• LOCATION 26 | On the road to Etihad: From street art to sweet treats

    Dhow Sculpture

    To your right here, just ahead, you'll see a fountain with a sculpture of a boat in the middle of it. The boat is called a dhow, and while it isn’t to scale, it is an important symbol of Dubai’s past.

    Stop for a minute while I explain.

    Dhows were used for trade, especially over the Arabian Sea to and from India. But they were also used for pearl diving.

    The Gulf’s salty waters are perfect for oysters and people have been diving for pearls here for over 7,000 years. Pearls were even Dubai’s most important export from the 1700s until the 1930s, when Japan started to produce cultured pearls, grown in oyster farms. After this, industry here was phased out.

    Can you see the semi-circular fish traps piled on top, at the back of the sculpture? They’re called gargoor, and they’re still used by Emirati fishermen. The government has sought to make them more sustainable over the years, and there are now ‘smart’ gargoor that help reduce overfishing.

    Alright, let's continue walking now, across this busy intersection. I’ll let you do that in silence. But can you see the reasonably tall building on the other side called the Al Hudaiba Awards Building? You’ll hear from me again in front of that.

On the road to Etihad: From street art to sweet treats