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Al Hashemi-II Hotel, Kuwait
Al Hashemi-II Hotel, Kuwait
Al Hashemi-II Hotel, Kuwait
Al Hashemi-II Hotel, Kuwait
Al Hashemi-II Hotel, Kuwait
Al Hashemi-II Hotel, Kuwait

Al Hashemi-II Hotel, Kuwait

Al Hashemi-II Hotel, Kuwait

Al Hashemi-II Hotel, Kuwait

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Behind many modern features of Kuwait, lie reflections of the countries maritime heritage. Al Hashemi-II, a majestic wooden ship of gigantic proportions, rises high above the Radisson Blu Hotel, Kuwait. This impressive structure is the realization of one man's vision and dedication to preserve Kuwait's maritime heritage for future generations. Apart from bringing back memories of those graceful bygone days of sail, she is recognized as one of the largest wooden ships of the world.

For Husain Marafie, one of the owners of the hotel, this is his third and most ambitious dhow-building project. Mohammedi-II, his first enterprise houses the popular Al Boom Restaurant and Al Ghazeer, which followed it, is the Radisson SAS Hotel pleasure cruiser. Al Hashemi-II, the newest dhow dwarfs its older sisters.

Arabian dhows have distinct names for each model and Al Hashemi-II falls into the Baghlah classification. These ships excelled as classical cargo carriers during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A traditional deep-sea vessel and attractively carved stem-head, transom stern and window apertures; the baghlah was the most ornate of all the Arabian dhows.

Traditional shipwrights of Oman claim the credit of introducing this outstanding model to the Gulf waters; yet she has European ancestry and an Indian link in respect of her design and fittings. The average storage capacity of these ships was between 350 to 450 tons and they were mainly used for transporting cargo around the Gulf and to and from India and Africa. Sharing the destiny of many other graceful sailing vessels that once sailed the Gulf waters, the baghlah also vanished from the waterfront.

Little more than a century ago Husain Marafie's great grandfather built a baghlah and named it Al Hashemi. Husain Marafie has named his present dhow Al Hashemi-II in celebration and commemoration of the memory of this forerunner, which saw active service for the Marafie family. For him, the preservation of Kuwaiti maritime heritage and continuation of his family's ship building and ship owning traditions that spans well over a couple of centuries are a driving passion.

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About & Origin
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