Dhow Builders of Dubai


Dhows have criss-crossed the Gulf for hundreds of years, transporting goods between Bahrain, Pakistan, Iran and what is now the UAE.  Dhow building, trading and pearl diving were the main sources of employment in the UAE - until the discovery of oil in the 1970s.  The Jadaf boat building yards on the banks of the Dubai Creek was until recently home to 12 boat building companies.  But times have changed and the land has become more valuable for luxury waterside residential properties than for boat building.  Gradually the companies are moving to other areas of the UAE or being closed down.  Today there are only 2 companies left in Jadaf.  One of them, in a last defiant hurrah, is attempting to build the world's largest dhow.  These photographs were taken over a period of three years from 2012 to 2015.

David & George