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In Dec 04, we went to Dubai for a short break and a spot of winter sun.  We wandered around Dubai and Sharjah looking at the wharfs and also spent a fascinating hour or two in the Al Khattal boat factory Dubai looking at various dhows being built.

The large "ark" looking dhow is a cargo dhow built in the style of a Pakistani dhow and we saw two - one with a completed hull and the other with the steel frames just starting to have the teak planking attached.  

We also saw a 125ft vessel being built with a wooden hull and then to fitted with a fibre superstructure to be a luxury yacht.  Fully equipped with a couple on 850Hp Yanmar engines, it will cost AED 8 million, or 1.14m, which we thought was pretty good value.  The designer was present, so we asked about building steel vessels but he was pretty dismissive of using steel for the hull plating and still preferred teak planking.

We also spoke to the team cutting the hull frames to go into another hull.  As the photos show, the frames are still cut and trimmed by adzes.  The completed frames are remarkably smooth and accurate and no shaving or sanding has been used on them.

All in all a fascinating visit to watch hulls being built using traditional tools.

Dubai dhows photo gallery

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