Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pictures of Asiania and Fujairah Parachute Championships

The 12th Asiania Parachute Championships and the 1st Fujairah International Open were launched today (Friday 31 October 2008) with great festivity.

Grandstands were erected along the Fujairah Corniche with the Arabian Sea being a fitting backdrop to the colorful event.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, the Fujairah Crown Prince, graced the event which was attended by several thousand people from Fujairah, the Emirates and many countries of the world. Over 400 competitors from 35 countries were welcomed by representatives of the Asiania and Fujairah Parachute Clubs.

The Fujairah Parachute team members descended holding flags of the UAE, the flags of participating countries and flags bearing the pictures of the rulers of the UAE.

Other parachutists hung from chutes in the colours of the sponsors of the competitions. While they jumped and jockeyed to hit the landing target, a band played.

A plane flew over the crowd for about ten minutes with noise and smoke trails adding to the atmosphere. At times it dropped so low it nearly shaved the heads of the spectators.

The final act was the fly around by several engine-powered parachutes that dropped paper in festive fashion.

View Some Pictures
An assortment of photographs from the opening ceremony can be seen at this online photo gallery.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: One of the colourful parachutes.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Parachutists Flying High Over Fujairah

On Friday 31 October the 12th Asiania Parachute Championships and the 1st Fujairah International Open 2008, is being staged in Fujairah.

These competitions are organised by the Fujairah International Airport and the Emirates Aviation Association and will continue until November 7.

The Friday spectacular is planned to get under way at 4pm near the Marina Club on the Fujairah Corniche and will feature 400 competitors from 35 countries.

Source: Fuad Ali, Fujairah Set for High-Flying Events, Gulf News, 29 October 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

All About Plastic Recycling in Fujairah

Rajnish Sinha, the General Manager of Horizon Technologies at the Fujairah Free Zone, spoke to the Dubai Eye Breakfast Show this week (26 October 2008).

Rajnish was asked questions about his new recycling plant in Fujairah which is turning old plastic bottles from the UAE and Oman into new material.

Click on this link to hear the 20 minutes interview from 103.8 Dubai Eye.

Oman Leads UAE in Recycling By Using Fujairah Facility, FIF.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Many of the workers at the Horizon Technologies recycling plant in Fujairah. Rajnish is in the front row wearing a black shirt. (Photo courtesy of Horizon Technologies)

Bad New for Oil Refinery in Fujairah

Chris Stanton at The National reports:

Wide profit margins for oil refiners are coming to an end along with the world’s appetite for oil, experts say, marking the end to a long boom in the downstream oil industry.

The downturn comes just as the UAE is set to double its refining capacity and could slow the country’s efforts to diversify its oil and gas industry away from simple crude oil exports.

That is bad news for the UAE, which is in the midst of expanding its refinery at Ruwais and studying the feasibility of building a refinery in Fujairah. Together, the two export-orientated projects would add 617,000 barrels per day (bpd) to the country’s current refining capacity of 628,000 bpd.

To read the full article:
Chris Stanton, Refining Losing its Lustre, The National, 27 October 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Oil refinery, Fujairah.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Visiting Masafi Wadi

Masafi Wadi is a popular place to visit in the eastern emirate of Fujairah.

Luke on his Luke’s Dubai Adventures journal has an interesting post (26 October 2008) on his ‘bush’ walk around the wadi—including how to get there and some of the highlights.

His descriptive notes also come with some photos, one of which is displayed here.

I asked Luke how far you could go in a standard car if you do not have a FWD and he said:

"You can go about 400 metres off the road in a standard car Geoff. We turned off after the bridge which leads to the dump (see the map on the link above). There is a track before the bridge that is a little more well maintained which you might be able to get further. All depends on the clearance under your car. It’s a nice walk though - start early is my advice!"

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Farmed creek valley in a sheltered spot - palm trees and irrigated crops. (Photograph courtesy of Luke at the above link).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Corruption Trial Commences in Fujairah Courts

A high-profile corruption trial of Fujairah Municipality’s former director and seven other suspects got under way today (26 October 2008).

The director was dismissed in June from his post as municipality director, after he was embroiled in serious allegations claiming that he had sold government land for personal gain.

