Because they've been around so long, the exact origins of the dhow are a bit unknown. We do know the design could date back to 600 BC. Dhows are trading vessels with shallow drafts that were used in the Middle East and India, and are are still very much used today in the Persian Gulf. Here, in this film, Jungles in Paris goes to Dubai to take a look at the build-out of the largest one ever to be made.
From the Jungles in Paris post:
It wasn’t originally conceived to be a record-breaking boat. But the shipyard's owners decided to tack towards glory. They reframed and widened the dhow after contacting the Guinness Book of Records, so that its proportions would surpass those of a rival vessel currently stationed (as a waterfront restaurant) in Kuwait. But when this ship is finished, it will, like its cargo-going kindred, be able to tackle the open ocean.
In Dubai, they're still racing dhows too and the images from the races are always stunning. You see this repeating pattern of giant lateen sails catching the slightest puffs of air. I have no idea what it's like to sail a dhow, but I know if I ever made it to Dubai, that's exactly what I'd want to be doing, not skiing.