Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fujairah Celebrates Graduation of Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad Al Sharqi

Yesterday (29 November 2010) Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi graduated from the University of London Metropolitan in England.

Sheikh Rashid was awarded a Masters degree in Finance and Investment.

In Attendance
His father, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, attended the graduation in London.

Also present for the graduation ceremony were His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, the Crown Prince of Fujairah, Sheikh Maktoum bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Saif Al Sharqi and several other Sheikhs and senior officials of the Fujairah Government.

Bachelor to Master
In May 2009 Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Webster University, the same institution from which his brother, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, graduated in 2008 with a degree in International Relations with Management.

This high qualification will be helpful to Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi in his current capacity as Chairman of the Fujairah Authority for Culture and Information as well as in any future roles.

Mabrook!
Residents of Fujairah extend their congratulations to Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi upon this well-deserved attainment.

Source
Fujairah Ruler Attends Graduation of Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad, WAM, 29 November 2010.

Take a Look
Further pictures of Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi and his family are in this photo album.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi graduating as Master in Finance and Investment.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Keeping Ancient Traditions Alive in Fujairah with the Al Saif Sword Competition

In a few short weeks traditional Emirati sword dancing has been melded into a modern competition which has been dominating life in Fujairah over the last month.

The sword competition has been the focus for a major heritage display and festival with falcons, horses, camels as well as the showcasing of Emirati traditional practices.

Arabic food and drinks have not only refreshed but created satisfying memories of local culture.

The sword dancing has been done to the accompaniment of rhythmic music and yolla dancing by older men.

Different phases have been established in the competition, commencing with the entry into the arena of two zafin (swordsmen) who vibrate their weapons, the jumping up in the air following by dueling and the clashing of the swords, the skilful throwing and catching of the swords and then the final dance with sword balancing and other improvisation.

A team of judges, versed in the ways of the sword from the mountains of the Emirates, has quickly established criteria by which the many features of the sword activities are to be judged.

The Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition is about dancing, rhythm, flexibility, sword skills, jumping, demeanor, respect and a sense of presence.

Through this competition His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi and his organizers have discovered a fascinating way to keep ancient traditions alive, arouse respect among competitors and spectators for the local culture, instill a sense of national pride and display the heritage for others to appreciate and enjoy.

Take a Look
Thanks to Fujairah photographer, Alan Nambiar, for some wonderful images from last Friday at the Fujairah Fort when world records were established. These can be viewed in this album.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: “The Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition is about dancing, rhythm, flexibility, sword skills, jumping, demeanor, respect and a sense of presence.” (One of the many photos courtesy of Fujairah photographer, Alan Nambiar).

Pressure Blaster Required by UAE Artist

Fujairah’s fused glass artist, Haley Haddow of The Glass Dominion, is seeking a ‘pressure pot’ or ‘pressure blaster’ to remove glass at high pressure as she creates her designs.

Do you have one for sale in the UAE or do you have any ideas about how to track one down?

Haley is happy to collect it if it is in the UAE.

Her business phone number: 050 191 2886

Take a Look
Follow this link to see the picture and details of what Haley is wanting.

Geoff Pound

Image: Picture of a ‘pressure pot’ or ‘pressure blaster’.

Fujairah’s Growth Spurt in Construction Industry

In the Arabian Business (27 November 2010), Elizabeth Broomhall discusses Fujairah’s preparation for a surge in the construction market

Rich Imagery
Broomhall repeats the oft-repeated and effusive claims of Fujairah being:
+ The GCC’s ‘hidden gem’.
+ ‘The jewel of the Middle East’
+ A ‘goldmine of opportunities for building contractors’

Attractive Features
The author believes Fujairah’s uniqueness as a mountain emirate, beauty spot and ‘quaint’ get away destination are contributing to its surge in tourism, the oil industry and in construction.

Ten years From Now?
What do you think Fujairah will look like in 2020?

One construction manager says Fujairah will have three times the number of hotels and resorts that exist today and the airport will have developed into a ‘truly international airport’.

Pros and Cons
This article highlights the business opportunities in many sectors and summarizes some of the advantages and disadvantages of doing business in Fujairah.

Link
To read the entire article, follow this link:

Elizabeth Broomhall, The GCC’s Hidden Gem, Arabian Business, 27 November 2010.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: “Other draws include an array of natural beauty-spots, from unspoiled, sandy beaches, to waterfalls, coral reefs and natural marine reserves.” (Photo courtesy of Arabian Business)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Prize-Winners and Fish at the Fujairah Fishing Competition 2010

Family Fun Day
It was a productive day at Fujairah’s Fishing Competition yesterday (26 November 2010).

Addressing contestants and their supporters at the prize giving ceremony Major Ahmed Ebraheim Alblooshi said, “This is primarily a family fun day out which is more important than who wins the competition.”

The water conditions were calm and contestants returned contented after a great day on the Fujairah seas. Two boats did not return at the appointed time—obviously they were enjoying things so much that they gave the weigh-in and award ceremony a miss.

Winners
Here are the winners according to the various categories, as given by the FIMC Organizing Committee:

Heaviest Fish
1st Chris Brand
2nd Andrew Ross
3rd John Fish

Longest Fish
1st Loland Rossler
2nd Erich Koning
3rd Arkady

Women’s Competition
1st Leyla
2nd Blanka Rossler
3rd Zhann Muchnik

Mabrook!
Congratulations to the prize winners and all participants.

Congratulations also to Major Ahmed and his well-drilled team for their good planning, efficient administrative and their ongoing commitment to providing marine recreational events for Fujairah residents and visitors from other emirates and countries.

Get Your Fishing Tackle in Line
Major Ahmed told people present that this was the first fishing competition of the season and that there were two more fishing competition days to come. Dates and details will be announced soon.

Take a Look
Have a look at this photo album compiled by the Fujairah International Marine Club.

Here’s another photo album compiled by Fujairah in Focus.

