Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fujairah Pictures and Photos

You’d like to see a little of Fujairah before you visit?

There are lots of photos on the Internet if you search for them.

There are also several albums on the sites belonging to professional photographers who sell their shots and amateurs who maintain a copyright on their images, meaning that you can’t swipe them without permission.

Here are links to some Fujairah photographs I have spotted online. Many of them are repeats but you get a good idea of what has caught the eye of people who have visited or those who live in Fujairah.

If you know of other good links (especially if they are photos you have taken), drop me a line and the link address as I would love to add it to this list:

Aidan O’Rourke Gallery
David Henderson Gallery (mixed in with many UAE pictures)
East Coast, UAE Photo Gallery Brian McMorrow
East Coast Photo Gallery Philipp Holzmann
Fujairah: Great City in the Making
Fujairah Tourism Bureau Image Gallery (Check attractions and image gallery)
Fujairah Travel Pictures

Geoff Pound

Image: Fish Market

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Fujairah Visitor Centre: I’d Like to See That!

Following my posting on the tourists and residents who get lost on Fujairah streets and the need for some detailed maps, it would be good to have a Fujairah Visitor Centre, where travelers can stop and get all the information they need for their visit.

Perhaps a few Visitor Centres might be the ideal, realizing the different approaches to the emirate but starting off with one that is suitably located for the many visitors who from the existing Dubai road and the soon to be completed highway.

The purposes are many—to provide information and maps, through brochures and personal advice and to offer public restrooms where travelers might be relieved and refreshed.

Perhaps architecturally, it could be styled with the lines of a Bedouin tent, with the interior including a majlis (مجلس) or Arabic sitting room, where Emiratis might welcome guests to the exciting emirate of Fujairah.

As new international visitors to the Auckland airport in New Zealand are surprised to be given a free cup of tea or coffee by a team of volunteers, it would express traditional Arab hospitality for visitors to Fujairah to be greeted with some locally grown dates and Arabic coffee.

For the many Emiratis learning English at nearby Colleges, doing time in the Visitor Centre would be a wonderful way to get conversation practice as well as meeting people of other cultures and languages.

Geoff Pound

Image: Contemporary majlis.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fujairah, I’d Like to See That: Good Maps

A blog article appeared recently in which a car load of people from Dubai set out to enjoy their Eid holiday in Fujairah. They had not been to Fujairah before, they kept on getting lost and they called into more than 20 gas stations to ask for directions. When they arrived in Fujairah their problem only intensified. How do you find your way to the various tourist hot spots?

Finding your way to and around Fujairah is a problem for newcomers to the eastern state. It can also be an everyday challenge for those who have been living in Fujairah for months. People don’t seem to locate their houses according to street names and postcodes are not in existence yet.

Depending on taxis is not the final solution as many times I have asked taxi drivers to take me here and there and they have shaken their heads as if to say, “Yes, I know the way.” But, before long it becomes apparent that they have not done Fujairah’s equivalent to the London cab driver’s ‘Knowledge Test’ that takes around three years of hard training to learn all the streets in the six-mile radius of Charing Cross.

Until a Global Positioning Service for Fujairah is available, we are going to need a decent map. There are some available in shops but these so quickly go out of date with the burgeoning of Fujairah.

If you have one that is comprehensive, I’d like to see it and promote it on this site for the many who go astray on Fujairah roads and streets.

Here are some online maps that I have collected, some of which I consult before setting out on a journey:

Fujairah Colleges Map PDF
The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) have on their web site this PDF, which not only helps you to find the Women’s College and the Men’s College in Fujairah but it lists some other important landmarks:

Fujairah Emirate and City MapQuest
Map Quest provides a map that is zoomable, from the country to the region, the city and the street. This is good to get an overview of the emirate of Fujairah and the small towns. Working this site is a bit cumbersome but it does give the major highway numbers and main street names for the city.

Fujairah City Map –Municipality
The local municipality puts out this one that has an index of major places.

Fujairah City -UAE Interact
The UAE News and Information shows this map—no road names and some landmarks.