Fuad Ali, Former Fujairah Civic Chief Denies Corruption Charges as Trial Begins, Gulf News, 26 October 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Fujairah Court house (Photo courtesy of Fuad Ali and GN at the above link).

Friday, October 24, 2008

Economic Aspirations of Fujairah City and the East Coast Emirate.

“With most economic indicators in positive territory, the emirate of Fujairah is on course to realising its true economic potential, a senior official said.”

Read this entire Gulf News article (23 October 2008) by Fuad Ali, including an interview with Mohammad Bin Majid Al Aleeli, director-general of Fujairah's Department of Industry and Economy, about the economic aspirations of the East Coast emirate.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: A view of the back of many new buildings which stand on the left hand side as you come down the main street of Fujairah from Dubai.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Plastic Supermarket Bags Slowly Being Replaced by Jute

Plastic bags are gradually being distributed in UAE supermarkets but a Gulf News survey conducted among people in Fujairah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi indicates that residents' customs are gradually changing.

A cross section of people has already taken action in preserving the environment and using jute bags for their groceries.

Jute bags are coming to Fujairah according to the manager of the Lulu Hypermarket. But progress is extremely slow.

The key stimulus will be the provision of jute bags in supermarkets and the incentives that shops give to customers to make the vital change.

Why not ask the manager of your supermarket to make available or sell environmentally friendly bags? As the saying goes, “If the people lead, the leaders will soon follow.”

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: A smart and progressive lead by Magrudy’s Bookshop in providing jute green bags.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Visiting the Fujairah Museum

Some basic details about the Fujairah Museum, including opening hours, admission costs and location can be found at this link:

Interactive: Museums in the UAE, Gulf News, 17 October 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Exhibit in Fujairah Museum (courtesy of Gulf News).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nothing to Do in Dubai so Visit Fujairah

“It was the evening of our third day in Dubai. And once you have seen the malls (again) on the second day and looked at the (seriously crowded) beach on day three, I find nothing to do in Dubai.”

“And it wasn’t even like our first visit—it must have been visit number one thousand forty nine (Dubai is an invariable stopover for us to meet my husband’s sister and brother who live there). So when some friends suggested we drive to Fujairah, we said well, why not?”

To read of Gargi Habib’s visit to Fujairah, her impressions of the Hajar mountains, the authentic markets on the way, the low rise buildings that don’t give your neck that Dubai whiplash, the beautiful sea and beaches, the bull butting, the food, Gargi’s restaurant and hotel recommendations and her photos, check out this article:

Gargi Habib, 'Small Wonder', India Today Group Online (ITGO), 16 October 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: The beaches, the blue sea, the clear sky, the Hajars and the recreation in what Gargi calls, this ‘undiscovered emirate’. (Photo courtesy of Gargi Habib and ITGO from the above link)

Fujairah to be Linked by Rail to Rest of UAE and Saudi Arabia

AME Info reports (16 October 2008) the announcement that the UAE will soon create a company to oversee a 900km rail line from Fujairah to the Saudi border.

The proposed railway could feed into an international system, currently being discussed by GCC states.

No details yet on dates and the type of rail service proposed.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Are the new UAE trains going to look like this?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oman Leads UAE in Recycling by Using Fujairah Facility

The Times of Oman (via Zawya) is reporting a major advance in recycling and environmental concern in Oman that is made possible by a new company based in Fujairah, UAE.

The report from Muscat says:
“Tanuf (National Mineral Water Co.) has taken the lead as a major investor in setting up the first PET recycling facility in the region.”

“Horizon Technologies FZE (HTF) is the state-of-the-art PET recycling facility set up in Fujairah, UAE with an annual capacity to recycle 20,000 tonnes of Post Consumer PET Bottles (PCPB).”

“Tanuf joins the plastic recycling project of the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) and carries it forward by delivering the collected bottles to the recycling plant in Fujairah.”

“As part of the project, PET disposal bins will be placed at housing and commercial complexes, colleges, restaurants and commercial institutions. Tanuf has urged the residents of Oman to dispose off all types of PET bottles at the nearest Tanuf disposal bin and contribute towards reducing the carbon footprint. Carbon footprint is simply termed as the amount of green house gas emission resulting from activity consuming electricity and/or any type of fuel.”