Related
Great Day for the Fujairah Fishing Competition (plus photos), FIF, 26 November 2010.
Fishing Competition Fun Day this Friday in Fujairah, FIF, 23 November 2010.

Further
Get Your New Brochure for New Season at Fujairah Marine Club, FIF, 23 November 2010.
Fujairah International Marine Club Extends Marina by 60 Berths, FIF, 29 September 2010.
New Observation Deck to View Fujairah Marine Activities, FIF, 29 September 2010.
Take a Dhow Cruise on the Fujairah Seas, FIF, 23 September 2010.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: Dorado was the most popular species of fish caught at Fujairah’s Fishing Competition.

Two Guinness World Records Established in Fujairah

Two world records were established yesterday (26 November 2010) at the Fujairah Fort as part of the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition, sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, the Crown Prince of Fujairah.

Largest Yolla Dance
The largest Yolla Dance (traditional Emirati dance) was achieved when 285 people participated in a dance against the backdrop of the spectacular Fujairah Fort. This feat smashed the existing record that had been set at Dubai’s Global Village in 2008 when 221 joined in the yolla dance.

Highest Sword Throw
The highest throw of the sword was achieved yesterday when Hazaa Sulaiman Al Shehhi of Dibba, Fujairah, threw his sword 21.275 metres, thus creating a new world record.

The height of the sword throw was measured by laser technology.

A representative of Guinness World Records was in attendance and addressed a press conference at the evening programme.

Competition Nearing Climax
The sword competition was vigorous last night with some zafin (swordsmen) showing signs of pressure. There are two large circles marked on the ground at the fort where the competition is being staged. Swordsmen are to throw the swords up and catch them while still within the circle. If they do not catch the sword or the sword lands outside the circle they lose points. One accomplished semi-finalist, in attempting to gain height, threw his sword astray to such an extent that it landed outside the arena.

Mabrook! مبروك
Congratulations to Hazaa Sulaiman Al Shehhi, the Yolla dancers, the organisers of the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition and High Highness, the Crown Prince, for setting these records and thus generating international interest and awareness of Emirati heritage.

Check the Competition Schedule at this link.

Contact Details
800-ALSAIF
Al Saif - Tel: +971 50 989 2000
Fax: +971 9 222 7183
E-mail: info@mhm.ae

More Information on Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition
Personal Website of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi
بطولة السيف Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition Facebook Page

Further
World Records Add New Dimension to Sword Competition in Fujairah, FIF, 22 November 2010.
Dine Out at the Fujairah Fort and Cut Your Cake With a Sword, FIF, 4 November 2010.
Sword Competition at Fujairah Fort is Much More Than Swords, FIF, 4 November 2010.
Traditional Sword Competition Off to a Good Start at Fujairah Fort, FIF, 3 November 2010.
All the Details on the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition in Fujairah, FIF, 25 October 2010.
Swordsmen Showcase Their Skills in Fujairah, FIF, 22 October 2010.
Al Saif Traditional Sword Demonstration and Training Commences in Fujairah, FIF, 20 October 2010.
Anna Zacharias, Not Everyone Can Shake the Sword, The National, 10 October 2010.
Traditional Sword Competition to be Held in Fujairah, FIF, 30 September 2010.

Take a Look at the Crafts
Check out some of the crafts to look at or buy at the heritage souq in this photo album.

See the Food
Check out the amazing prices and download the menu for the Fujairah Fort Café Menu from this link.

Some photos of the food available at the fort are in this photo album.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: Two Guinness World Records were established in Fujairah.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Great Day for the Fujairah Fishing Competition

Organisers were expecting about 80 participants in the fishing competition sponsored by the Fujairah International Marine Club.

Finance Officer at the Marine Club, Abu Bakr, said, “It was a good season for fishing this year and the temperatures are ideal so we are expecting many participants.”

People arrived at the marina at 8am to register and ready their boats. Others were turning up to fish or go diving, unaware that a fishing competition was taking place today.

By 8.30am the organizers gave the go ahead and they will be expecting them back for the weigh-in and prize-giving ceremony at 4.30pm.

Fishermen were tight-lipped about their plans and would not reveal the GPS coordinates for their secret sites.

Some boaties were planning to get near the oil tankers and trawl for dorado which are plentiful at the moment. Others like Chris Brand were hoping to fight with another sailfish.

Pictures
Take a look at this photo album which will be added to later in the day.

Geoff Pound (Freelance writer)
geoffpound(at)gmail.com
0504849318

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: Poster for this year’s Fujairah Fishing Competition.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fishing in Fujairah—Encounter With a Sailfish

With the annual fishing competition commencing in Fujairah on Friday (26 November 2010), here is a wonderful story to get you inspired by South African expat in the UAE, Chris Brand.

This report illustrates the way fishing can be a fun, family/friendship experience:

“It was 6 o’clock sharp when we left the Fujairah Marina. The fathers on board the fishing boat of Barracuda Dive Centre each had his own expectations of what the day would offer. Sons were chatting excitedly, bragging about how big a fish each would catch. I knew how much fun they would have, but little did I realize what lay in store for me.”

“Very soon we saw shoals of small Tuna breaking the surface and the fun started. First the fathers took their turns in reeling in these little speedsters. Then they stepped aside to give their sons the opportunity of catching their first real fish. When each person on the boat had a fair share of fun, and teaching the young ones that you should only take from the sea what you need, I changed the lures to target the young Dorado which at this time of year seem to flock to the Fujairah waters in vast numbers.”

“Almost immediately the action started. A number of Dorado came from the side and homed in on the lures at great speed. Three of the reels were screaming and excited fathers stepped up to the rods for their first battles of the day. This situation always calls for a little intervention as each fisherman wants to land his fish as soon as possible. I usually ask the most experienced one to leave his fish far out so that we can bring the fish in one by one. If there is the remotest chance of releasing the fish, I do so. Unfortunately some fish are hooked badly and those are the ones we keep for the table. The Dorado kept us busy for the next hour or two, allowing even the youngest son to catch his first one.”