Fujairah Tourism Bureau Maps
Three basic maps that can be clicked on for enlargement are provided by the local bureau.

Road Map especially to port
Basic map with Fujairah suburbs, prepared to help people find the Fujairah Port.

Google Earth
Google Earth Site
This can be downloaded free of charge. See Fujairah from on high and zoom in. Users have been putting information notes in these maps (English and Arabic) to pinpoint landmarks and houses (see below in Wiki Maps).

World 66 Google Earth of UAE
World 66 Google Earth of Fujairah
These two Google Earth maps are hosted by World 66 travel sites, in case you do not wish to download Google Earth on your computer.

Wikimapia is an online map and satellite imagery resource that combines Google Maps with a Wiki system allowing users to add information such as the name of a building or the location of their villa. See if you can find your home and put your name on your house. Most of the locations on the Fujairah map are in Arabic.

Wikimapia starting point
Wikimap This has been filed on the Internet to help people find the Fujairah Indian Social Club and has notes of places in Arabic and English
Wikimap This has been filed on the Internet to help people find the Fujairah Port with notes on surrounding buildings.
Wikimap Road to and Including Fujairah This has been filed on the Internet to help people find their way to Fujairah (Arabic mainly)
Directions for Dubai to Fujairah-NEW!

The above provides a range of maps. None of them are completely satisfactory. Hopefully someone will produce a Fujairah street map that is comprehensive. If you have got better ones I can list them (and their whereabouts) to this posting.

Geoff Pound

Image: Fujairah Map with directions to the port.

This posting is near the beginning of a series of some occasional articles entitled, Fujairah: I’d Like to See That! If there is something you’d like to see in Fujairah, please add a comment below or send me a paragraph or two for posting.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fujairah Cultural Festival to be Televised

Gulf News reports that the third Fujairah International Monodrama Festival in two months will be filmed in Dibba Al Fujairah, thus drawing international attention to this cultural event.

The link for more on this event and announcement:
Fuad Ali, ‘Fujairah Monodrama Festival to be Televised’, Gulf News, 28 October 2007.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Day in the Life of a Fujairah Fisherman

There is an interesting article on the life and times of a Fujairah fisherman in today’s Khaleej Times.

Salah Al Deberky, ‘Constant struggle to fish out daily worries’, Khaleej Times, 27 October 2007.

Image: Hammour, one of the most popular fish in the UAE. Stocks are declining thus making a Fujairah fisherman’s job even harder.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fujairah: I’d Like to See That! Playgrounds and Park Benches

Following the launch of the Fujairah Tourism Goals, I am going to write the occasional posting entitled, Fujairah, I’d Like to See That!

If you’d like to join in and submit a wish (it can be posted on this site with your name or anonymously) do email this to me. Alternatively, you can put your idea in a comment at the bottom of this posting or the latest in the series.

Whether you are a longtime resident or a relative newcomer, what would you like to see changed or different in Fujairah (the emirate as well as the city)? Don’t be put off if you’ve recently arrived in Fujairah. They say that the first 30 minutes in any country or city are the most important, as that is when things stick out like organ stops. After that, things become familiar.

To kick it off, I want to make the plea that many visitors to Fujairah over the recent Eid holiday made, as reported in the Gulf News. I wrote of this on the Experiencing the Emirates site at the time but let me say it again here:

A Gulf News article reports on the huge numbers of UAE tourists who are choosing to enjoy the Eid holiday on the country’s east coast. Among the attractive features mentioned about the east coast cities and towns include:

* Natural and rugged beauty of the mountains

* Wonderful picnic spots

* Clean beaches (?)

