Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Photographer: Imran Ahmed

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

In Dubai’s Jadaf shipyard, brothers Hareej and Saleh Al Mari are keeping their family’s boatbuilding traditions alive. Using knowledge passed down from their father and grandfather, they are making one of the biggest seafaring dhows in history. Their vessel, set to weigh 600 tonnes when completed, is being constructed entirely by hand. And instead of plans or drawings, Hareej and Saleh rely solely on their memories to guide the twenty carpenters they have working away twelve hours a day, six days a week. With a crew of forty, the boat will be able to sail up to seven days between ports, enough to take cargo to Somalia, a journey of some 3,000 kilometres. Hareej recalls that he was ten when his father started teaching him boatbuilding. Today, he is passing on his knowledge to his two young sons.