locally, only (a) very few international travel and tour operators will actually book or recommend dhows to their clients, due to safety and insurance concerns,” QTA said in a statement at the time.

The QTA’s long-term tourism strategy calls for the country’s tourist dhows to be revamped and called the service in 2014 “limited, unregulated and often not up to international standards. There is no one to provide tourists with a properly insured and quality assured water experience.”

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