“And then we saw the Sailfish feeding a little distance away. As our lures passed the area where we saw it feeding, one of our reels started squealing. This was my battle. In its first run, the beast peeled off more than half the line and then it started jumping and twisting, trying every trick in the book to get rid of the lure. In awe we watched as it did several tail walks re-entering the water with a huge splash. I have been fishing all my life, but never before was I called to pit all my skills against such a magnificent predator. The Sailfish gyrated, came straight at the boat, just to turn suddenly and run away again in a dual of endurance which it had to lose eventually. We gently took it out of the water with our hands for a few seconds, just to take pictures before we just as gently put it back in the water.”

“That sense of release, that moment when you set a phenomenal fish like this free, is indescribable. To see the great tail fin flick from side to side as if to wave us good bye…”

“I salute you O’ Great Sword Fighter of the open ocean. You put up a valiant fight. May you live for many years and spawn many offspring for future generations.”

Thanks to Chris for this terrific fishing story from the Fujairah waters.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: This isn’t a photo of the actual sailfish that Chris hooked but one from the files.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Palm Tree Named in Fujairah While Palm Festival Meets in Abu Dhabi

A new species of palm tree has been named in Fujairah, UAE, to coincide with the 4th International Date Palm Festival meeting in Abu Dhabi.

The tree has been named phoenix etisalatus.

While it belongs to the genus phoenix and looks very much like the ubiquitous date palm (phoenix dactylifera), this variety does not produce fruit. Furthermore, the leaves are not being used for making mats and baskets nor are there signs that the wood is being harvested for posts and furniture.

The main purpose of this new Emirati palm tree is to serve an aesthetic function—to beautify by hiding ugly telephone towers.

The etisalatus is extremely high (30m), erect and it usually stands alone. This variety is increasingly seen in built up urban areas of the UAE.

The leaves are pinnate, 3-5m long with the full span of the crown (umbrella) spreading about 8-10m. The absence of leaf fall makes this tree highly desirable for growing among city buildings.

It is difficult to distinguish the etisalatus from the dactylifera but this new variety possesses the distinctive 8cm spikes at regular intervals up and down the trunk thus making it ideal for climbing.

Related
New Species of Tree Identified in the UAE, ETE, 21 March 2007.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: “The tree has been named phoenix etisalatus.”

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fantastic Fun in Fujairah this Friday

Who said that nothing ever happens in Fujairah?

Take this Friday (26th November 2010) for example and looking at the forecast (pictured), you'll want to stay for a week.

Fishing for Fun from 8
You could start off the day by participating in the fishing competition from the ship-shaped Fujairah International Marine Club. There’ll be some enthusiasts who will be serious about the handsome prizes but the management at the club intend it to be a day of safety and fun.

Bringing or chartering a boat on the Fujairah waters gives a different perspective of the emirate than what you see from the car or walking along the street. If this is your first visit to Fujairah, have a look at the Fujairah 360 Degrees Panorama to get an idea of the city layout.

See how fishing is integral to the Fujairah way of life.

Dhow Cruise
If fishing is not your caper then spend some of the time on a dhow cruise exploring the eastern coastline of the UAE and frolicking in the Arabian Sea.

Walk the Beaches
If you’re more a landlubber than a boatie you can walk the corniche, do some bird spotting or explore the terrific beaches in the neighbouring emirate of Sharjah. The water temperatures are great at the moment. Many amusements at the Khor Fakkan beach and wonderful solitude on the Khor Kalba Beach as you walk down to the Omani border.

Bull Butting from 4
Bull fighting in Madrid but bloodless bull butting in Fujairah. This starts in the late afternoon.

If you are looking for more, check out some things to do along the Fujairah Corniche.

Hungry?
Lots of Emiratis are cooking up their food on a BBQ at beaches and on the side of the road at the moment. If you aren’t fishing, get some fish from the fish souq or just have a look at this market which is something ancient and modern.

If you’re looking for something more advanced there are seafood restaurants at the Harbour Club and the new Concorde Hotel’s Samakino, Arabic food at Al Meshwar, Chinese delicacies at the Oriental or the Zhonghua Huiguan Restaurant, coffee and cake at the Faseel Café, Arabic sweets at the Tourist Night Souq, fast food at the new McDonald’s or the refurbished KFC or why not go Yemeni with a mandi? Then some like to end the day with a scenic shisha.

Reflection
If you care for some formal reflection there are mosques a plenty (see the grand mosque emerging) and a growing number of Christian churches that congregate at different times on a Friday or on other days of the week.

Sword Competition from 7
This Friday at the Fujairah Fort there is something special—two world records to be set, the continuation of the sword competition, enjoyable entertainment, Arabic food to sample and heritage crafts to purchase. Come on down after you have seen some bull butting.

Saturday
Stay over night in one of a number of hotels and do your own exploring of heritage sites (Fujairah Fort, Al Bidya Mosque etc.) and nature parks (Wadi Wurayah).

There is much to do in Fujairah during most weekends. Not usually lots of canned entertainment as in other UAE cities but part of the fun of Fujairah is ferreting out for yourself the surprising and fascinating features of this emirate.

Getting Here
You can get here by boat, ocean liner or seaplane but most enjoy the unusual desert and mountain landscape that one experiences by car or bus and the opportunity to stop at places like the Friday Market.

Finding More of What’s On
Check out the Fujairah Observer which comes out as a monthly magazine and appears online at this link. The back copies are a mine of information with informative articles and lists of restaurants and hotels.

Fujairah in Focus on Facebook is regularly updated with news, views, links and pictures of all things Fujairah.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: Take a look at the weekend forecast for Fujairah: Every day it is sunny. Every day it is comfortable, reaching a high of 86F/30C. Every night it is balmy, sinking to a low of 63F/17C.

