Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Monday, February 28, 2011

Schools in Fujairah and the UAE East Coast

A list of schools in Fujairah, plus Kalba, Khor Fakkan and Dibba (some of which are in the emirate of Sharjah), is posted and updated on the site Dubai FAQs at this Internet address.

Have a look at it if you’re searching for a school or involved in nursery, primary or secondary education.

If you don’t think it is up to date, send the new information to the web site administrator.

Such a list is especially helpful to prospective residents coming to the UAE’s East Coast.

Geoff Pound

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

Image: Students of Lubna Bint Habab School, Fujairah. (Photo courtesy of Gulf News)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Walkway from Fujairah to Kalba

The Fujairah Corniche provides a good walk for those who like to exercise but those that go on towards Kalba soon realize that after the Rugaylat Roundabout on Rugaylat Road, the path comes to a grinding halt (pictured).

Among the hundreds who walked and ran in Fujairah’s inaugural Terry Fox Run on Saturday, there were many serious walkers, runners, bladders and cyclists.

It would be welcome news and an encouragement to exercise if the path was continued along Rugaylat Road to join up with the path along the Kalba Corniche.

The route from the Fujairah Corniche to the Kalba Corniche would provide a very good workout along a scenic coastline.

This route could be put on the emerging list of Fujairah’s Walks and Hikes.

Geoff Pound

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

Haiku by Emirati Poet Wael Al-Sayegh

excellent movie
big scene
mobile rings

Wael Al Sayegh, There Is An Elephant in the Majlis (Alghaf: Dubai), 110.

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.

Wael Al Sayegh on Making Every Day a Weekend, FIF, 3 November 2010.
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.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Terry Fox Run in Fujairah Raises 30,000AED to Outrun Cancer in UAE

Fujairah’s inaugural Terry Fox Walk/Run this morning was an occasion of fun and festivity as well as raising 30,000AED to fight cancer in the United Arab Emirates.

The waterfront was closed to traffic so the event could be run in both directions along the Corniche Road.

Near the Hilton Hotel the registration and refreshment tents were doing brisk business.

Director of Fujairah’s Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Dr Dave Pelham, was the Master of Ceremonies. With runners chafing at the bit, the formalities were brief, as Dr Pelham paid tribute to the organizing committee, the supportive companies and the large band of volunteers.

As Terry Fox was a Canadian, it was fitting that Michael Wooff, the Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner for Canada in the UAE, was present to start the inaugural event, not with a gun blast but with the drop of a blue Terry Fox T-shirt.

The runners were first off the line followers by bladders, cyclists and a large contingent of walkers. Children sitting on shoulders and babies in push chairs completed the run as did a couple of canine competitors.

Shorter routes could be completed by turning at the nearest U-turn and the longest route involved turning at the most distant U-turn and going around the circuit a second time.

The Fujairah skies were hazy and the mercury was climbing high so water stations were a welcome sight.

Chief organizer, Donna Wilson, estimated that 400 people participated in Fujairah’s inaugural Terry Fox Run.

The 30,000AED donated to cancer research in the UAE today was a terrific start and Donna expects that more money will be received in the next two weeks. Further donations may be payable to the ‘Terry Fox Foundation’ at any branch of the Emirates National Bank.

Donna Wilson made special mention of the way the Fujairah support services—including the Police, Ambulance and Takatof volunteers—contributed so cheerfully and obligingly.

Take a Look
Some photos of the participants and the scenery along Fujairah’s Terry Fox Run can be seen in this photo album.

FAQs about the Terry Fox Run in Fujairah, FIF, 23 February 2011.
Your Invitation to the Terry Fox Walk/Run Along the Fujairah Corniche, FIF, 20 February 2011.
Join the 2011 Terry Fox Run in Fujairah for Cancer Research, FIF, 14 February 2011.

