VIDEO: Emirati builds world’s largest wooden dhow in Dubai - GulfToday

VIDEO: Emirati builds world’s largest wooden dhow in Dubai


The dhow anchored at Dubai Creek.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Dubai has added another feather to its cap by achieving the feat of making the largest wooden Arabic dhow in the world.

The record-breaking accomplishment was verified by Guinness World Records on Wednesday in Dubai.

The massive dhow is named “Obaid,” after the famous Emirati shipbuilder Obaid Jumaa Bin Majid Al Falasi in the 1940s.

Obaid’s son Majid Obaid Al Falasi built the dhow.

Majid, aged 52, said, “I built the dhow not for prestige, but for my late father Obaid Jumaa Bin Majid Al Falasi."

He said, “Our forefathers were divers, our ancestors worked in the sea, and my own father pursued this craftmanship for almost all his life. This is a gratitude to my father, and my country which always aims for the forefront positions.”

Majid had a tough time finding the large logs for the dhow. He said that we are a family of dhow builders, and it is possible to make one from other materials but the wood has a special identity.

The majestic structure is 91.47m long and 20.41m wide.

Dhow-1 The dhow is all set to sail. 

The dhow is equivalent to the length of an American football field floating in the ocean.

And if the structure is measured vertically, it is as tall as the Big Ben in London.

Majid started working on the dhow years ago. There was no blueprint, it was just with ancestral experience and local craftsmen that the “Obaid” was made. "In olden times, there were no engineering tools to assist us. We learned it from our forefathers, describing it as the art of dhow building."

In the Dubai Creek, the family-run yard still produces hand-built vessels. It was recently recognised by the Guinness team.

Majid said, “I see it in the eyes of my son. He is passionate about what I do, and what his grandfather used to do. This is what matters, for them to be able to continue the tradition and have it transferred to the next generation.”

The dhow is 11.229 metres in height. It weighs around 2,500 tonnes. The Obaid has an estimated load capacity of up to 6,000 tonnes.

Majid said the wood was imported from several places and it took years of skilled labour to give it shape. Apart from the wood and steel, there are

hundreds and hundreds of nuts, bolts, screws and nails to keep it intact and afloat.

Interestingly, the massive dhow is powered by two 1,850 HP engines.

Majid reiterated that the dhow would be used to transport cargo from the UAE to Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Kenya, Pakistan, India, and maybe Iraq.

He said who knows; you might see this dhow docking at different ports all across the world.

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