Dubai Municipality holds exhibition on old documents of Customs Department

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Dubai Municipality recently organized a technical exhibition titled "Dubai Customs in the Documents of Bashi Porter" in the historical district of Shindagha, which contains the documents of Dubai Customs Department in the early 20th century.

The exhibition, organized in line with the strategy of Dubai Municipality to work on the city's excellence and the preservation of urban heritage and monuments, will last for one full 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 of Dubai and highlights the stages of its development until the late Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, who was in power during 1912-1958.

Ahmed Mahmoud Ahmed, Director of Architectural Heritage Department at Dubai Municipality, said: "The exhibition was organized as part of the values of 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 the responsibility of the head of porters, during the period when the work in the Customs was limited to organizing loading and unloading of goods from boats. He held the position for 34 years and worked as a popular leader, who used to treat the wounds with medicines and herbs, which he brought from India and neighboring countries. He had a special Majlis for students to teach them recitation and memorization of the Holy Quran. He succeeded in establishing organized work by documenting it in the books of a collection of fees, in addition to official correspondence inside and outside the emirate. He worked for securing Customs by establishing an armed garrison to protect the stores.