Small fishing Dhow preparing to sail away on the East coast of Zanzibar, Tanzania. Normally, a dhow is a traditional Arab sailing vessel with one or more lateen sails. It is primarily used to carry heavy items, like fruit, along the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, India and East Africa. The term "dhow" is also applied to small, traditionally-constructed vessels ( this image ) used for fishing in the Indian Ocean from Madagascar to the Bay of Bengal. In Zanzibar nowadays they are also used to take tourists on short cruises.