* Cooler weather than in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

* Safe family destination

* Ample places for camping overnight

* Opportunities to light a camp fire

* Historic places to visit like the Al Bidya mosque

The writer picks up on the disappointment expressed by many Eid holidaymakers over the lack of basic amenities at some of the popular east coast beaches in the UAE. These deficiencies are not itemized but they might include the following:

* More seats and park benches

* Better signage

* Bigger and more rubbish bins

* The need for a better campaign to get people to pick up their rubbish—the almost universal UAE practice of employing maids and cleaners in their homes leads to the widespread habit of leaving trash on the corniche and the beaches for others to pick up

* More public toilets

* More gas-fired BBQs

* More well-equipped children’s playgrounds

* More trees and shade

* Repairing holes and uneven brickwork on paths to eliminate accidents.

It would be good to survey people (locals and tourists) to find out exactly what they would like to see to enhance their beach experiences and visits to the UAE’s eastern cities.

To read this timely article in full, check this link:Fuad Ali, ‘Heading East to Celebrate Eid’, Gulf News, 13 October 2007.

That kicks off the Fujairah: I’d Like to See That! Series.

What would you like to see?

Geoff Pound

Image: Park bench. There are benches like this every 30 metres along the Sharjah walkway overlooking Khor Kalba and the inlet. I’d like to see more of these along the Fujairah corniche.

Fujairah Tourism Targets: 100% Natural

Dubai has been a top international tourist magnet for several years.

Abu Dhabi, not to be outdone, has recently been making strong advances in tourism and is being hailed as ‘The Richest City in the World’ and ‘The Cultural Capital of the Middle East and the Arab World’.

This week Fujairah announced its new tourist goals.

Mohammed Bin Majed Al Aleeli, Director General of the Department of Industry and Economy in Fujairah was swift to say that this smaller but burgeoning eastern city and emirate will not try to outdo or replicate Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Here is a summary of what Fujairah tourism is aiming at:

* Maximizing its beaches and mountains and the proximity of the two
* Highlighting natural beauty
* Showcasing its historical sites
* Adding hotel beds to cope with tourist numbers
* Being a stop over for ocean liners
* Building malls and entertainment facilities
* Finishing the new Dubai to Fujairah highway
* Enhancing Fujairah airport facilities
* Establishing the new Creativity City

A full report on this week’s announcement can be found at this link”
‘Fujairah Targets Tourism for Growth’, UAE Focus, AME Info, 26 October 2007.

Image: Maximizing its beaches

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Call to Plant More Trees…in Fujairah

Dr Wangari Maathai, winner of Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, yesterday said she was impressed by the number of trees and greenery in the UAE and called upon people, especially students, to plant saplings to fight pollution and climate change.

She said: “When I arrived in Abu Dhabi I expected to see just the desert, but I was very surprised and impressed to find so many trees and greenery.”

“It takes 10 trees to absorb the toxins produced by one person’s expiration, so preserving forests and planting saplings are key factors in combating pollution and, ultimately, climate change,” she continued.

Dr Maathai has been involved in helping the environment by planting saplings, as well as assisting women in improving their way of life.

I wonder how the number of trees in Fujairah compares with Abu Dhabi and whether the Nobel Prize Winner would be just as surprised if she visited out east.

What is the tree planting strategy in Fujairah and what are the goals?

To read more of Dr Maathai’s speech, go to this link:

Silvia Radan, Call to Plant More Trees to Fight Pollution,’ Khaleej Times Online, 24 October 2007.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fujairah: Hoping to Strike the Good Oil

On 1 October, it was reported by Shaikh Hamad Bin Mohammad Al Sharqi, that a Ukrainian company has recently discovered oil in Fujairah but the Ruler of Fujairah was quick to say that it was too early to know whether the reserves are economically viable.

The Gulf News report also mentioned:
“Fujairah has very small crude oil production compared with Abu Dhabi and Dubai and such a discovery - if it proves viable - would provide a welcome boost to the emirate's economy.”

This week (23 October) SulphCo announced that testing will resume this week in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates on a variety of crude feedstocks.

Dr. Larry Ryan, CEO of SulphCo, provided an update of events since the September 6th investor conference call. "Our last round of testing in Fujairah had to be curtailed due to transportation issues unrelated to our process equipment, but we were nonetheless able to conduct limited test runs on a medium crude (32.9 API, 1.6% sulphur by content) employing our latest probe design. The results were significant; up to a 47% reduction in sulphur by content on successive test runs, as compared to 17% under the same test conditions utilizing the earlier Series II probe design."

