Dubai Creek Wharves: Dubai Side 1964-72
Dubai has a long history of trading with the Countries of the Gulf Region, India,
Iran and East Africa. Sea going cargo ships of all nationalities arrived at Dubai and anchored offshore. They discharged their cargoes into barges which were towed into Dubai Creek to be unloaded. This was done at Dubai's Cargo Wharves. These became redundant when Port Rashid opened and later demolished to make way for the buiding the new Diwan and Ruler's Offices.
Unloading was Slow!
Unloading these barges was a slow process carried out manually by Labourers. Sheikh Rashid ordered a dockside crane from Scotland to speed up unloading. But the crane
was hand operated so still required manual labour. Once discharged, cargo was stored in open sand areas without protection from the elements. More delicate cargoes were put into storage sheds alongside Dubai Creek. Damaged goods were stored in a dedicated “Damaged Goods” Shed. These damaged goods were usually "unclaimed" by the Importer and remained in the Damaged Goods Shed for years. By 1971 the Damaged Goods Shed was an "Aladdin's Cave" items such as fur coats, medicines, leather goods, children's toys, machinery parts. These were sold off at a "onetime" auction prior to closure of the wharves in 1972
Mechanised cargo handling was introduced in the late 1960s but, because the storage areas were desert sand, four wheel drive Forklift Trucks fitted with sand tyres had to be used.
Transport and Export
....Cargo Wharves on Dubai-side played an important part of Dubai's
Merchants collected their cargoes from the Customs Area for temporary storage in their nearby “Godowns” or Warehouses. Generally these cargoes were sold for export and transported from Dubaiside to the Deiraside Dhow Wharves for overseas shipment. Opening of the Al Maktoum Bridge in 1963 made transportation between Dubai-side and Deiraside easier and contributed significantly to Dubai's growth as a Trading Centre.
Impact of Port Rashid Opening
Port Rashid's opening in 1970 removed the need for cargo storage in the Creek. Traders could now get delivery of their cargoes in Port Rashid and transport to their Godowns. What had previously been the hub of Dubai's trade became the site for the new Diwan (Dubai Government's Administration Complex). Sheds and offices were demolished together with some Bastakia Windtower Buildings to make way for the modern Diwan. Only the Dockside Crane remains. It was refurbished in the 1990s as a memorial to Dubai's Creekside Wharves that played such an important role in Dubai's development.
More Images of Dubai's Wharves HERE