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Al Gaffal Traditional 60ft Dhow Race 2014

Al Gaffal race
For thousands of years, before the advent of the oil boom, fishing and pearl diving was the mainstay of the Dubai economy. Pearl divers would board a traditional dhow for up to three months at a time, in the hope to uncovering pearls – a job easier said than done! In a bid to bring the Dubai pearl history alive and honour the divers, his highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum organizes the traditional dhow race every year.

When the racing contest started in 1991 at the small-uninhabited island of Sur Bu Na'air, only 53 dhows - each 43 feet long featured in the competition. Today the race has expanded to around 60 feet long 100 traditional boats braved by more than 3,000 participants sailing the waters of the Gulf.
Although, the dhows of today are kept in immaculate conditions with brilliantly polished hulls and snappy sails, they still reflect the traditions of the past. Moreover, the strict rules of the race have helped to maintain the heritage.

Date: 17th May 2014

Venue: Dubai International Marine Club (Mina Seyahi)

Open to the General Public

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