The traditional dhow of Dubai is a fascinating reminder of Dubai’s history as a fishing and pearl diving community. Only when you experience a dhow cruise, you will be able to acknowledge how Dubai ameliorated as a city and has swiftly elevated to its current level. Boat-building (dhows) became significant in the life of the people living in the southern Gulf when pearling was at its height.
Today in many of the cities and towns in UAE, particularly in the Bateen area of Abu Dhabi and along the creek of Ajman, boat-builders can still be seen hard at work constructing dhows with few basic tools and no blueprints, practicing the skills that have been handed down for centuries. A dhow is made using the method of shell construction, involving the fitting of planks first and ribs later.
Hundreds or thousands, of holes are hand-drilled to avoid splitting the wood used for constructing a dhow. Even the measurements are made solely by eye and experience; but templates are used to shape the hull planking. Nowadays, traditional dhows are used as short-haul cargo vessels while specially adapted crafts take part in traditional sailing races.
At Sheik Saeed’s House there is an exhibit of the boats that were used in the past, including fishing boats, pearlers, abras (water taxis) and dhows (called Al Sambouk and Al Jalboot). If not all the boats, you surely can experience the placid ride and entertainment provided by One World Travels on a dhow dinner cruise whenever you visit Dubai.
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