Book Traces History of UAE’s Wooden Shipbuilding Industry

ABU DHABI - A new book titled ‘Making Wooden Ships in the UAE’ written by Professor Ali Mohammed Rashed was published recently by the National Library in the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH).

By (Staff Reporter)

Published: Thu 24 Dec 2009, 10:37 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:33 AM

The book, which was written as narrated by shipbuilders and their children, talks about the shipping industry in the UAE in detail — starting from the process of bringing the wood, to how to build ships, their types and names of famous ship makers – and is supported by illustrative images.

ADACH seeks through these publications to highlight the UAE history with its customs and traditions, and the rich heritage of the country’s forefathers.

It also aims to confirm the richness and diversity of the UAE’s maritime heritage, as archaeological findings indicated that the first inhabitants had used many of the marine resources in the region in addition to maritime lines in their journeys between Mesopotamia and the Gulf, Oman and India since the beginning of history and through the Islamic era.

“The UAE is maritime nation by excellence, not only because it has a coast that extends more than 800 kilometres and a large number of islands in the Arabian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, but also for possessing ancient traditions in sailing, navigation, shipbuilding, diving, fishing and maritime trade,” said the author.

“The shipbuilding industry is one of the hardest professions, since the work extends from early morning until sunset, often exercised under the scorching sun or under a light umbrella that is not enough to deter hot air or humidity,” added Rashed.

Rashed noted in his book that Asian and Arab ships have by far exceeded European vessels in terms of design, construction and performance during the early fifteenth century. As time went by, types of ships multiplied and varied according to purpose and primary mission. The shipbuilding profession evolved with the development of the industry in order to keep pace with the types and sizes of ships and missions, particularly with the changing economic conditions in the region.

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