Dahabeah (PSF).png

A dahabeah, also spelled dahabeeyah, dahabiah, dahabiya, dahabiyah and dhahabiyya, as well as dahabiyeh and dahabieh (Arabic ذهبىة /ðahabīya/), is a passenger boat used on the River Nile in Egypt. The term is normally used to describe a shallow-bottomed, barge-like vessel with two or more sails. The vessels have been around in one form or another for thousands of years, with similar craft being depicted on the walls of the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs. Indeed, the name derives from the Arabic word for "gold", owing to similar, gilded state barges used by the Muslim rulers of Egypt in the Middle Ages.

Before the introduction of steam boats, the dahabeah was the most normal way for travellers to ascend the Nile, and even after that they remained somewhat popular amongst the wealthy. Nowadays, vessels of this type are often made of iron, accommodating between two and about twelve passengers, and are often fitted with motors as well as sails.

Dahabeya is also the name of a specific vessel.


ذهبىة /ðahabīya/ is the feminine of ذهبى /ðahabī/ "golden", from ذهب /ðahab/ "gold". In Arabic the feminine suffix -a can indicate the singulative of inanimates, changing the meaning from "golden" to "a single golden thing". Thus the meaning of ذهبىة is something like "a golden one".


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  • Dahabeah — Da ha*be ah (d[aum] h[.a]*b[=e] [.a]), n. [Ar.] A Nile boat constructed on the model of a floating house, having large lateen sails. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dahabeah — or dahabeeyah or dahabiah [dä΄hə bē′ə] n. [Ar dhahabīya, lit., golden one < dhabab, golden] a large passenger boat used on the Nile, orig. equipped with lateen sails, now generally powered by an engine …   English World dictionary

  • dahabeah — /dah heuh bee euh/, n. a large boat used on the Nile as a houseboat or for conveying passengers. Also, dahabeeyah, dahabiah. [1840 50; < Egyptian Ar dahabiyah] * * * …   Universalium

  • dahabeah — da·ha·be·ah …   English syllables

  • dahabeah —   n. sailing house boat of Nile …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • dahabeah — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Dahabeya — The Dahabeya is a sailing boat that is based out of Esna or Aswan for 3, 7, 9 or 12 nights cruises on the Nile river. Contents 1 History 2 Specifications 3 References 4 …   Wikipedia

  • ship — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Vehicle for navigation on water Nouns 1. ship, vessel, sail; craft, bottom; airship (see aviation). See navigation. 2. (naval organization) navy, marine, fleet, flotilla, argosy; shipping, merchant… …   English dictionary for students

  • Ship — (Roget s Thesaurus) < N PARAG:Ship >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 ship ship vessel sail Sgm: N 1 craft craft bottom GRP: N 2 Sgm: N 2 navy navy marine fleet flotilla Sgm …   English dictionary for students

  • da|ha|bi|yeh — da|ha|bi|ya or da|ha|bi|yeh «DAH huh BEE uh», noun. = dahabeah. (Cf. ↑dahabeah) …   Useful english dictionary

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