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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Timeframe: rowing across Dubai Creek 

This photograph from 1963 when Dubai was part of the Trucial States shows a captain of one of the traditional water taxis

On an Abra (water taxi) being rowed across Dubai Creek in 1963.
On an Abra (water taxi) being rowed across Dubai Creek in 1963.

A jump from the jetty onto a rickety seat, the sounds of the water and we are off across Dubai Creek.

Taking an abra has been the traditional way of crossing Dubai Creek for a great many years.

This photograph from 1963, when Dubai was part of the Trucial States, shows a captain of one of these traditional wooden water taxis at work.

Then, they had to row across the busy waters, using large wooden oars, in often hot and humid conditions.

Eagle-eyed viewers should also be able to spot some of the old wind towers on the right and other abras with their awnings in the background.

Today, the abras have engines, but the journey is not that much different from those taken 54 years ago, and commuters are offered an insight into how life has operated on the Creek for centuries.

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Read more:

Dubai Creek meanders at the heart of a great city

Bentley craftsmen learn about traditional dhow-building on Dubai Creek

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