Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ramadan a Time for Giving in Fujairah

Judging by the flow of cars coming and going to the Red Crescent in Fujairah this last week it appears that the approach of Ramadan has signaled the time for generous giving.

With zakat (زكاة‎) or giving to charity being one of the five obligatory pillars of Islam, the Red Crescent is an obvious recipient with its international work, especially this year, among earthquake victims in China and those who continue to be ravaged by war and famine in the Sudan.

According to one statement, “It is an obligation on Muslims to pay 2.5% of the wealth which they have had for a full lunar year, 2.5% of goods used for trade, and 5% or 10% of certain type of harvests depending on irrigation. Exempt from Zakat are a person's house and personal transportation.”

With the word 'zakah' deriving from the verb meaning to purify or cleanse, the act of giving is a central part of the preparation process for the holy month of Ramadan.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: The Red Crescent headquarters in Fujairah’s suburb of Faseel.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Facts about Fujairah Port

I am grateful to D R Bhoopathy (a.k.a Oldsailor) at Marine Buzz for permission to repost this fact sheet on the Fujairah Port:

The port of Fujairah is the second largest bunkering port of the world. The first is Singapore and the third is Rotterdam.

Here are some interesting features of the Port of Fujairah:

* Port of Fujairah is located on the Eastern Seaboard of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), approximately 70 nautical miles from the Straits of Hormuz.

* Construction of the Port was started in 1978 to develop UAE and full operations of the port commenced in 1983.

* Port of Fujairah is dredged to 15 metres.

* Port of Fujairah acts as a centre to meet the requirements of shipping community in the Middle East and the surrounding region.

*Port of Fujairah offers the following services:
+Container Handling
+General Cargo
+Bulk Cargo
+Ro/Ro Services
+Marine Service
+Fujairah Anchorage
+Bunkering, Marine Supply, Ship Repair

* Port of Fujairah Anchorage can accommodate up to 100 vessels at any time.

* Services such as Bunkering, Ship supplies, Ship Repair, Spare Repair, Spare parts and Inspection are provided as “One Stop Shop” service to vessels at Anchorage.

* Crew changes to and from the Anchorage has reached an average of 2,500 personnel monthly.

* The ‘Flying Angel’ the World’s first floating seafarers’ centre is available on full time service in the Port of Fujairah.

* Port of Fujairah Anchorage has a fleet of 80 independently owned and professionally operated Supply vessels.

* On shore tank capacity was not less than 1.8 million cubic metres as in year 2003.

* Port of Fujairah Anchorage is totally safe and secure with regular patrol and policing.

* More than 25 years old single hull tankers, regardless of their GRT are not allowed to call at Fujairah Offshore Anchorage Area for cargo operation. This includes Oil & Chemical Tankers and LPG & LNG carriers carrying oil products.

* International Airport is located 5 kilometres from the Port Gate.

Here is an interesting video clip of Port of Fujairah.

More information on Fujairah is here and on Port of Fujairah is here.

Source: Port of Fujairah, Marine Buzz, 29 August 2008

It should also be noted that while this article and the Port promotional literature allude to the patrolling and policing, Port officials have been ineffective in policing the increasing number of oil spills that are damaging the Fujairah coastline and marine life. An article in The National, (20 July 2008) entitled ‘Oil Threatens Fujairah Fishing Industry says:

“Officials say ships regularly flout local and international laws by dumping waste, but they have brought no prosecutions and rely on a skeleton monitoring system to keep an eye on vessels.”

Dr Geoff Pound

PS Most of these figures relate to 2003 and I suspect they have changed dramatically. It is difficult getting up to date stats. Do let me know if you have a link to the latest numbers.

Image: Fujairah Port

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fujairah Building Boom Includes Shopping Malls

An important piece of the development taking place in the Faseel suburb is a new shopping mall.

This has been advertised for years but only in recent months has the construction commenced.

It is located on the Al Faseel Road. Coming from the Hilton Hotel towards the Port and Khor Fakkan the shopping mall is on the left just before the roundabout on which the Beach Motel is situated and where the Kuwait Road ends as it runs east.

Access to the new complex, which will cover 74,455 square metres, will be from both Al Faseel Road and the Kuwait Road.