Geoff Pound

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

Image: Participants at the starting line of Fujairah’s Terry Fox Run.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Farming in Fujairah

The Fujairah economy has depended for centuries upon the two ‘fs’—fishing and farming.

Dotted among the wadis (valleys) of the Hajar Mountains are lots of small farms, many of which are still using agricultural methods that have been employed for centuries.

The farms may be watered from underground springs, rain water that has been captured in dams or fed by the traditional falaj water channels. Increasingly modern sprinkler irrigation systems are being implemented through which fertilizer and pesticides flow along with the water.

While owned and managed by Emiratis, most of the manual labour is carried out by farm workers from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The farms don’t appear to be economical enough to fully sustain a large family but the hiring of labour allows the owners to hold down jobs in the city which possibly provide the primary source of their income.

Most Fujairah farms will have their date palm grove then they will diversify with a range of produce that could include fruit and vegetables (sold at the road or the Fujairah markets), cows for dairy products and goats (meat).

A farm I visited recently in Bithna had all of the above plus shrubs and seedlings (sold at a roadside nursery), camels (kept for milk and racing), horses (a business for city people wanting to ride) and gazelles. The owners were also in the process of establishing a couple of motels on their farm for tourists to enjoy a retreat in the quiet of the Hajar Mountains.

Take a Look
Some pictures of the Bithna farm are posted in this photo album.

Geoff Pound

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

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

FAQs about the Terry Fox Run in Fujairah at 10.00am 26 February 2011

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) being asked this week about the inaugural Terry Fox Walk/Run with some answers from Donna Wilson (HCT).

Q. Where do people gather?

A. The Corniche will be blocked off at the Coffee Pot Roundabout. The Registration desk will be set up on the Corniche walking area at the Hilton end. It will be clearly marked so people should not have trouble finding it.

Q. Where will be the best parking?

A. The Corniche will be blocked off so parking will not be possible along the beach. Parking will be available at Fujairah’s Umbrella Beach area and along the main road. The Sadaf Restaurant parking area will be for volunteers working at the event. There will be signs and people assisting with directions

Q. What is the exact route for the walk/run/cycle?

A. The start of the race will be just behind the Sadaf Restaurant.

There will be three choices:

i) Participants can choose to go up to the first U-turn just past the Marina and come back to the start line (approx 3 km);

ii) The turnaround point for all participants is the third U-turn after which participants will return to the start line (approx. 5 km);

iii) Those who wish to complete the run will do the loop again (approx 9 km).

The routes will all be clearly marked with volunteers at each turnaround.

Q. What medical support will there be?

A. There will be two ambulances in attendance.

Q. What media outlets are promoting the TF Run?

A. Fujairah Media – Radio and TV.

Further Information
Your Invitation to the Terry Fox Walk/Run Along the Fujairah Corniche, FIF, 20 February 2011.
Join the 2011 Terry Fox Run in Fujairah for Cancer Research, FIF, 14 February 2011.

Geoff Pound

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

Image: Terry Fox was the first Canadian to be featured on a Canadian coin.

March at the Movies in Fujairah

Art House movies will be screening at the Fujairah Tennis Club when Peter Chase shares some of his favorite films open to the public free of charge.

New Series
A series of classic cinema from around the world is commencing on Wednesday evenings at the Fujairah Tennis and Country Club (see location) starting at 7:30 pm.

In March the theme is Masterpieces from Iran.

If you have seen any of these films, once or twice is not enough. If you have never seen these movies then you are in for a real treat. These films have a documentary style and simple storyline which takes us deep into the realities of children, parents, and the single life in and around Tehran.

Wednesday March 2 "Children of Heaven" written and directed by Majid Majadi.

Wednesday March 9 "Ten" directed by Abbas Kiarostami.

Wednesday March 16 "Taste of Cherry" by Abbas Kiarostami.

Wednesday March 23 "The Wind Will Carry Us" a film by Abbas Kiarostami.

Wednesday March 30 To be announced.