Weather
Keep a check on the upcoming Fujairah weather on the right column of this Fujairah in Focus site.

How to Get to Fujairah?
Here are directions for one way from Dubai/Sharjah to Fujairah and some things to see along the road. Download the directions from this link.

Fishing Competition Fun Day this Friday in Fujairah

Family Event for All
A fishing competition is being organized for this Friday (26 November 2010) in the Fujairah waters. It is sponsored and directed by the Fujairah International Marine Club whose representative said:

“The competition is a family day that attracts many more visitors from different emirates and different nationalities. The Fujairah Fishing Competition has become a regular event on the Fujairah International Marine Club Calendar.”

Quintessentially Fujairah
A fishing competition is typical of Fujairah entertainment—ordinary fun, everyday entertainment, surprisingly unpredictable and they’ve been doing it for centuries here on the east coast.

In Brief (see Rules and Regulations document linked below for more detailed info)
1. There is certain safety equipment that every boat must have.

2. All competitors must register (see link to registration form below)

3. Only some fishing techniques allowed.

4. Registrations to be completed between 8.00am-8.30am Friday at FIMC.

5. Boats must be back on land by 4.30pm.

6. Prize giving at 5.15pm.

7. The judges’ decisions will be final.

Prizes and Categories
Heaviest fish (3 Prizes)
Longest fish (3 Prizes)
Ladies Categories (3 Prizes)
Most unusual catch (1 Prize)

Entrance Fee
Men Dh50
Women Free
Children ?

Contact and Registration
For registration please contact:
Fujairah International Marine Club
P.O.Box: 2099 Fujairah UAE
Tel: 09 222 11 66
Fax: 09 222 97 11
E-mail fimcfuj@emirates.net.ae
FIMC Facebook Page
FIMC Web site (Under Reconstruction)

Download the Documents
The Rules and Regulations for the FIMC Fishing Competition (26 November 2010) can be downloaded from this link.

The Entry Form for the FIMC Fishing Competition (26 November 2010) can be downloaded from this link.

Inspiration for Fishing
Check out some of these links to recent fishing outings in Fujairah waters:
Divers Go Shark Spotting, 7 Days, 23 November 2010.
Lure Fishing for Dorado in Fujairah (video), YouTube, 20 November 2010.
Look at the Fish We Caught, Barracuda Diving, 18 November 2010.
Look at this Haul, Barracuda Diving, 6 November 2010.

Related
Get Your New Brochure for New Season at Fujairah Marine Club, FIF, 23 November 2010.
FIMC Extends Marina by 60 Berths, FIF, 29 September 2010.
New Observation Deck to View Fujairah Marine Activities, FIF, 29 September 2009.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: What a Catch! (6 November 2010). A good day’s work. Photo courtesy of Barracuda Diving Facebook Page.

Get Your New Brochure for New Season at Fujairah Marine Club

A stylish new brochure has recently been produced by the Fujairah International Marine Club to showcase the growing number of services it is offering in this 2010-2011 season.

Marine Services
The brochure pictures and lists a variety of marine services such as berthing facilities, docking services, workshop facilities and boat parking.

Charter and Cruising
The brochure notes the opportunities to rent jet skis, boats for fishing and cruising on a dhow.

Related Facilities
A growing number of related facilities are available to residents and tourists including a bookshop, Internet Service, conference room, diving centre and tackle shop.

Refreshment Possibilities
The Marine Club also accommodates the popular Harbour Club Restaurant (with its shisha, live music, quiz night, new pool tables and outside terrace) and the newly opened Chinese Restaurant (with private and public dining, Night Club and karaoke units).

Marine Events
The wide range of events on this year’s calendar are pictured: international speed boat racing, modern and traditional sailboat racing, jetski races, modern and traditional rowing races, swimming competitions, children’s camp, raft building and the fishing competition.

Availability
Contact the Marine Club or call in to request a bundle of brochures for your workplace.
Fujairah International Marine Club
P.O.Box: 2099 Fujairah UAE
Tel: 09 222 11 66
Fax: 09 222 97 11
E-mail fimcfuj@emirates.net.ae
FIMC Facebook Page
FIMC Web site (Under Reconstruction)

Take a Look
A copy of the brochure is downloadable from this link.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: Front page of the stylish new Fujairah Marine Club Brochure.

Monday, November 22, 2010

McDonald’s Opens First Restaurant in Fujairah, UAE

History was made yesterday and bedlam was created with the huge number of customers arriving at the first McDonald’s Restaurant to open in Fujairah.

Today at lunch time the drive-through was full but flowing freely. The restaurant seats were almost all taken and the place was buzzing. The counter area was congested with excited and hungry customers. There were children dragging along their parents and customers from many different nationalities were dining out today on the famous fast food.

Today is the first time the Fujairah restaurant will be opened for 24 hours a day service.

Finally Empowered
When I congratulated Mr. Rafic Fakih, General Manager of McDonald’s UAE, on the opening, he was relieved more than elated. He said:

“It took some time to get the electricity connected but now it is OK. Our store has been sitting there ready to go. When the electricity was switched on by the Fujairah Municipality it took us only 10-12 days to get ready for the opening.

Opening Rush
“Yesterday,” Mr. Rafih said, “There was a rush between 7pm and 11pm, especially with the drive-through. We brought in extra staff yesterday and a few more today because it was busier than we expected. It looks like the restaurant sitting there for one year waiting to be connected to the power did have the benefit of alerting Fujairah people to the existence of McDonald’s. We will have a rush for the first 1-2 weeks.”

Opening Special
In addition to the festive balloons, McDonald's Fujairah was offering a special discount (20%-30%) on its breakfast meals for the first couple of months after opening.

