Dhows in Doldrums: A Spotlight on an Informal Segment of Pakistan’s Maritime Economy

Alifiya AunAli

Sajjad Khrby


This paper elaborates upon the challenges faced by Dhow making industry in Pakistan, where dhows have always served as the traditional means of cargo transportation. Dhows have also been useful in trade especially with secondary ports and war-torn countries of the Middle East and Africa. The decreasing trend in trade through dhows is affecting not only the maritime economy but also may lead to the extinction of traditional and customary knowledge of dhow making industry. Pakistan needs to ensure that policy gaps are filled to address the concerns of all stakeholders and steps may be taken to identify it as a formal industry in the maritime economy.

Moreover, training and capacity building programs will also play an eminent role in generating relevant workforce for boosting the growth of the boat making industry. Active efforts are needed for Public Private Partnership and incentivizing dhow trade also with the assurance of the availability of required raw materials that would help in the revival of the industry. The utilization of modern technology, adequate facilities such as revision of port charges and availability of basic infrastructure are recommended to excel the growth of this vital segment of maritime economy.




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