Developed to serve as a free port for oil rigs, supply vessels and other related traffic it also accommodates dhows as a way to promote trade with Abu Dhabi’s neighbours. The activity in the port never really dies down as the main fish market and the Iranian souk, both popular destinations of locals and visitors are also here as well as the Al Dhafra restaurant a popular haunt of visitors wishing to sample Middle Eastern delicacies. Dinner cruises also take off from the harbour and it s also the starting point of the annual dhow races.
Throughout history harbours have played critical roles in facilitating trade in various regions. Similarly Dhow Harbour while being a gateway for trade fulfills an important function in traditional cultural relationships in the region. It is also an important landmark in the city.
Watch traditional dhows, fishing or trading vessels return to dock in the evening near Port Zayed in the north eastern corner of Abu Dhabi Island and if it is at all possible, watch them leave at four in the morning on trips several days long. This is the time when dhows that are ready to leave are loaded with supplies, ice and fishing nets. Other dhows, specially the fishing types, also return to port at this time and cause a buzz at this unearthly time of the day with unloading of their cargo of fish which is immediately arranged into piles and auctioned off. After that the harbour takes on a more casual air with the crews of the dhows that have returned lounging around the quay side, cooking their meals and getting in touch with home.
The glistening backdrop of new high rises on shore contrasts sharply with this place bustling with ocean going craft made according to traditional designs and enacting a scene that is centuries old.
An extraordinary hotel amidst the desert sands of Liwa, Anantara Abu Dhabi delivers an experience that many people only dream about. With a selection of rooms, suites and villas that is among the most luxurious accommodation in Abu Dhabi, dining options delivering a range of high quality cuisine, modern leisure facilities and activities suited to visitors of all ages makes this hotel in Abu Dhabi one of the most sought after destinations.