News 11 january — 21:11

Arabs enjoy night cruise tours on Istanbul’s Bosphorus


Departing from the Kabatas ferry dock every day, night cruise tours on Istanbul’s legendary Bosphorus have been attracting scores of Arab tourists, Anadolu Agency reports.

Tourists from Palestine, Bahrain and Kuwait are welcomed by entertainers at the door, while singers from Arab countries particularly Syria take the stage. 

The boats serving the Arab cuisine and non-alcoholic beverages generally depart at 9 p.m. local time (1800GMT).

Popular Arabic songs, folk dances and plays are presented to the tourists in the three-hour tour. 

The show ends with a drama play -- emphasizing Turkish-Arab friendship -- that depict the conflict in the Middle East -- the suffering and tears, and the desire for Muslims to live a life in peace.

‘‘We’ve been serving Arab tourists for four years … This year, the interest in boat trips have significantly increased, so we expect to have a better season next year,’’ Murat Celen, a captain on the Bosphorus for eight years, told Anadolu Agency.

Muhammed Rifai, a Syrian refugee in Turkey performing folk dances on the cruise tours, said, "I used to plan ceremonies and weddings in Damascus, similar to the entertainments on the boats."

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