Peter Chase says:

“All of these movies are award winners. Everything is natural as we enter into the scenery of every day life in Iran. There is nothing contrived or manipulative in these movies, yet even the most simple story becomes an epic account. The perfect pace and editing of these films makes them timeless. I like the way each of these movies end and stay with you the next day.”

Admission is free. The films are in Farsi with English subtitles.

Convenor: Peter Chase 050 458 6957.

Geoff Pound

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

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mapping the Walks and Hikes in Fujairah: A Work in Progress

Hotels in different parts of the world frequently offer their guests a map of the best and safest places where visitors might go for a walk or a jog.

Drink and Walk
The Hilton San Diego Bayfront has gone the extra mile by offering their guests a jogging route map on a water bottle (pictured).

This message on a bottle is an innovative combination of information and lubrication.

Perhaps the Hilton Fujairah might be inspired to keep up the Hilton tradition!

Walks and Hikes in Fujairah
I hear of some Fujairah residents going for regular walks but it is hard for others to follow in their footsteps when they don’t have a defined route and they are left wondering whether they might be found guilty of trespassing.

Have you got a good walk or a hike in the emirate of Fujairah to suggest along with a map?

Let’s collect them and make them available for others to enjoy the great outdoors in this eastern emirate and on the UAE east coast.

Arab Proverb
In the meantime apply the Arabian proverb:

“After lunch rest; after dinner walk a mile.”

Geoff Pound

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

Monday, February 21, 2011

Finding Rental Accommodation in Fujairah

Finding rental accommodation in Fujairah has been a challenge in recent days because of the shortage of villas and apartments, the electricity crisis, the high prices caused by the demand and the small number of real estate companies doing business.

Harder Offshore
Finding a roof over your head is harder when you’re overseas and trying to search for homes via the Internet as few real estate companies in Fujairah have their properties listed on the World Wide Web.

Switching On
The good news is that more and more new apartment towers and villas are being switched on thanks to the increased power generation and allocation of UAE energy to Fujairah. The power flow has meant there is an increasing number of properties on the market and the rentals have been declining.

Ideal Scenario
The best situation for a prospective resident is when accommodation is part of your salary package, when your company in Fujairah has a Property Officer or Property Team who listens to your requirements, actively looks out on your behalf and because of their experience, fluency in Arabic and bargaining power they can negotiate the best price for you and other employees.

Even if you’re still in Mumbai, Melbourne or Montreal but coming to Fujairah, there’s much you can do while you’re finishing up and packing your bags.

Establish Your Wish List
+ Size—the number of bedrooms you desire.
+ Apartment or stand alone house and if the latter, all on the one level or top and bottom (villa).
+ Most come unfurnished but there are some semi or fully furnished.
+ Most come without blinds or curtains unless the previous tenants have left theirs.
+ Finishes—most of the bench tops are high ceramic or granite.

Most modern houses and apartments in Fujairah are spacious with high ceilings. Most apartments will come with large, quality in-built wardrobes.

Location! Location! Location!
Thankfully Fujairah is a small city that is still not overly congested and you can get from one side of the city to the other in a short space of time.

But you may have a preference to live close to your work, the sea, a school or to the shops so use Google Earth and Google Maps to get familiar with the city and emirate before you come.

A Data Collecting Programme (Census) is underway that involves recording every building in Fujairah and noting their GPS coordinates. In time, this will be a great benefit for the making and reading of maps and finding out exactly where a house or apartment tower is located.

Contact Some Rental Companies
Make contact with rental companies by email and phone. Establish communication. Most companies will have staff speaking English, Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam as well as Arabic. Tell them when you are coming and give them your wish list. See what is being offered on their web sites.

Search on the Internet for ‘Fujairah, real estate’ or ‘Fujairah rental housing/apartments’ but remember that some real estate companies in Dubai and Sharjah list Fujairah properties on their web sites.