Future Fujairah Restaurants
Mr. Rafih said that McDonald’s had not yet decided on other restaurant locations in Fujairah. He said:

“We are discussing the possibility of opening in a Fujairah mall as well as establishing another stand-alone restaurant. Possibly in the next 2-3 weeks we shall make a decision.”

Take a Look
Some pictures of Fujairah McDonald’s in full swing are posted in this photo album.

Location

View McDonald's First Restaurant in Fujairah, UAE in a larger map

Related
McDonald’s, Thai Express and Subway Coming to Fujairah, FIF, 16 June 2010.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: “Today is the first time the Fujairah restaurant will be opened for 24 hours a day service.”

World Records Add New Dimension to Sword Competition in Fujairah

A Fujairah swordsman setting a Guinness World Record this Friday (26th November 2010) for the world’s highest sword throw will add national interest and international recognition to the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition which is nearing the final stages.

A bid to smash the existing world record for the largest yolla dance will also be attempted.

Read the full, fascinating story in The National by Anna Zacharias.

Details for Friday 26 November 2010
Location
: Fujairah Fort
Festival Begins (crafts, food etc.): 4pm
Competition Commences: After Evening Prayers (which start shortly after 7pm)
Sponsor: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, the Crown Prince of Fujairah.

Competition Schedule at this link.

Contact Details
800-ALSAIF
Al Saif - Tel: +971 50 989 2000
Fax: +971 9 222 7183
E-mail: info@mhm.ae

More Information on Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition
Personal Website of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi
بطولة السيف Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition Facebook Page

Further
Dine Out at the Fujairah Fort and Cut Your Cake With a Sword, FIF, 4 November 2010.
Sword Competition at Fujairah Fort is Much More Than Swords, FIF, 4 November 2010.
Traditional Sword Competition Off to a Good Start at Fujairah Fort, FIF, 3 November 2010.
All the Details on the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition in Fujairah, FIF, 25 October 2010.
Swordsmen Showcase Their Skills in Fujairah, FIF, 22 October 2010.
Al Saif Traditional Sword Demonstration and Training Commences in Fujairah, FIF, 20 October 2010.
Anna Zacharias, Not Everyone Can Shake the Sword, The National, 10 October 2010.
Traditional Sword Competition to be Held in Fujairah, FIF, 30 September 2010.

Take a Look at the Crafts
Check out some of the crafts to look at or buy at the heritage souq in this photo album.

See the Food
Check out the amazing prices and download the menu for the Fujairah Fort Café Menu from this link.

Some photos of the food available at the fort are in this photo album.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: How high could you throw this sword and catch it? (Traditional Emirati sword with keys and banana for perspective)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

10 Reasons to Get Married in Fujairah on the First Day in December

WAM has announced today that “under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, a mass wedding will be held on the first day of December coinciding with the celebrations of the UAE 39th National Day.”

The Emirates News Agency also assures readers that registrations are still open for those who wish to join the mass wedding.

What a great idea and for those who have been putting off the decision, here are 10 reasons why the 1st December might be an opportune time to get married:

1. A mass wedding is the cheapest way to get married and this Fujairah event is part of a nation-wide tradition led by the UAE Rulers to counter the expensive private weddings that can take years to pay off. Traditional weddings can easily cost DH350,000 (Gulf News).

2. There’s much more fun when numbers of couples are ‘tying the knot’ and for those who are timid and shy, doing it with others gives courage.

3. The short period of time between this announcement and the wedding day (11 days) means you won’t be agonising over preparations and having sleepless nights for weeks, months or years. Sure, couples should not rush into such a big decision prematurely but if you have made up your mind to get married 11 days is ample time to prepare what is necessary. The other great event in your life—your funeral—will be prepared in much less time.

4. The wedding preparation is greatly reduced by the fact that there is an Organising Committee who will do most of the work for you. You’ll have to organise what you will wear and which friends will attend but the rest will be done by the Committee.

5. You’ve always wanted a wedding where crowds of people will attend so this is your grand opportunity! There’ll be thousands of people in attendance but you don’t have to pay for everything.

6. The news of Prince William and Kate Middleton getting engaged has created excitement around the world but with Fujairah’s mass wedding being sponsored by His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, the Crown Prince of Fujairah, this will give your wedding a royal touch. How many other couples do you know who have had royalty in attendance at their wedding?

7. Admittedly you will not have the cameras focused on you all of the time (what a blessing!) but at Fujairah’s mass wedding you will have a mass of photographers, videographers, journalists, bloggers and Twitterers covering the event. You could almost get by without hiring your personal photographer. Just get their contact numbers and ask them to send their pictures to you as their special wedding gift.

8. Fujairah’s mass wedding will be a million times more memorable than having your own private ceremony. You will make friends with other couples because of this shared bond. Your children will be able to say in the years to come that this was the day where it all began.

9. Remembering your wedding anniversary is for most couples an annual ordeal but ‘the first day in December’ has a nice ring to it and will be an easy date to recall.

10. Your wedding on the first of December, being associated with the UAE National Day (2 December) celebrations, will also make it easier to remember your anniversary and each year you can have another honeymoon on these public holidays!

This connection with National Day reminds us that at the heart of a strong nation are individuals (not always married couples) who enjoy and experience healthy friendships.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: “This Fujairah event is part of a nation-wide tradition led by the UAE Rulers to counter the expensive solo weddings that can take years to pay off.”

Fujairah Fort Featured in ‘Sand & Light’—Elements of Islamic Architecture

In the coffee-table book ‘Sand & Light’, produced (2008) by the Amanah division of HSBC, the Fujairah Fort is presented as an example of fine Islamic architecture.

The book covers four main forms of Islamic architecture—mosques, tombs, palaces and forts—examines the key elements of Islamic design, presents examples of the way these designs have been translated into modern buildings, discusses Middle Eastern and international influences and offers cameos of architectural pioneers and contemporary exponents.

Fujairah Fort
The words and photo of the Fujairah building describe the influences in its style, the history of the fort and the building’s various purposes.

