Thu 04-04-2019 15:56 PM
DUBAI, 4th April, 2019 (WAM) — The Dubai Municipality recently organised a technical exhibition titled “Dubai Customs in the Documents of Bashi Porter” in the historical district of Shindagha, which contains the documents of the Dubai Customs Department from the early 20th century.
The exhibition, organised in line with the strategy of the municipality to work on the city’s excellence and the preservation of urban heritage and monuments, will last for a year.
The importance of these documents lies in the fact that it is an important reference to the commercial movement and the economic boom witnessed by the emirate and highlights the stages of its development until the late Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, who was in power between 1912 and 1958.
Ahmed Mahmoud Ahmed, Director of Architectural Heritage Department at Dubai Municipality, said, “The exhibition was organised as part of the values of the Dubai Municipality on its responsibility towards the community and its participation in the efforts to promote the city’s excellence and encourages the valuable ideas and lessons that can be learned from the sincere men who took the responsibilities of the Emirate’s governance and the functions of managing its affairs in various fields.”
The documents date back to the Customs Department decrees, in addition to the details of the types of goods received and exported to the ports of the Arabian Gulf, the Indian subcontinent and East Africa. The exhibits include pictures of account books that reveal the types and prices of trading during that time. They also include stamps of Sheikh Saeed and the letters and orders issued to the Customs officials and a collection of unique images.
Bashi Porter, who died in 1953, took over responsibility as the head of porters, during the period when the work in the Customs was limited to organising loading and unloading of goods from boats. He held the position for 34 years and worked as a popular leader, who used to treat wounds with medicines and herbs, which he brought from India and neighbouring countries. He had a special majlis for students to teach them recitation and memorisation of the Holy Quran.
Porter succeeded in organising the work by meticulously documenting it in the fee collection books, in addition to official correspondence inside and outside the emirate. He worked for securing Customs by establishing an armed garrison to protect the stores.