Real Estate List
This list is not in any order of recommendation but it is an attempt to provide as many details for prospective residents who are currently living overseas.

I am happy to add the details of other companies if they will provide them to me.

Fujairah National Properties
Lease Manager: Essa Abdullah Ali Al Mulla: +971 (0) 50 6290108
Essa’s email: essa.almulla@fng.ae
P O Box 1166
Fujairah, UAE
Tel: +971 9 201 0315
Fax: +971 9 228 1515
Web Site: www.fnp.co.ae
Check out the Downloads for more information (see bottom of the home page)

Fujairah Real Estate Company Ltd.
Nabil Faraz Thayeb
Nabil’s phone: +971 (0) 50 6499693
Nabil’s email address: freco103@emirates.net.ae
P O Box 716
Fujairah, UAE
Tel: +971 (0) 9 2224650
Fax: +971 (0) 0 2224787
No web site.

Al Barajel Real Estate
No web site.

United Real Estate
Managing Director: Abdel Moaty Haroon
Abdel’s phone: +971 (0) 50 4333726
Abdel’s email: haroon.moaty@gmail.com
P O Box 1063
Fujairah, UAE
Tel: +971 (9) 2223726
Fax: +971 (9) 2223724
Web Site: www.unitedrealestate.ae (under construction)

Madeena Real Estate
Tel: +971 (9) 2244766
Fax: +971 (9) 2244765

Fujairah Real Estate Agency
Marketing Manager: Jamal Shuraih
Jamal’s phone: +971 50 6496654
P O Box 2
Fujairah, UAE
Tel: +971 (9) 2225558
Fax: +971 (9) 2225559

Renting in Fujairah
Unless your company negotiates the lease as part of your salary package you will need the following documents and be aware of these details:
+ Security deposit—this will be requested and is often the equivalent of one month’s rent.
+ You may need to make an initial one or two payments at the start—cash or cheque.
+ Sometimes post-dated cheques are requested for payment throughout the year.
+ Bring your Passport and UAE Visa for ID.
+ Rental term varies but it is usually year by year.
+ If leaving you need to give one or two month’s notice—confirm with the company.
+ Usually the rental agreement must be in the name of the primary visa holder rather than the 'trailing spouse'.

Apply Arab Wisdom
All the best to you in your house hunting and in making your transition to Fujairah.

If you do select a home according to local custom you will follow the advice of this Arabian proverb:

“Choose your neighbour before your house and your companion before the road.”

Geoff Pound
P.S. Do let me know if there are other items that have come out of your house searching experience that might well be added to this article.

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

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Your Invitation to the Terry Fox Walk/Run along the Fujairah Corniche

To people in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, RAK, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman who have or haven’t participated in the Terry Fox Run in your emirate, you are warmly invited to get involved in the inaugural Fujairah Terry Fox Run along the Corniche on Saturday 26 February 2011.

It starts at 10.00am at the Hilton Hotel end of the beach.

Registration takes place beforehand between 8.00am and 9.45am.

No registration fee. Donations gratefully received.

Come over to Fujairah and make a weekend of it!

Join the 2011 Terry Fox Run in Fujairah for Cancer Research, FIF, 14 February 2011.

Geoff Pound

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

Twittering Fujairah

There’s some wheat as well as chaff on Twitter.

Here’s a selection of what they’ve been saying about Fujairah on Twitter in the last few days:

@ chessiebird: “We are in Fujairah for the weekend! So peaceful! It's bliss!”

@Quenniegrace: “Road trip + sound trip = Fujairah.”

@Dubai_Jobs: “Marine Engineer job in Fujairah.” (plus link)

@XgailyX: “in the north on the east coast/indian ocean in fujairah a bit out the way I've been told!”

@Kristinson: “I'm at Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort Fujairah (Al Aqah, Fujairah).”

