Skip to main content

Dubai has 235 businesses engaged in the manufacturing and trading of ships and boats

20 Dec, 2021

The ships and boats sector was one of the nation’s leading industries as the vessels served as the main means of transporting goods and travellers, engaging with neighbouring countries, and building bridges of trade.


A report issued by the Business Registration and Licensing (BRL) sector at the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) states that Dubai now has 235 companies engaged in the manufacturing and trading of ships and boats. This reflects the focus of the leadership, government and national companies to drive this vital sector, which has been an integral part of the history of the UAE and an ancient national profession as well as a major source of livelihood and an essential means of travel in the past.


The companies that work in the manufacturing and trading of ships and boats sector cover diverse activities including: ‘Trading of ships and boats’ with a total of 177 licences, ‘Manufacturing of boats’ (39 licences), and ‘Manufacturing of ships and dhows"’(19 licences).


According to the report, Bur Dubai accounted for the largest share of the companies engaged in the manufacturing and trading of ships and boats with 182 licences followed by Deira (53), while the top sub-regions are based in Al Jaddaf, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Investments Park 1, Al Karama, Al Barsha 1, Port Saeed, Al Quoz Industrial 3, Naif, and Oud Metha.


Limited Liability companies accounted for 74% of the total, followed by Sole Establishments at 14%, and One-Person Limited Liability Companies at 10%. The rest of the legal forms included; Branches of companies based in other Emirates and Branches of Free Zone Companies.


Obaid bin Juma bin Saloom Establishment for the Manufacture of Ships and Dhows is among the prominent establishments in this sector in the Emirate. It was established in the sixties by the late Obaid bin Juma bin Majid Al Falasi, and was officially registered in 1972. “My late father was an Emirati sailor and shipbuilder who began working in this profession at the age of nine, and taught and developed himself and used his sea travels to develop the boat and dhow industry,” says Majed Obaid Al Falasi, Chairman of Obaid bin Juma bin Saloom Establishment.


Al Falasi said that the company entered the wooden yacht industry alone in the nineties and competed with international yachts, as well as exported these yachts to Italy, Holland and France.


“The enormous UAE ‘Obaid’, a 20m wide, 11m high vessel and weighs 2,500 tonnes, won the Guinness World Records for the world's largest Arabic mega-dhow in 2020. The Obaid was hand-built using 1,700 tonnes of African teak wood and 800 tonnes of steel on Dubai Creek from material sourced locally and abroad with an estimated load capacity of up to 6,000 tonnes,” said Al Falasi.


According to Majid Obaid Al Falasi, it was not prestige that drove him to build the largest dhow. Rather, he did it for his late father, Obaid Jumaa bin Majid Al Falasi, an Emirati shipbuilder who began an apprenticeship at the age of nine in the mid-1940s. “It’s also a tribute to my country, which always aims for the forefront positions. I am glad to see my son's passion for this craft. He sees what I do and knows what his grandfather was doing, and most importantly, he aims to pass on this authentic profession to the next generations. We hope to establish a museum and organize workshops to teach young people, especially future generations, the profession of their ancestors, because our motto is 'the profession of grandparents is inherited by their grandchildren',” added Al Falasi.


Most Recent News

RTA launches digital platform to issue clearance certificates for infrastructure works in Dubai
Dubai Racing Club dedicates its seventh race meeting to celebrate the #DubaiDestinations initiative
Emirates expects a peak travel period ahead of the New Year

Mobile For an optimal experience please
rotate your device to portrait mode