Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A New Fort Roundabout in Fujairah Would Tell UAE’s Best Kept Secret

The Fort Roundabout
Fujairah in Focus has recently been dropping the suggestion of creating some new roundabout architecture, notably a new date roundabout and now a new fort roundabout.

Essence of the Emirates
The proposal is motivated neither by the view that more is better, nor by the notion that roundabout architecture must keep pace with a growing city. It is suggested because the roundabout architecture in Fujairah city is about cultural identity and the fort is a major symbol of Fujairah’s rich history.

Fujairah has never tried to be a ‘record breaker’ and is unlikely to be written up like Dubai, which was recently described as possessing:
+ the world’s tallest building
+ the world’s largest mall
+ the building with the largest floor space
+ the world’s tallest all-residential tower (to be completed!)
+ the world’s largest manmade island

It’s tempting to lust after world records and Abu Dhabi (in the same article) was touted as having the ‘world’s furthest leaning tower’.

Vocal Architecture
Fujairah seldom makes grand pronouncements and its marketing is restrained and modest. The nearest that introverted Fujairah gets in speaking about itself is through its roundabout architecture.

Sometimes information about Fujairah can be wheedled out of its spokespersons as it was in a recent interview with Patrick Antaki, the General Manager of Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort. For this interview he was speaking as a member of the newly created Fujairah Tourism and Antiquities Authority (FTAA).

Making Some Noise
Antaki talked up the emirate’s assets which included the coast with its beach holidays, diving and fishing (including fly fishing). He also highlighted the mountains in which resides much natural beauty, typified by the UAE’s first national park, Wadi Waruyah.

But according to Antaki, the first tasks of the FTAA are “to put the tourism house in order” and to develop significant infrastructure. Only after that can the FTAA “start really making some noise.”

‘And Nobody Knows About Them’
In setting up the FTAA the Ruler of Fujairah highlighted the twin aims of the new strategy—to grow traditional types of tourism (mountains and scenic beauty) and to showcase the emirate’s antiquities.

Antaki elaborated:

“I don’t know if you know but Fujairah has the largest number of antiquities in the country. I mean forts, old houses, old mosques and nobody knows about them—it’s the UAE’s best kept secret.”

Telling Secrets
Best wishes to the FTAA as they do the ground work prior to making the big noise.

Perhaps the establishment of a new Fort Roundabout might be the first signal that the emirate is committed to a new era in sharing its treasures for others to enjoy.

Suggested Location
It may be appropriate for the Fort Roundabout to be located at the junction of Showroom Rd., Al Sharqi Rd and Sheikh Zayed Rd., below the Fujairah fort and along the road from the Fujairah Museum.

View Suggested Location for Fort Roundabout in a larger map

Discover What Fujairah is about from its Roundabouts, FIF, 3 September 2010.
Fishing Lures People to Fujairah and Still They’re Getting Hooked, FIF, 14 September 2010.
It’s Time for the New Date Roundabout in Fujairah, FIF, 18 September 2010.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page upon which many more articles and links are posted than on this blog.

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Image: “It is suggested because the roundabout architecture in Fujairah city is about cultural identity and the fort is a major symbol of Fujairah’s rich history.” (Photo courtesy of Webshots)

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