DP World Honours the Owner of the World’s Largest Dhow
The recognition highlights the role of the ‘Obaid’ in reviving the UAE’s trading heritage
DP World honoured Majid Obaid Al Falasi for his efforts in building the world’s largest wooden Arabic dhow, and encouraging the revival of the UAE’s traditional dhow trade.
The Obaid, a 92-meter-long dhow, standing at a height of more than 11 meters, was hand-built by Majid Obaid Bin Majid Al Falasi & Sons, a family-run shipyard in Dubai. The vessel was built with 1,700 tonnes of African teak and 800 tonnes of steel, making it larger and stronger than conventional wooden dhows and capable of carrying four times more cargo. Thanks to its twin 1,850-horsepower engines, the Obaid can move its cargo sail at up to 14 knots. The vessel carries out import and export operations via Dubai Creek, Deira Wharfage and Mina Al Hamriya.
Majid Obaid Al Falasi said: “My father had a vision in the 1970’s to build the world’s largest dhow. We were aware that this would not be an easy task. It took us three-and-a-half years to achieve what we have in front of us today. The dhow connects the Emirates to Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Kenya, Pakistan, and India, thus further enhancing the capabilities of the UAE’s trade sector. This recognition is a testimony to our hard work. Our partnership with DP World will help us keep the tradition of the dhow trade alive and reach new heights.”
Hesham Abdulla, Executive Director, General Cargo & RORO Terminals, DP World UAE said: “DP World has played a vital role in the movement of goods since the inception of the UAE. Dhows serve as the ideal solution for transporting goods from neighbouring countries, allowing access to key wholesale and consumer markets. The Obaid’s achievement in gaining international recognition is truly inspiring and encourages all of us to think beyond the horizon. We believe this dhow will help accelerate the movement of non-containerised goods and encourage local traders to connect with key markets across the UAE, the Gulf and the wider region.”
Digitising a traditional trading process
DP World has been at the forefront of enabling the progress of the region’s dhow trade. In 2020, DP World launched the NAU digital marketplace, allowing the traditional dhow trade process to be entirely digitised for the first time ever.
The NAU mobile app connects dhow owners with traders allowing them to search, negotiate, and book shipments. The application also utilises artificial intelligence to help captains plan their trips, and optimise efficiency in dhow space utilisation, thus enabling them to generate higher revenues.