@Yerotravels: “Our Facebook Pictures: 7-Day Round-trip Dubai Cruise; Port of Fujairah!” (plus link)

@dmckern: “Roadtrip to Fujairah tomorrow...”

@agentsj: “Picnic with family to Fujairah and the Khorfakkan beaches. This is going to be interesting with everyone packed inside uncle's company van.”

@aliaAIS: “In Fujairah.”

@Hassan_ae: “Omw to Fujairah.”

@Sanne_udink: “Otw way back from fujairah, sunburned and exhausted I am gonna sleep for 12 hours !”

@Hassan_ae: “Haven't been to Friday Market in Fujairah since a long time. I'm very impressed with improvements. :)”

@Predatorcues: “Good luck to all our pros competing in the World 8 Ball Championship in Fujairah which kicks off on Sunday ! GO...”

@PoisonBilliards: “Good luck to Rodney Morris and Raj Hundal who are competing at the World 8 Ball Championship in Fujairah - play...”

@akit_kamal: “Spent a wonderful day and night on Al-Aqah beach in Fujairah with my wife and son.”

Geoff Pound

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

Emirati Scarecrow Warding Off Fujairah Birds

This portly Emirati scarecrow wielding a stick while decked out in his dishdasha was doing a magnificent job warding off birds from a market garden in Fujairah.

Geoff Pound

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

Friday, February 18, 2011

Trained Tourist Guides Would be Timely for Fujairah

Fujairah needs more trained guides to assist people at its tourist sites.

One can get an informative tour at the Fujairah Museum and the Bidyah Mosque (if you ask for it) but at most other Fujairah tourist sites, unless you are part of a private tour group, you have to make sense of the place yourself.

Few Fujairah Guides
Most of the tour group operators who show tourists around Fujairah are from Dubai and Sharjah. Where are the Fujairah-based tourist guides sharing all their local knowledge with visitors to their emirate?

Few Emirati Guides
The Fujairah heritage sites are intertwined with Emirati culture and the Arabic language so ideally visitors to Fujairah would benefit from having Emirati tourist guides who have lived in this emirate, who know it well and are trained and certified. Where are the Emirati tourist guides lining up to show off their emirate with pride?

Lessons from Our Neighbours
The United Arab Emirates means learning from each other and in this regard Fujairah can learn much from the emirate of Sharjah.

Sharjah’s Commerce and Tourism Development Authority has just concluded a training course for tourist guides (see picture of those at the Sharjah graduation ceremony). The number of people graduating illustrates that local people do want to show others around their emirate.

Best in the World
Their training initiative has arisen because Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, has vowed “to turn the tourism industry in the emirate into one of the best in the world.”

This means making it the most interesting and memorable experience for the tourists. But Al Qassimi knows how the tourism industry has been one of the major contributors to the economic growth of Sharjah and the UAE.

Fujairah Guides
With Fujairah having more heritage sites than any other emirate and having already established that tourism is to be one of the main economic drivers, it is essential to get working on a Fujairah Tourist Training Course. Let’s not reinvent the wheel. Why not learn from Sharjah and adapt their course to the unique characteristics of Fujairah tourism?

Emirates United
When visitors to Fujairah weave in and out of Sharjah at Kalba, Khor Fakkan and Dibba it seems logical, economically sensible and beneficial to tourists if Sharjah and Fujairah Tourism Authorities worked together on showcasing the tourist sites on the UAE’s East Coast.

Geoff Pound

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

Image: The New Sharjah Tourist Guides in a Group Photo with H.E. Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority. (Photo courtesy of Dr Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf, one of the newly certified tourist guides in Sharjah)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cricket World Cup Fever Hits Fujairah UAE

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 will not see the first ball bowled until Saturday (19 February) when India takes on Bangladesh in Dhaka but cricket fever has been rising for weeks in Fujairah, UAE.

With such a large expat population in the UAE from the Indian subcontinent every Friday a game or two of cricket is played on large dirt areas but in recent weeks the number of cricket games seen in Fujairah has been on the increase.