“Nida Helou, ESO, manager said: 'The Environment Society of Oman is pleased to join hands with Tanuf to expand our recycling project. Recycling plastic saves raw materials, water and energy and hence contributes to minimising our ecological footprint. However, we cannot succeed in this initiative without the joint effort of each and every one of you. So help us make a difference by segregating your plastic bottles.'”

“PCPB will be collected from the bins, baled and shipped to HTF at Fujairah for recycling. The used PET bottles would then be recycled into flakes and pellets (RPET) for manufacturing value added packaging products for non-food applications such as PET containers and bottles, PET sheets and thermoformed products like egg trays etc. Recycling one tonne of PET saves approximately 5700 KWH of electricity and approximately 700 gallons of oil. For example, an empty 1.5ltr Tanuf bottle, if recycled, will save enough energy to power a 60W light bulb for approximately five hours.”

What About Fujairah?
While there are recycling bins that have been placed at one or two educational institutions such as the Fujairah Women’s College (HCT), the Fujairah Municipality, in partnership with the Emirates Environmental group must similarly provide bins at Fujairah housing and commercial complexes, colleges, restaurants and commercial institutions. At the moment, only the ardent environmentalists will take their plastics and newspapers to the HCT College. Bins are needed alongside the existing rubbish skips and within easy reach of every home.

As is happening in Oman, Fujairah also needs an extensive education programme to teach people about the dangers of throwing plastic away and the advantages that come to everybody when plastic and other waste are recycled for further use.

Recycle Fujairah
We have the rubbish—plenty of plastic everywhere!

We have in Fujairah this new and progressive company, Horizon Technologies, located in the Freezone by the Fujairah Port, that, since June 2008 offers state of the art recycling facilities. It has an enormous capacity to recycle all of the plastic waste in this emirate and transform it into new bottles and egg trays.

We do not have the recycling bins with colour-coding (see picture) so people can separate plastics, glass, paper etc. This is a missing link.

We do not have the education that will train us all to move from a culture of chucking to conserving.

Oman Gives a Lead
It is ironic that Oman is moving strenuously in recycling and using Fujairah facilities while Fujairah is lagging behind when it has a twenty-first century recycling plant at its own back door.

To read further:
Tanuf Sets up Disposal Bins in Oman to Collect Used PET Bottles for Recycling, Zawya, 13 October 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Recycling Bins at HCT Women’s College. To read more, follow this link.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Panamanian Tanker Freed and Heading for Fujairah

A report from many sources, including the MGN on Thursday, 09 October 2008 said:

The Japanese-controlled, Panama-flag chemical tanker Irene was released by its Somali hijackers yesterday, according to the Philippine online news service News, Balitaph.

The report said that the under-secretary for migrant worker at the country's Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Esteban Conejos, has confirmed that the 15 Filipino crew members were released, in apparently good physical condition, at 23:30 local time yesterday.

The ship, with a total crew of 19, is reportedly now heading towards Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. Philippines embassy officials are expected to arrange for the Filipino crew members to be repatriated to Manila.

It is believed that 11 merchant ships are still being held to ransom in Somali waters.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Ship called Irene (not entirely sure whether this is the one. Can anyone confirm?)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fujairah Crown Prince Committed to Environment Around Quarries but How?

The UAE Daily News reports (6 October 2008) that the Fujairah Crown Prince HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, expressed the commitment of the Government of Fujairah to preserve the environment at all the cement plants and quarry sites in the Fujairah emirate.

This is very good news and the Crown Prince’s visit is expressive of his commitment and concern.

As quarry and cement dust pervades the Fujairah atmosphere, especially over those in settlements nearby these plants, it is imperative that the Fujairah government explains further details of how care for the environment will be secured.

Quarry dust is responsible for many respiratory illnesses so the people of Fujairah must hear more from the leaders of Fujairah about what they are doing to alleviate this serious health problem.

Source: Fujairah Crown Prince Inspects Quarry & Cement Sites, UAE Daily News, 6 October 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Fujairah Crown Prince HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi and colleagues on a visit of a quarry in the Fujairah emirate. (Photo courtesy of UAE Daily News at above link).