The writer then captures something of the fort’s distinctive features:

“Blessed with a starkly beautiful and relatively isolated location, the fort has an uncanny ability to change colour according to the position of the sun in the desert sky: russet, ochre, vanilla white, grey and charcoal are just some of the hues it can take on.”

Stone and Sand
The final feature mentioned to ready readers for a visit is this concluding thought:

“Devoid of traditional Islamic ornamentation, perhaps the most striking aspect of this fortification is the simple stone work that interacts so beautifully with nature.”

Take a Look
Check out this photo album of the Fujairah Fort.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Visit the Fujairah Fort on Friday evenings (November 26 & December 10) and you will see the building lit up as the impressive backdrop for the final stages of the Al Saif, Traditional Sword Competition.

Image: “The fort has an uncanny ability to change colour according to the position of the sun in the desert sky.”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Finger Lickin’ Good Renovations at KFC Fujairah

The KFC in Fujairah’s main street is undergoing a AED 1.5 million renovation and the burning question is whether the carpenters and outfitters will finish before the finishing date expires.

The KFC hierarchy was hoping that the doors of the renovated chicken restaurant would open on 13 November 2010 and every day the builders are late the company will be fined AED 1,500 per day.

The renovation is not so much about providing more seats and tables but conforming to the new KFC concepts, colours and paneling.

One of the new features will be an enlarged party area on the mezzanine floor where children and their family and friends will be able to celebrate.

Tarek Hasbini of Creative Concepts has been overseeing the 45 day project and giving direction to his tradesmen who have been slogging away from 5am to midnight every day.

A small, temporary KFC chicken hut has been created for cooking and selling food in the renovation period but the renewed premises looks to be ready for the Eid holiday.

It would be fascinating to examine the way a Kentucky restaurant entrepreneur has revolutionized nutritional and dietary patterns in the UAE. The old KFC restaurant brought UAE residents into the restaurant in droves and there are now more than 150 outlets across the Emirates seeking to feed more diners. It has brought food fast to the diners but the KFC culture is also part of a serious obesity problem that is afflicting people of the UAE.

Take a Look
Here are some pics taken this week at KFC Fujairah. Check out this photo album and decide whether they can make the deadline.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: KFC Fujairah and the Colonel get a finger lickin’ facelift.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dine Out at the Fujairah Fort and Cut Your Cake With a Sword

The Al Saif traditional sword competition doesn’t get rolling until 7.30-8pm but the Heritage Souq gets into swing from 5pm and the food and drink souq is selling traditional Emirati fare.

Make sure you get along early because there are lots of things to see and taste before the main event gets underway.

The heritage café offers not so much an entire dinner but more the traditional desserts, sweets and drinks.

There’s a traditional majlis (sitting area) and a traditional coffee shop/café to rest your feet while you lift your sugar level.

This is a good place to get a photo taken of you on a majlis, enjoying traditional Emirati food.

What Prices!
Check out the amazing prices and download the menu for the Fujairah Fort Café Menu from this link.

Take a Look at the Food
Here are some pics of the food that tantalized me in this photo album.

Reminder
The final qualifying round is Thursday 4th November at the Fujairah Fort.

Cut Like a Sword
Sadly many of the qualifying swordsmen will be cut like a sword from the competition by tonight (Thursday night) and then the tension will build for the final rounds which commence Friday 5 November 2010.

Check the Competition Schedule at this link.

Contact Details
800-ALSAIF
Al Saif - Tel: +971 50 989 2000
Fax: +971 9 222 7183
E-mail: info@mhm.ae

More Information on Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition
Personal Website of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi
بطولة السيف Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition Facebook Page

Further
Sword Competition at Fujairah Fort is Much More Than Swords, FIF, 4 November 2010.
Traditional Sword Competition Off to a Good Start at Fujairah Fort, FIF, 3 November 2010.
All the Details on the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition in Fujairah, FIF, 25 October 2010.
Swordsmen Showcase Their Skills in Fujairah, FIF, 22 October 2010.
Al Saif Traditional Sword Demonstration and Training Commences in Fujairah, FIF, 20 October 2010.
Traditional Sword Competition to be Held in Fujairah, FIF, 30 September 2010.

Take a Look at the Crafts
Check out some of the crafts to look at or buy at the heritage souq in this photo album.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: Al Saif Traditional Sword Competiton and associated events will really get under way by Friday 5th November 2010. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

Sword Competition at Fujairah Fort is Much More than Swords

I called one of the organizers by phone yesterday to ask what new features he had introduced at the Heritage Souq adjacent to the sword arena since I was there a few days ago.

He started by telling me about the coffee shop, the shasha (traditional UAE fishing boats), the souvenirs and then he said, “You’ve got to see it. Come on down.”

I did and I was amazed at all the heritage developments that the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition organizers have introduced to make the sword competition part of an Emirati extravaganza.

Yes, there’s coffee, cakes and lots of craft items to enjoy and buy.

There are some early Fujairah stamps that are displayed in a picture frame.

There are guns in a display cabinet which are not for purchasing. I wonder if any of these have been fired at the Fujairah Fort. Perhaps they were used by residents to defend themselves when the British bombarded the Fujairah Fort in 1925.

I know now why the organizer said, “You’ve got to see it. Come on down.”

Look at the pictures to whet your appetite—see link to album below.

Come on Down
One of the organizers said that Thursday night (tonight) will be a great night to see the sword competition.

And Friday night (5th) should be a cracker too!

For the Starting time each evening, check this link.

Here’s how the programme looks from tonight—Thursday 4 November 2010:

Fujairah Fort
Thursday 04/11/2010 Last of the Qualifying Rounds.