Shopping Mall
This building is a project of the Al Safeer Group and its centerpiece will be the Safeer Mall billed to be “the biggest mall in the eastern emirates of the UAE.”

With a Ground and First Floor the promised features include:

* 100 open fronted stores
* 13 food court units
* Adjoining Space City (family entertainment)
* 594 car parking spaces

New Hotel
The building will also incorporate the new Marque Hotel. This four storey hotel will sit above the mall.

According to the new web site the Marque Hotel, Fujairah will incorporate these facilities:

* 217 rooms and suites
* Restaurant
* Coffee shop
* Bar
* Infinity pool
* Roof-top deck
* Conference and event facilities
* Undercover parking

The hotel is scheduled to open in October 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Safeer Mall and Marque Hotel under construction.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fujairah Building Boom Includes Commercial Buildings

In the last article in the Fujairah Building Boom series I posted a map in order to point out the amazing growth that is happening in the Al Faseel suburb of Fujairah.

While the city has historically developed around the long main street, the growth of the Fujairah Port is meaning massive commercial and residential growth in the suburb of Faseel as it rapidly spreads towards the port.

As you drive down Kuwait Road towards the corniche there are buildings going up on both sides of this highway.

This photograph depicts two of the many buildings going up beside this highway which will have largely a commercial purpose—businesses, banks and the like.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: New commercial buildings on the left of Kuwait Road as you are driving east (towards the corniche). As with all of the high-rise buildings in this construction area, there will be good views both of the beach and the Hajar mountains.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mapping Fujairah's Development

I have written earlier about the paucity of good Fujairah maps and the challenge of mapping a city that is sprouting streets so rapidly.

This isn’t the best or newest map of Fujairah but I am posting it to indicate the area where the Fujairah building boom (see this link for the beginning of my Fujairah Building Boom series) is really taking off.

The Kuwait Road has recently been broadened into a major highway and where you see commencing a major network of streets (right and left), heading east towards the beach, there are an amazing number of buildings under construction.

I will place photos of some of these buildings in the next couple of postings.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Fujairah Map. Sorry about the pen scrawlings but these are indicating the HCT Women’s and Men’s Colleges.

[Click to enlarge]

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fujairah Building Boom Includes Large Villas

I have been travelling recently in Europe and staying in small studio apartments so one of the things that strikes you when you return to the UAE is the spaciousness of most homes.

Generally the ceilings are high, the living rooms ample, the bedrooms big enough in which to swing several cats.

All in all there are generous spaces everywhere you look apart from in the ‘Maid’s Room’ that comes with most UAE houses. (There are small homes around Fujairah and the Emirates but the dominant theme is one of roominess)

One of the main reasons for the big homes is that the UAE families are large with sons and daughters staying at home until marriage and usually after marriage. As the Chinese government recommends (or legislates) that parents should have one child, in the UAE the government is encouraging parents to have at least six children and it offers financial incentives to ensure the growth of the national population.

Pictured is a new home in the making in the Faseel area. It may have some commercial use but it is located in a residential area and there are many colossal homes like this nearby.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Large Fujairah villa.

This posting is part of the Fujairah Building Boom series that starts at this link.

I enjoy reading about the everyday things that are posted on the Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo blog.

Check out this posting about the typical UAE bathroom entitled, 'What You Might Find in a UAE Toilet/Bathroom/Restroom’.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fujairah Building Boom Includes Villas

If you travel down Al Luluah Road in Faseel, from the beach to the Women’s College (HCT), you will be amazed at the number of new villas that are going up.

Many of them are of the design displayed in this photograph.

This housing district is less than a five minute walk from the beach, a hospital, a school, a College, a new commercial district, a hotel and a new shopping centre. Location! Location! Location! [I don't get paid to advertise this villa!]

Despite this flurry of activity there is still a shortage of 2-3+ bedroom homes in Fujairah.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: One of the many villas nearing completion.

The Fujairah Building Boom series begins here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fujairah Building Boom includes More Hospitals

In this ‘Fujairah Building Boom’ series (which begins here) mention has already been made of the new hospital being constructed at the entrance to Fujairah from Dubai.