These amateurs are not playing in any organized competition for prizes but they are playing for the love of the game. The quality of the action is high and the passion for the game is palpable. In many ways, this ‘backyard’ version of the game is cricket at its best.

World Cup Winner
These expats will certainly be following the action in India and Sri Lanka and the fact that it is being played back home gives more incentive to their viewing.

And who do they think will lift high the World Cup trophy on 2 April? The Indians in Fujairah are quietly confident as they have the home ground advantage, their team is currently rated second in the world and the Aussies have lost their gloss. The Pakistanis and Sri Lankans (along with India) have won the World Cup before so they think they’re in with a good chance.

Take a Look
Pictures from a game of cricket played on the hard sand at Fujairah’s Umbrella Beach are in this album.

Geoff Pound

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

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Photography 101 in Fujairah—Shooting With Your Camera

Here are some tips that emerged from a photography workshop in the Fujairah Beach.

Members of Dubai’s Friday Shoot Out came across to Fujairah last Friday at an unearthly hour.

Fujairah photographer, Alan Nambiar, gave some valuable input urging the group to be thinking of the concept they want to get across to their viewers instead of shooting their cameras willy-nilly.

After the theory it was time to head to Fujairah’s Umbrella Beach to see what concepts we could create and develop.

Here are some concepts that emerged about different ways to shoot the camera:

Point Blank Range

Here’s a tip on shooting your target at an extremely close range and to add to the difficulty, a person who does not want to be photographed. The fisherman is taken by surprise as the photographer creeps up from behind the man’s jeep. The photographer says with an authoritative voice, “Stand still and pass over your fish or I’ll shoot you.”

The man replies jokingly, “I haven’t got any fish but that man with the camera over there has got a jeep full of them.”

Caught in the Cross Fire

The joke was on me. The photographer turned his camera on me and demanded the fish while the fisherman smiled. I was caught in the cross fire.

Cornering Your Subject

Here’s a tip when your subject seems likely to turn away and move out of range. Join forces with a gaggle of photographers and work together. In this instance one photographer spots a good subject on the Fujairah beach. He immediately calls his mates and the members of the Friday Shoot Out group surround this unsuspecting Emirati, who is posing as a photographer. Remember, there's strength in shooting as a group.

Alan has the camera trained on his subject and he shouts, “Don’t move! Drop your camera or I’ll shoot you!”

The Emirati photographer says, “Stuff it!” and carries on shooting.

Alan gives him one last chance and then shoots. Unfortunately Alan discovers that the battery in his camera is dead!

Reinforcements are called and reloading is the order of the day.

Covering all the Angles

The great thing about being involved in a photography group is that the firing squad can shoot from all angles.

The Perils of Overshooting

Don’t overshoot your subject in one shoot out. This man has had enough.

Chaos descends and every photographer ends up shooting each other. The subject is not amused and keeps asking, “Where the hell do I look?”

Photography Ethics

A word about shooter’s ethics: Shooting standards by this time at the Fujairah beach have fallen at least to the low tide mark. The photographers are really getting up the nose of the subject, especially the camera man who is shooting at point blank range with a telephoto lens.

After the Dubai group conclude their shooting another group of Abu Dhabi photographers begin shooting the same man! He’s finished.

Photography 101 in Fujairah—Composing Your Picture, FIF, 15 February 2011.
Dubai Photographers Shoot Fujairah and the UAE East Coast, FIF, 15 January 2011.
Photos of Fujairah and Kalba that Tell a Story, FIF, 19 January 2011.

Geoff Pound

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

Longer Visiting Hours at Bidyah Mosque Fujairah

New Hours
The visiting hours at the Bidyah Mosque were from 9.am-12 midday (see photo) but by popular demand they have been extended to be from 9.00am-5 pm (or maybe even later).

