Dubai's Historic Journey: From the Creek to the Canal

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Dubais Historic Journey: From the Creek to the Canal
Dubai Canal

Dubai - Starting out as a cape of blue water, the creek runs through what was a desert and barren area before.


Mustafa Al Zarooni

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Published: Sun 27 Nov 2016, 5:50 PM

Dubai made history again earlier this month when His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, opened the second phase of the Dubai Water Canal, a 12-kilometre waterway, that connects Dubai Creek with the Arabian Gulf.
Shaikh Mohammed completed the success story started by his father, Shaikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in 1959, when the latter inaugurated the Dubai Creek.
The Dubai Creek has a bright history, a tale of tolerance and giving. Along its curving banks, everyone has lived in love and harmony, irrespective of religion or sect.
Then and Now: Dubai Creek
When one enters the Dubai Creek from the old Dubai area, as it is called, you can see this thriving coexistence and also watch passers-by plying on the small abras (ferry) brimming over with people.
Shaikh Mohammed on Dubai Creek: Dubai Creek comes full circle
Starting out as a cape of blue water, the creek runs though what was a desert and barren area before. Even today, the channel is characterised by its salty waters. On its banks, wooden boats sway together to unload their shipments. For decades, it has been a lifeline for the city of Dubai by securing trade routes, a basin where ships dock, and used by residents for both industry and trade.
Heritage listing
In April 2012, the creek was proposed for inclusion on the list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) World Heritage sites. The reason is evident. Despite the city had witnessed in recent years, the Dubai Creek and its busy and vibrant banks have maintained their character.
The watercourse always looks like a beehive of activity where life and activity never stops. In the early 20th century, divers and new entrepreneurs of the day were fishing out pearls from shallow waters. After the discovery of oil in the UAE in 1960s, the creek gained increasing importance as a link with the world.
When mud was dredged from the bottom of the creek in the same decade, large ships managed to cross the waterway. This did not come from nothing, but thanks to the dedication and hard work of the city's denizens and its founder late Shaikh Rashid, the builder of modern Dubai.
As vessels were finding it difficult to cross the existing creek's shallow waters, it became necessary to deepen and expand the artery.
When the present Ruler of Dubai, Shaikh Mohammed, gave his speech at the opening of the Dubai Water Canal a couple of weeks ago, he said that the old creek is nearly 12km long, whereas the new stretch of the canal is also 12km. "The new water canal is the natural waterway of the old creek," said Shaikh Mohammed.
Twitter: @MustafaAlZaroni

Dubai Creek
Dubai Creek

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