The origins of the dahabaya can be traced back to
the times of the pharaohs, when they were primarily
used by the ruler as means to visit his lands and be
seen by his loyal subjects. At that time, the dahabaya
was little more than a large rowing boat with one sail.
As time passed, the dahabaya developed into a two-
masted yacht with multiple oars, used as the pleasure craft of pashas, sultans and kings. With luxurious and opulent accommodation, the dahabaya of this era were traditionally painted in
gold; whence they became known as “golden boats”. By the time of the monarchy (1920’s -1940’s), the dahabaya had become a more
common sight and more often used by aristocrats and wealthy travellers who where discovering a passion to travel the Nile in style.