Not During Prayer
Visitors (who are not Muslims) during these hours are asked to refrain from touring inside the mosque at the times of prayer as it still functions as a place of worship led by the imam who lives on the site.

Prayer Times
The Hours of Prayer change slightly every day but today in Fujairah the times are:
Fajr 5.30am
Dhurur 12.31pm
Asr 3.46pm
Magrib 6.09pm
Isha 7.39pm

The December to March period is a busy time at the Bidyah historical area and it is one of the most popular sites for UAE tourists. Often Dubai and Sharjah residents like to make a day visit to Fujairah and the East Coast, hitting the Friday Market by mid-morning, touring Kalba and Fujairah city around midday then cruising to Khor Fakkan and Al Aqah in the afternoon before heading home. Coming this way and on such a schedule, visitors wouldn’t get to Bidyah (between Khor Fakkan and Al Aqah) until the afternoon. Tourists will be appreciative of the extended visiting hours.

Ask for a Tour
An administrator (Badria) has been working at Bidyah for the last three years and she with her team has planted more flowers and shrubs and established a small shop where visitors can buy souvenirs and religious items. Badria gives tours of the historic mosque and points out other significant things at this important cultural and religious site.

Visit Al Bidya Mosque—the Oldest Worship Place in the Emirates, FIF, 9 August 2009.

Geoff Pound

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

Image: Looking down on the mosque with its distinctive four domes.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Photography 101 in Fujairah—Composing Your Picture

The Dubai Friday Shoot Out (FSO) group of photographers gathered in Fujairah early last Friday morning.

Alan Nambiar, one of Fujairah’s best photographers, gave an interesting talk on having an idea of what you want to shoot before you press the trigger.

After that the group was let loose with their concepts and their cameras on Fujairah’s Umbrella Beach.

This article addresses the concept of how the photographer chooses to compose a photograph.

Six Tips for Composing Your Picture

1. It is best to get your subject to stand still before you can shoot him.

2. It is harder to shoot your subject when he is running away.

3. It is much easier to shoot a crouching tiger.

4. Get your subject in the squat position. Remember, it is very easy to shoot your subject when he puts his arms up like a couple of wing nuts.

5. If you still can’t see your subject in the view finder, get him to stand by his car. In this case, if your subject doesn’t end up in the frame, at least you can say you were taking a picture of a car on a beach. In the unlikely event that you end up with no car in the picture you can say you were taking a shot of the Hajar Mountains.

6. The joy of composing good shots is evidenced by the way the photographer is turning his camera on anything that moves.

The thrill of composing your picture and shooting what you intend.

Dubai Photographers Shoot Fujairah and the UAE East Coast, FIF, 15 January 2011.
Photos of Fujairah and Kalba that Tell a Story, FIF, 19 January 2011.

Geoff Pound

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

Wishing for a Free Public Library in Fujairah

A free public library would be a useful community service for Fujairah.

Knowledge Foundation
In October 2007, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced the $10 billion foundation of the ‘Knowledge Complex’ and in so doing he spoke of the importance of translating great books into Arabic. In particular he cited the Kalima Project of ensuring the translation into Arabic of 100 of the most influential books (see the list).

It would be a good start to have these 100 books in Fujairah, available in different languages.

Advice and Ambience
A public library isn’t just a place where people can access the books but where people can seek advice, study and linger in a place surrounded by literature, magazines and newspapers. Online libraries and eBooks will never replace the contribution that such a place and service can offer.

Value to a Community
Need convincing? Read Philip Pullman’s stirring speech on the value of libraries to their communities and to civilization.

Accessible to All
Individuals and organizations can have their personal and company libraries but there’s something important about a dedicated public library to which all residents of the community can belong. Libraries shouldn’t just be the privilege of the rich and the famous or institutions that are the first to close in hard times.

At a time when so many public libraries are threatened by the axe in England, the friends of Somerset’s, Glastonbury’s and Shepton Mallet’s libraries produced this delightful clip to aid their campaign against library closures.