Friday 05/11/2010: Qualification Final
Friday 12/11/2010 Qualification Final
Friday 19/11/2010 Qualification Final
Friday 26/11/2010 Semi-Finals
Friday 10/12/2010 The Grand Final

Contact Details
800-ALSAIF
Al Saif - Tel: +971 50 989 2000
Fax: +971 9 222 7183
E-mail: info@mhm.ae

More Information on Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition
Personal Website of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi
بطولة السيف Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition Facebook Page

Further
Traditional Sword Competition Off to a Good Start at Fujairah Fort, FIF, 3 November 2010.
All the Details on the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition in Fujairah, FIF, 25 October 2010.
Swordsmen Showcase Their Skills in Fujairah, FIF, 22 October 2010.
Al Saif Traditional Sword Demonstration and Training Commences in Fujairah, FIF, 20 October 2010.
Traditional Sword Competition to be Held in Fujairah, FIF, 30 September 2010.

Take a Look
Check out some of the crafts to look at or buy at the heritage souq in this photo album.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: Traditional Emirati daggers and knives.

Beware Drinking Red Bull in the Emirates

It is illegal for Muslims to drink alcohol in the UAE and three Emiratis were recently arrested and sentenced in the Dibba (Fujairah) Sharia Court for consuming alcohol.

They were each sentenced to 79 lashes.

They appealed against the charge saying that they had been drinking Red Bull.

Their lawyer opened a can of Red Bull in court and requested that the judiciary smell the odour of the energy drink to see how similar it was to the smell of alcohol.

Red Bull is halal (acceptable) to drink in the UAE but not by people under the age of 16.

The Appeals Court acquitted the Red Bull drinking trio of all charges and the lash was put away.

Source
Jihan Shuaib, Nearly Lashed, Gulf Today, 4 November 2010.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: The energy drink is a major sponsor of many sporting events in the UAE.

Become a Member of Fujairah’s Largest Gym and Aquatic Centre

This gym is the most popular in Fujairah, has more members than any other fitness centre on the UAE’s East Coast and people are never asked to sign up or pay membership fees.

It has no opening and closing hours and it’s used all hours of the day and night.

You don’t need special soles on your shoes, only clothing that’s culturally appropriate.

It incorporates the largest swimming pool in the Emirates. It is free of chlorine and it stretches down to Australia and across to Pakistan and India.

The Fujairah Corniche, flanked by the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, is a spacious leisure ground and aquatic centre.

It’s a multipurpose facility, where it’s possible to get a good workout on the land before cooling off in the sea.

There are no separate areas but women and men use it just the same.

It is one of the parts of the Emirate where cultures not only meet but they converse with nods and salaams.

It is a place to stretch out the body, walk out your worries, give your mind a spa and your spirit a sauna.

It is wonderful for personal reflection and the place to which people gravitate, especially when they’re homesick and want to spew out their feelings across the waves.

It’s an open-air gym that evokes memories, fires passions and stimulates dreams.

The Fujairah Corniche! Shukran!

Take a Look
Have a look at the amazing workout this guy got on the Fujairah Corniche. It is physical but judging by his concentration, he was limbering up his mental muscles. Here is the photo album.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: This man is nimble and agile. He has no designer gear or state-of-the art gym equipment but he gets the job done.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Traditional Sword Competition Off to a Good Start at Fujairah Fort

Qualifying Rounds
Last night (Tuesday 2 November 2010) was the first of the qualifying evenings for the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition sponsored by the Crown Prince, His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi.

The qualification rounds continue tonight (Wednesday 3 November 2010) and tomorrow (Thursday 4 November 2010).

Each night people start gathering and the heritage souq vendors freshen up their shops from 5pm. The sword skills action gets underway at approximately 8pm.

Last night there were 70 zafin (swordsmen) and the same numbers are expected Wednesday and Thursday.

This week is a good opportunity to come and see the sword dancing, dueling and throwing.

Location
All the action is held at the Fujairah Fort which is looking spectacular lit up against the night sky.

The swordsmen in their white kandoras and armed with glistening swords are a sight to behold against the ancient fort but the pulsating music gets spectators, as well as the competitors, in a festive mood.

New Driveway & Parking
Go towards the roundabout nearest to the fort and enter up the newly paved driveway to the ample parking area.

You can walk through the heritage souq or go straight into the arena where you will find newly constructed grandstands that hold 500+ people. There is more standing and sitting room for hundreds more people.

Security & Safety
The crowds are fenced back from the sword throwing and the safety of people who visit is a top priority.

Police and personnel from the army are in attendance at each gathering.

Finals
There are five judges and a panel of four serves at every stage of the competition.

By this Friday (5 November 2010) there will be many swordsmen who have been eliminated and the tension will heighten the nearer the competition gets to the grand final on 10 December 2010.

Schedule
The schedule has been revised in the light of the period of mourning for the late Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

Here is how it looks now:

Fujairah Fort
Tuesday 02/11/2010: Qualifying Round
Wednesday 03/11/2010: Qualifying Round
Thursday 04/11/2010 Qualifying Round

Friday 05/11/2010: Qualification Final
Friday 12/11/2010 Qualification Final
Friday 19/11/2010 Qualification Final
Friday 26/11/2010 Semi-Finals
Friday 10/12/2010 The Grand Final

Contact Details
800-ALSAIF
Al Saif - Tel: +971 50 989 2000
Fax: +971 9 222 7183
E-mail: info@mhm.ae

More Information on Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition
Personal Website of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi
بطولة السيف Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition Facebook Page

Further
All the Details on the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition in Fujairah, FIF, 25 October 2010.
Swordsmen Showcase Their Skills in Fujairah, FIF, 22 October 2010.
Al Saif Traditional Sword Demonstration and Training Commences in Fujairah, FIF, 20 October 2010.
Traditional Sword Competition to be Held in Fujairah, FIF, 30 September 2010.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: “All the action is held at the Fujairah Fort which is looking spectacular lit up against the night sky.” You will notice lots of improvements around the fort and the finishing touches to the arena are almost complete.

