LONDON: A dhow built in Dubai has been named the world’s largest wooden Arabic dhow in the world by Guinness World Records, it was announced on Wednesday.
The dhow, named Obaid after Emirati shipbuilder Obaid Jumaa bin Majid Al-Falasi who began an apprenticeship aged 9 in the 1940s, measures more than 91 meters long and more than 20 meters wide. The vessel is 11.22 meters high and weighs 2,500 tons.
According to the ship’s builder Majid Obaid Al-Falasi, son of the late Obaid, work started on the dhow years ago with no plan or actual blueprints.
“Our forefathers were divers, our ancestors worked in the sea, and my own father perused this craftsmanship for almost all his life. This is a gratitude to my father, and my country, which always aims for the top positions,” he said.
“We tried to get the longest pieces of log available. We are born dhow builders and can build dhows using other materials, but wood keeps its identity.”
The dhow is powered by two 1,850-horsepower engines and will be used to transport cargo from the UAE to Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Kenya, Pakistan and India.
“This achievement is just the inevitable continuation for building dhows in the world,” said Majid, whose family still produces the traditional boats in the Dubai Creek area.
“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.
“At a speed of 14 knots, it will be enough for this dhow to operate and achieve its desired return on investment. Who knows, you might see this dhow docking at different ports all across the world.”