Textile traders came to Dubai when the bulk of the trade was conducted from the banks of the Dubai creek. Dubai in the 1950’s was a town of about 20,000 people in three districts: Bur Dubai, Deira and Shindagha. Life centred around the Creek. It was where the great pearling fleets returned from the summer diving season. It was where huge booms - traditional two-masted sailing vessels - coasted back from East Africa and India with a variety of goods, including textiles.
But by the mid-50s, the maritime trade that sustained the town stood at a precipice. A build-up of silt prevented larger ships from entering Dubai Creek, threatening the emirate’s future prosperity.
The solution lay in dredging and related works in and along the creek. When the creek improvements were completed, trade soared and with it the fortunes of the textile trade rose steadily.