There is also another new hospital going up in the city, located in the Al Faseel area.

The structure is visible from the Al Faseel Road (the main road north between the Hilton Hotel and the Fujairah Port). One approaches it down Al Luluah Road, the same road one would take to the Women’s College (HCT). While it is not a high structure patients and workers will certainly get some therapeutic views as they look out on one side to the beach and from the other to the Hajar Mountains.

This hospital (see picture) is called the ‘Fujairah Private Hospital’. It has been at least three years in the making and it has just got a coat of paint. It is difficult to ascertain how near it is to completion on the inside.

If there is one area in Fujairah that is undergoing enormous expansion it is the suburb of Faseel.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: The ‘Fujairah Private Hospital’ viewed from the eastern (beach) side. [Click to enlarge]

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fujairah Building Boom Includes Ports

As you drive south along the Fujairah corniche, just before you get to the roundabout that takes you towards Kalba, you will notice an appendage which has been growing out into the water for several months. Trucks have been dumping rocks there 24/7 and still the activity continues.

The sign declares that this specialized port is owned by Fujairah Bulk Shipping. Little information is available but it appears to be a rock exporting port, shipping Fujairah rocks from its quarries to countries such as Iran.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Fujairah Bulk Shipping port in the making.

This is the fourth in a series of postings on Fujairah’s current building boom. Other articles include:
Fujairah Building Boom Includes New Hospital
Fujairah Building Boom Includes Commercial and Apartment Towers
Fujairah Building Boom in Apartment Towers

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fujairah Building Boom in Apartment Towers

An earlier posting indicated the critical shortage of medium to large-sized villas and apartments in Fujairah, especially with the Faseel Towers being used for other purposes.

The new tower (pictured) will provide a good number of new apartments but its strategic location (on the right side of Fujairah’s main street and over the road from the vegetable, fruit and fish markets), including its views over the corniche, may mean that the rentals are on the high side.

This building looks to be higher than the Fujairah Towers and will therefore make it the highest structure in the city.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: New apartment tower viewed from the beach (eastern side) and looking up the main street.

This is the third in a series of postings on Fujairah’s current building boom. Other articles include:
Fujairah Building Boom Includes New Hospital
Fujairah Building Boom Includes Commercial and Apartment Towers

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fujairah Building Boom Includes Commercial and Apartment Towers

Entering the first roundabout coming into Fujairah from Dubai, and continuing in the same direction, one drives onto the main street—Hamad bin Abdulla Road.

One of the noticeable sights when you get onto this main drag is the number of high-rise buildings under construction on the left-hand side.

The picture, (which is taken looking the other way, towards Dubai) shows two new buildings in mid-construction and one further up, which is nearing completion.

There are several other buildings in process along this strip that are not in frame. Some of them will be exclusively for commercial usage; others will have a mix of commercial function (shops on the lower level/s) and accommodation.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Some new buildings on Fujairah’s main street.

Fujairah Building Boom Includes New Hospital

One thing that struck me upon returning to Fujairah after a summer break was the massive building boom that is going on in Al Fujairah at the moment.

I plan over the next few postings to display some of the constructions that are going up.

When you approach Fujairah from the Dubai road the first cluster of buildings that you see are on the left side of the road—Ajman University, Higher College of Technology (Men’s College), Institute of Applied Technology and the Ministry of the Environment (Agricultural Department for the Eastern Region).

Passing this cluster as you come to the first set of traffic lights, on the left you will notice (set back from the road) a new hospital. It is called the NMC Al Fujairah Hospital and it is one of the chain of NMC Medical Centres and hospitals springing up throughout the UAE.

This building is a sign of the city’s population growth and the improvement in infrastructure and health services that is taking place in the region.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: NMC Al Fujairah Hospital (Click on the photo to enlarge)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fujairah Observer Now Online

In November 2006 someone posted this query on the Trip Advisor with the heading, ‘Fujairah Forum’:

“Is Fujairah's magazine The OBSERVER still existing? It was being taken cared of by Mrs. Valentine... I just lost contact when we left Fujairah but it is a very informative local magazine and I would like to be updated... do they have a website?”

The good news for Fujairah residents and ex-residents is that the Fujairah Observer is now online.

