- Significance of dhows in the UAE
- Initiatives to keep the craft alive
- What to expect at the Ajman Dhow Building Yard
For centuries, wooden dhows have played a significant role in trade and commerce across the Arab world. Before the seas were full of the modern merchant ships we encounter today, dhows were the primary modes of transport and trading in the region. In this post, we will talk about the Ajman Dhow Building Yard and glance at the rich history and significance of the vessel in UAE.
SIGNIFICANCE OF DHOWS IN UAE
Since ancient times, the dhow has been a significant part of the UAE culture. The tradition of using a dhow dates back to the pearl diving era in the Arabian Gulf.
Many families in the UAE can trace their roots to pearl diving. Trading and fishing were the primary drivers of the UAE economy and the wooden dhow was the only mode of logistics and transport.
Until the 1960s, sails were more mainstream than engines in the Gulf. These dhows travelled considerable distances carrying cargoes of mangrove timber, dates, pearls, fish and other goods.
INITIATIVES TO KEEP THE CRAFT ALIVE
AL GAFFAL DHOW RACE
Dhows are still a part of life in the UAE. Plenty of dhows are used today for dinner cruises, cargo and passenger vessels in Dubai and other emirates. However, with passing time, the art of dhow making has dwindled significantly.
In 1991, the Al Gaffal race was announced to keep the art of dhow making alive. Al Gaffal Dhow Race, held in Dubai each year is a step towards safeguarding this ancient craftsmanship.
It’s safe to say that dhows have played a major part in the development and progression of the UAE’s economy.
Now that we have shed some light on why dhows are symbolic to the UAE, let’s take a look at what the Ajman Dhow Building Yard has to offer.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT AJMAN DHOW BUILDING YARD
Ajman Dhow Building Yard is currently the largest dhow construction yard in the world. The yard is still actively creating dhows for locals. These boats are used for cruises, fishing, pearling and as cargo vessels within the UAE. Here’s what visitors can discover at the Ajman Dhow Yard.
LEARN HOW THE DHOW IS CONSTRUCTED
Ajman Dhow Yard UAE is a unique tourist attraction in Ajman. It offers a rare glimpse into the ancient craft of dhow making.
A dhow is a wooden boat with one or more sails. The dhow sails are called “lateens”. Each lateen is handmade and the fabric is carefully woven to provide speed and agility. The dhow building techniques have passed down from generation to generation. The construction process has not changed over the years.
The most surprising part of the construction process is that no written manuals or blueprints are used during dhow construction in Ajman. The dhows made in Ajman are known for their sturdiness and premium quality.
DISCOVER THE DIFFERENT CONSTRUCTION STAGES
The dhow has a raised hull design with a sharp-pointed bow. It can weigh anywhere from three to over 500 tonnes. These Arabian boats are made from mahogany or ekki timber. It’s intriguing to watch the craftsmen using the stitch construction method to put the dhow together.
First, the artisan arranges the wooden planks and then sews them together creating a strong hull. As wood is becoming more expensive, fibreglass is used along with wood for the hull and mast.
The Ajman Dhow Building Yard UAE has several vessels in various stages of construction. A visit to the yard allows visitors to see each stage and ask questions from the staff about the process and materials.
EXPLORE THE POWERBOAT CONSTRUCTION SITE
Apart from dhows, the importance of the Ajman Dhow Yard is evident as it’s used as a shipyard as well. Speedboats and other lightweight crafts are constructed for Dubai powerboat racing at the yard.
This section is for those who wish to learn more about the boating and shipping industry in the UAE. Kids and adults can easily spend hours exploring the site and watching expert creating magnificent vessels from fibreglass and other raw materials.
TAKE A REPLICA HOME
The yard workers also create detailed replicas of the dhows and other boats. Those interested can purchase a miniature dhow as a souvenir to take back home.
WHAT IS THE AJMAN DHOW BUILDING YARD LOCATION?
The Ajman Dhow Yard is located at the Ajman Marina.
HOW TO GET TO AJMAN DHOW YARD
There are several ways to get to Ajman Dhow Yard. You can either drive there if you have your own car or can take a taxi to Ajman Marina towards the boat construction area.
ARE KIDS ALLOWED INSIDE THE AJMAN DHOW YARD?
Yes, children are allowed inside the premises however, parents/guardians need to be watchful of the little visitors as it’s an active construction site.
That’s all for our roundup of the Ajman Dhow Building Yard. We have listed down what to expect from your visit to the yard. It will be a good learning opportunity for kids and history buffs. You can also plan a trip to the Ajman Museum to learn more about the rich culture of the region. The city has a lot to offer, such as the top places to visit and things to do in Ajman. Stay tuned to MyBayut for more attractions and things to do in Ajman.