"In the days ahead, we look forward to the resumption of testing, both in Fujairah and Europe," said Dr. Ryan.

Image: Sonocracking™ equipment assembly at Neue Technologien GmbH (NTG) in Gelnhausen, Germany for Fujairah Oil Technology, LLC.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fujairah Holiday Homes Eyed by Asian Property Speculators

An article today in the Bangkok Post (Money Section) is drawing the attention of its readers to property investment opportunities in the UAE.

With quotes from a Dubai property expert visiting Bangkok, Asian speculators were told these things:
* Those investing in Dubai’s Palm and the World projects have already made a handsome 100% profit
* It is easy to invest in the UAE property market
* There are some great investment opportunities
* Dubai has some freehold allocations for foreigners which come with residency visas
* Big changes are happening in property investment within a 90 minute drive from ‘the Singapore of the Middle East’

Stephen O’Brien elaborated on this last point:

“Things are changing with new coastal areas now emerging in the other emirates of the UAE that are seen as good second-home locations. One can pick up a beautiful holiday home 90 minutes outside Dubai for 10 to 12 million baht.” [See below for currency conversion]

“What we are seeing now is that people are saying, 'Okay, we've invested in Dubai but now we have to look at secondary locations.' But they are all looking within the emirates, within the UAE, good locations on the coast.”

With construction just started on the new highway between Dubai and the east coast, there could be in the next ten years a property and population boom in Fujairah and other coastal cities, not just taking the overflow from Dubai but the influx of investors from international regions including Asia.

Whether this happens or not will depend upon the leaders of each emirate deciding to relax property laws, as has happened in Dubai, to allow foreigners to purchase property and build homes.

The full article can be read at this link:

Nina Suebsukcharoen, ‘Dubai Continues to Build on Strengths’, Bangkok Post, 22 October 2007.

Currency: 10 to 12 million baht is today worth US$ 317, 369.00 to 380, 959.00 or AUS$ 380, 959.00 to 432, 602.00

Fujairah Facebook Network

In a recent post I highlighted the increasing popularity of the Internet programme Facebook. It is now the 7th most visited site by people of the UAE.

I wrote to Mark Zuckerberg, the 24 year old founder of Facebook with this letter:

Greetings Mark and congratulations on your creation of Facebook.

It has been for me a great way to reconnect with old friends and keep other friendships warm. From time to time on the newsfeed I get this information:

Here are some of the Largest Regional Networks on Facebook.
1 London

2 Toronto, ON
3 Australia
4 Vancouver, BC

It seems from these reports that you are only on about the size of a network.

Living in a smaller city as I do at the moment--Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates--it seems that a network can serve a greater purpose where the population is small and remote from the big centres like Dubai.

I know there must be lots of work that goes in to create a network but I am making a plug and a plea for you to consider supporting those who will be potentially part of a smaller yet none the less significant network.

Please pass this on to the person who oversees Network development and thanks again for what you are doing.

Geoff Pound

No reply as yet but I will keep you posted.

If you are from Fujairah and on Facebook it might be a good idea to write to Mark or the FB Network Coordinator and make a bid for smaller networks.

Geoff Pound

Image: Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fujairah in Focus: A New Fujairah Blog

Some time ago I established a web site on the United Arab Emirates called Experiencing the Emirates. I plan to continue ETE but I have established this new site to sharpen the focus on Fujairah.


* To stimulate interest in the city and emirate of Fujairah
* To point up the uniqueness of this east coast city and emirate of Fujairah
* To report and provide links to some of the happenings in Fujairah
* To raise some possibilities of what Fujairah might become
* To encourage Fujairah bloggers and writers using other media
* To amass some resources, especially for people visiting or settling in Fujairah
* To develop a digital forum for other Fujairah voices

Geoff Pound

Image: A shot of the new FUJAIRAH IN FOCUS blog site