DUBAI // Two of Bentley Motors’ most experienced craftsmen spent their time on a recent trip to the UAE learning about traditional and local crafts at one of the oldest dhow-building yards on Dubai Creek.
David Maddocks, a wood craftsman on the Bentley veneers, and Noel Thompson, a coach trimmer who joined the manufacturer as an apprentice when founder W O Bentley was still alive, demonstrated their wares to local craftsmen at the Obaid bin Juma bin Suloom boatyard.
The pair showed local Dubai craftsmen how they applied their trade in Crewe, England, in stitching and trimming Bentley’s customised steering wheels and wood marquetry. In turn, the two men were shown a tutorial in building dhows and in techniques used to create the hulls and cabins of an all-wood vessel, in a trip to coincide with the UAE’s 45th National Day.
“Many of the luxury finishes you will find in a Bentley are only made possible by using traditional skills in wood, paint and leather, so we tend to appreciate seeing these skills employed wherever we find them,” Mr Maddocks said.
“As such, it was an honour to have a chance to witness first-hand traditional Emirati craftsmanship and to try some of the techniques they use here.
“It is fantastic to see traditional craftsmanship alive and well in all parts of the world.”
Mr Thompson said that at Bentley, just like with the traditional boatbuilders, skills are passed from generation to generation.
“This dedication to craftsmanship is something we take to another level and so too have our friends here in Al Jadaf,” he said.
The Obaid bin Juma bin Suloom launch repairing establishment is run by brothers Ahmed and Majid Al Falasi, who represent the family’s third generation of boatbuilders.