Dhow trade Dubai
Dubai Creek, Deira Harbour and Al Hamriyah Port play a key role in making the emirate a regional hub for dhows Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

Dubai: The Marine Agency for Wooden Dhows facilitated the entry of more than 10,500 wooden dhows during 2022 it was announced on Tuesday

The wooden dhows ferried 1.7 million metric tonnes of merchandise from countries across the MENA region and beyond. The Marine Agency is working to enhance trade with neighbouring countries further and contribute to the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33.

The D33 agenda was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in early January 2023, setting an ambitious target of doubling the size of Dubai’s economy over the next decade and consolidating its position among top three global cities.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of the PCFC said that these ships used to take 40 days to load cargo but now take just 3-5 days. This efficiency has boosted the number of dhow movements from 9,000 in 2021 to over 10,500 in 2022, consolidating Dubai’s position on the global dhow trade map.

The Marine Agency for Wooden Dhows is exclusively responsible for regulating the activity of wooden dhows in Dubai waters. Bin Sulayem added that Dubai’s three wharfages – Dubai Creek, Deira Harbour and Al Hamriyah Port – play a key role in making the emirate a regional hub for dhows.

Mahmood Amin Khoury, Executive Director of the Marine Agency said that the Agency aims to expedite wooden dhow operations to enable them to undertake multiple trips per month instead of one. “The Agency managed to slash waiting times for departures from 8-10 hours to just 30 minutes for sailing outside the emirate, boosting the number of trips,” he said. “Merchants now have easy access to handle goods on and off ships with all necessary facilities provided for smooth operations 72 hours before arrival.”

“The Marine Agency reserves the dock and informs sailors to prepare for export/import,” he added.