Fujairah Court Punishes by Jailing, Fining and Lashing

The Gulf News reported (7 October 2008) the following news from the Fujairah Police and the Courts:

“A 28-year-old man was jailed for three months, fined Dh500 and will receive 80 lashes after the Fujairah Appeal Court found him guilty of assaulting his wife, drinking alcohol and attempting suicide.”

While the news article may not have furnished all the details of the case, the report is noteworthy for several reasons:

Enough is Enough
The police and the courts are increasingly taking seriously the matter of domestic violence and women are exercising their rights. The article reports:

“The Emirati was arrested after his wife called up the police to complain that she was being assaulted.”

Such a court case will give courage to other women in similar circumstances to speak out rather than continue to suffer in silence when they or their children are attacked. This incident illustrates the way that the police are validating the testimony of those who are most vulnerable.

The public nature of this case will also serve as a deterrent to men and women who abuse members of their household.

Crime and Charges
The report continues by giving detail about the case, the crime and the charges:

“After arriving at their house, police discovered that the accused had attempted to suffocate himself in one of the rooms by discharging gas from a cylinder.”

“Police also suspected that the husband was under the influence of alcohol and a medical test later confirmed their suspicion.”

“The Emirati was charged with assaulting his wife, drinking alcohol and attempting suicide and the Fujairah Criminal Court found him guilty of all three charges.”

“The suspect chose to appeal the decision, but the convictions against him were upheld.”

In the United Arab Emirates attempting suicide and consuming alcohol (or being ‘under the influence of alcohol’) are illegal acts. It would be interesting to know how these acts would be viewed by police and the courts separately. Do Emiratis get apprehended, arrested and brought before the courts and punished for drinking alcohol or being ‘under the influence’?

Do Emiratis and people of other nationalities get taken to court for attempting to take their own life?

Or are the alcohol and suicide charges viewed with greater seriousness because one action led to domestic assault and the other followed the crime?

Punishment Fitting the Crime
The use of lashing is not unique to the UAE but it is a punitive measure that is still practiced in some countries of the world. It is a physical punishment in response to a physical crime—80 lashes in this case was deemed appropriate for the physical abuse that was meted out by the husband.

The punishment of jailing, fining and lashing may well serve as a measure to prevent the husband from engaging in domestic violence again. It is interesting that the convicted and the person who made the complaint are not mentioned by name, thus minimizing public humiliation for them both.

The details may be missing from the report but what remedial action is offered by the court and the prison to the wife and the husband apart from time apart, time to think, and physical and financial pain?

Does the Fujairah Justice system offer help in the way of anger management and is there counseling provided to enable this couple to work through their problems and explore the possibilities of marital separation or reconciliation?

Dr Geoff Pound

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fujairah the ‘Rising Star’ of the UAE

Fujairah is being promoted as the place of ‘eternal sunshine’—where Europeans in particular may escape the cold and ‘grey days of winter’.

It is lauded for its blue skies and is being called ‘the rising star’ of the Emirates.

Its ‘undiscovered’ quality is a selling point as it is not as crowded as other emirates but tourists need to book quickly or get crushed in the stampede!

For an example of the way Fujairah is being promoted see this web site:

Discover the Eternal Sunshine of the United Arab Emirates, Easier.Com, 1 October 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Pampering in the Fujairah Sun (courtesy of the web site at the above link).

Fujairah Shaikh Offers Eid Prayers and Receives Well-Wishers

His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Mohammad Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, on Tuesday performed the Eid Al Fitr عيد الفطر prayer at the Grand Eid Musalla in Fujairah.

Shaikh Hamad Bin Mohammad Al Sharqi shared in these prayers with leaders of many different departments of the Fujairah Municipality and business sectors.

Attention turned to the Shaikh extending hospitality, receiving his guests and wishing people in attendance a happy and blessed Eid.

Source: Fujairah ruler Performs Eid Prayer and Receives Well-Wishers, Gulf News, 30 September 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Shaikh Hamad received Shaikhs, senior governmental officials and other well-wishers at the Madhab Palace. [Photo courtesy of WAM]