Wael Al Sayegh on Making Every Day a Weekend

THE CONSTANT
WEEKEND

When I was employed
I counted the hours,
minutes and even seconds to the arrival of the weekend.

In this pocket of air
I wrote and read as much
as I could before diving back into the sea of work's routine.

Then I decided, with all simplicity, to extend the weekend, and here I am
in the constant weekend life.

I read more, I write more, I earn more too.

When your occupation is your passion,
every day's a weekend.

Source
Wael Al Sayegh, There Is An Elephant in the Majlis (Alghaf: Dubai), 34-35.

This and other books by Wael are available at Amazon or at any Magrudy's book store in the UAE.

More information about Wael Al Sayegh.

Further
Wael Al Sayegh Shares His Poetry in Fujairah, FIF, 20 October 2010 (with another poem).

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: The Constant Weekend in Arabic (Wael Al Sayegh, There Is An Elephant in the Majlis (Alghaf: Dubai), 35). CLICK TO ENLARGE

Fujairah is For the Birds

Fujairah (and the rest of the UAE) is a great place for people wanting to take up the hobby of birding—bird watching or bird spotting and photography (see the difference between these pursuits).

Fujairah and neighbouring Kalba are rich in mountain and sea birds and the feathered scene changes throughout the year with migratory birds descending and departing the Emirates.

Barth on Birds
One of the many who visit Fujairah to spot birds is Mike Barth.

A native of the UK, Mike is based in Dubai and his birding has taken him all over the country—to nearby Dubai Pivot fields to spot collared pratincoles, to Abu Dhabi to photograph barn owls, to Al Ain to see an Upcher’s Warbler, to the Hatta Fort to view a spectacled bulbul, to Wadi Bih to see and hear a chukar, out on the Ajman waters to see Socotra cormorants and listing a bevy of birds at the Fujairah National Dairy Farm.

If you travel a lot, as Mike does, you have the opportunity to see new bird life wherever you go.

As Mike’s blogging notes indicate, one ventures to new areas and learns more about UAE bird life when you can team up with a friend.

The modern digital cameras and big lenses provide great joy and sensational pictures. A simple blog serves as a digital record and multiplies the pleasure for people who savour your photographs.

If you get good at this hobby you might be able to earn some money by selling your photographs.

Further
Visit Fujairah to Watch the Birds, FIF, 11 September 2008.
Birds of the United Arab Emirates, ETE, 4 November 2007.
Birds of the Middle East by David Cottridge et al, RBM, 4 November 2007.
Birds of Fujairah and the UAE East Coast, FIF, 4 November 2007.

Related
The Falcon: An Emirati Icon, ETE, 26 August 2007.
The Falcon Roundabout in Fujairah Reminds People of High Values, FIF, 31 October 2010.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: A citrine wagtail spotted at the Fujairah National Dairy Farm perfectly snapped by Mike Barth to capture the dance of the wagtail.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stuck in a Velvet Rut in the Emirates?

A favourite road sign in Alaska reads: “Choose your rut carefully—you’ll be in it for the next 200 miles.”

In her new book, ‘A Diamond in the Desert’, Jo Tatchell writes about a less obvious rut in the heat and prosperity of the UAE.

Jo arrived in Abu Dhabi with her family as a young girl in 1974 but in 1993 she decided to ‘escape’ to the ‘damp, sunless uncertainty of London and a typing course’.

Writing years later she gives her reason:

“I had seen people with good intentions sink into an easy routine, losing their drive, passion and values. One old-timer, who had done extremely well out of Abu Dhabi, referred to it as the Velvet Rut. ‘And that,’ she warned me, ‘is the hardest rut to escape.’”

Stuck in a velvet rut in the Emirates, opting for a more comfortable and prosperous life than back home? If so, it is good to reflect (with others?) on how this rut is changing us.

Some expats are stuck in a rut, not because it is velvety and lined with dirhams but because the employment opportunities are bleak back home and/or work experience in this country is not advancing their prospects elsewhere.

A large proportion of expats have consigned themselves to living in a cotton rut, working their butts off to send half their meagre salary back home on the premise that ‘this is my duty’.

The Alaskan road sign offers wisdom as well as humour: “Choose your rut carefully…”

The old-timer from Abu Dhabi uttered a compelling warning: “The Velvet Rut…is the hardest rut to escape.”

Whether we’re stuck in a rut or plotting our escape, we do have choices about developing a lifestyle that will nurture our drive, passion and values.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Monday, November 1, 2010

‘So Go Out and Start Creating’ in Fujairah, UAE

Some people who come to live in Fujairah soon loathe the place and are waiting or working to get out of the city as quickly as they can.

Some people come to live in Fujairah, develop a love for the emirate and the lifestyle and are glad to put their roots down.

I often wonder about the vital difference between these two groups and I think it has a lot to do with creativity.

If people come to Fujairah expecting the entertainment to be on tap and nicely presented in exhibitions, global villages or Fujairah World they will be disappointed. Fujairah hasn’t followed Dubai and Abu Dhabi in creating large entertainment playgrounds and amusement parks.

But if people come with a craft to cultivate (pottery making, woodwork), an art to explore (painting, sketching, poetry), a discipline to develop (archaeology, botany, language) or a sporting passion to enjoy (boating, diving, quad biking), then Fujairah gives an inspirational context and contributes a greater margin of free time than is experienced by those who are working and commuting in the UAE’s larger cities.

If one doesn’t come to Fujairah with a craft to hone or a hobby to enjoy, this lifestyle might be the means of testing out one’s passions, discovering some unwrapped gifts and in the process experiencing deep gladness.

I like the way this thought has been captured in the statement typed in the image (posted above):

“Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them so go out and start creating.”

If we took this to heart, Fujairah may increasingly become the UAE centre for artists, craftspeople, poets and musicians.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: This is your life.... [Source unknown. Click to enlarge]