Landmark boat roundabout in RAK undergoes maintenance

The dhow will be returned after the maintenance work is completed, says RAK public services department

RAS AL KHAIMAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - July 30:  Construction work at at the boat roundabout in Ras Al Khaimah on July 30, 2008.  (Randi Sokoloff / The National) *** Local Caption ***  RS009-RAK.jpgRS009-RAK.jpg
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Construction on the boat roundabout in Ras Al Khaimah is under way to give the much-loved landmark a fresh coat of paint.

A video showing a crane lifting the dhow off the roundabout was widely shared on social media last week, prompting concern among residents that the landmark would be gone for good.

"I hope that they will bring it back again in the same place," said Khalifah Al Shahhi, an Emirati who owns a laundry shop near the roundabout.

"It is part of the old city and one of the area's famous landmarks.

"Many shops around it are named Al Safeena (the boat) after the name of the roundabout."

Ahmed Hassan, a 55-year-old fisherman, said the roundabout had special significance to him because it was a tribute to the emirate's history.

"Fishing and building boats are two well-known professions that we inherited from our ancestors and the boat represent both of them.

"That's why it is very important that they return the boat once they restore it," he said.

Ras Al Khaimah's public services department put concerned residents at ease at the weekend, saying maintenance work was being carried out to "increase the efficiency and sustainability of public assets".

It said the dhow would be replaced after completing the renovation but did not say when that might be.