The new web site (like the monthly magazine) posts helpful information about Fujairah, it contains some back copies of the magazine, there is a forum on which you can discuss Fujairah issues, there are links to other sites and most importantly some classified ads—this is a good place when you want to sell your car, check out Fujairah employment opportunities or advertise your next meeting.

The Editor-in-Chief, Dr Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi, the Managing Editor, Virginia Valentine and the whole team at the Fujairah Observer do a terrific job.

In a booming city that does not have its own newspaper the Fujairah Observer has provided over the years an important glue, especially for the English speaking community. It introduces readers to Fujairah personalities and provides informative articles as well as some amusing trivia.

Let other people know of this new web site, especially your friends and families in other countries and former Fujairah residents.

Turn up the volume as you click on this link: Fujairah Observer.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: The front cover of the Fujairah Observer, June 2008 edition.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Beekeeping and Honey Production in Fujairah

An interesting story on a beekeeper and honey production in Fujairah appears at this link:

Eman Mohammed, 'Business is Buzzing for Fujairah Beekeeper', Gulf News, 15 August 2008.

Image: Ali Salem Al Dhanahani and his sons who are learning the ancient art of beekeeping. Photo courtesy of Abdul Rahman, GN.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fujairah Taxis

Taking a Taxi in and from Fujairah
Are you missing the little white taxis we used to have in Fujairah?

I have posted a link to an article on Dubai taxis, added some reflections on changes in the Fujairah taxi service and asked to hear more feedback from Fujairah taxi passengers and those in other emirates.

The link:
Geoff Pound, ‘Taxis in Dubai, Fujairah and Other Emirates’, Experiencing the Emirates, 13 August 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: An old Fujairah taxi (now a collector's item).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Protecting UAE’s Coral Treasures

When, courtesy of Boing Boing (11 August 2008), I saw NOAA’s fantastic gallery of photographs of coral reefs around the world, it emphasized the treasure that the UAE, and particularly the east coast has, with its reefs and diving areas.

One NOAA representative says, “Coral reefs are extremely imperilled all over the world due to climate change, overfishing and pollution.”

Local diving organizations have for a long time warned UAE leaders and the public of the irreparable damage that oil slicks have been causing, especially to Fujairah’s east coastline.

These gorgeous photos help us to appreciate what divers see below the surface and why they have been calling us to attention. The clarity and radiance of these images help us to see what we have lost and they highlight the urgency to guard and protect what still remains.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Credit to NOAA for the gallery and thanks for the above coral specimen (from the Red Sea).

Related Articles:
Developers Aid efforts to Protect Coral Reef UAE, UAE Interact, 20 June 2008.
Project to Map Coral Reefs Begins in UAE, UAE Interact, 14 August 2007.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Oil Slicks AGAIN on UAE East Coast

After a dozen oil slicks on the UAE’s east coast since January, making 2008, the most damaging year, readers of the Xpress News would have been deeply disappointed to read of yet another serious spill.

The article that reported (7 August 2008) a three day beach closure at Khor Fakkan, complaints from shopkeepers and angry remarks from hoteliers and their guests, came with several photographs confirming the damning evidence.

Journalists at The National newspaper have meticulously charted the oily record in their pages (see ‘Oil Spill Blackens for Fujairah’) and have made many constructive suggestions. If the Environmental Departments of the various municipalities were run as an efficient business, after so much damage to the environment and tourism industry, managers would by now have resigned or been fired.

The Fujairah coastline environmental problem has been followed this year by international observers. Comments and letters have recently included an interest to assist from a representative responsible for such matters in Singapore, the biggest oil bunkering port in the world.

The UAE in its short history has been adept at harnessing the best talent in the world. It appears that to care for its waters and coastline UAE authorities need to develop national laws, policies and management procedures that are informed by best international practice.

Dr Geoff Pound

Source: Vikram Singh Barhat, ‘Oil Slick Licks Tourists’, Xpress, 7 August 2008.

Image: One of the many photos that need to be seen, taken by Karen Dias of Xpress and used with thanks. This photo depicts tourists trying to wipe oil off their feet and shoes. Two of the many tourists who will not return to the east coast until there is improvement.