We Love Libraries

Library for Fujairah
A free public library for Fujairah would be a counter cultural move but it would promote knowledge, reading and the building of community.

Geoff Pound

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

Monday, February 14, 2011

Join the 2011 Terry Fox Run in Fujairah for Cancer Research

First Time
Higher Colleges of Technology—Fujairah, with the help of a number of community partners, is pleased to take the lead in organizing the first of what is hoped will become an Annual Terry Fox Run in Fujairah.

Date and Times
+ The event will take place at the Fujairah Corniche on Saturday February 26, 2011.
+ Registration is between 8-9.45am.
+ The run/walk/ride will begin at 10.00am.

Who is Terry Fox?
A Canadian, Terry Fox was only 20 years old when he lost his right leg to cancer. He decided to run across Canada in order to raise money for cancer research. On April 12, 1980, Terry set out from the farthest point on the East Coast of Canada. Sadly the cancer spread to his lung and he was forced to abandon the course on September 1, 1980, after 143 days running 5373km! Terry died on June 28, 1981 at the age of 22.

‘We Need Others to Continue’
Terry’s Marathon of Hope captured the nation’s attention. He was proclaimed a national hero, and since then Terry Fox Runs have taken place annually all across Canada and in other countries around the world.

More than 1.5 billion AED has been raised for cancer research.

UAE Cancer Research
When a run takes place outside of Canada, the money from the event stays in the country where the run is held. In keeping with the vision and principles of Terry Fox, all money raised from the Fujairah Terry Fox Run will support cancer research in the UAE.

Run, Walk, Cycle…
While this is called a ‘run’, it is an all-inclusive family-oriented event that is non-competitive. Participants can run, walk, skip, roller blade, cycle etc!

Money, Money, Money
+ There’s no registration fee.
+ Donations will be gratefully received.
+ Terry Fox T-Shirts will be available for purchase—Sizes S, M & L—for AED 20.
+ All funds raised from the sale of the shirts will go to this worthy cause.
+ Donations can also be made at the Emirates National Bank of Dubai, Account 02 11 0118 02 001.

Terry Fox Run in Abu Dhabi (18 February 2011).
Terry Fox Run Expected to Draw Thousands, The National. (Al Ain, RAK, Fujairah...)
The Terry Fox Run—website.
The Terry Fox Foundation on Facebook. Read the stories of people who are helped by money raised on these runs.

Like this recent one by Jessica Savoie:
Hello, Terry Fox, is the reason why i am still alive today, i had just turned 22 when i was diagnosed, and my life felt like it was put on the line, you don’t know what to think or do, but i battled it, for a year before i was diagnosed cured. Thank you To Terry Fox and his family ♥ Because of you guys, i was able to battle cancer. I am now going to concentrate on spending my time and my life, talking to individuals about my experience, not only as a patient but also a survivor.

Fujairah for Life
The Fujairah Terry Fox Run is going to be a fun event and it will build community spirit in the emirate. It is good to be involved in an activity that will increase scientific and medical research that will ultimately enhance the lives of many people living in this country.

“Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going.”
Terry Fox, 10 July 1980.

Geoff Pound (Most of the information was provided by Donna Wilson, HCT)

This article is also placed on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page where any updated information will be posted.

110 New Rooms for Fujairah at the Fortune Royal Hotel

The signs have gone up for the new Fortune Royal Hotel, situated on Al Gurfa Road, Fujairah (over the road and a few shops down from the Fujairah Fish Souq).

It is bang smack in the middle of shops and businesses on Al Gurfa Road and the eastern side provides wonderful views over the Fujairah waters. It is directly opposite the Fujairah International Marine Club.

The building comprises a Ground floor, two Mezzanine floors and 12 further floors. There will be four night clubs, two restaurants, a sports bar a swimming pool, gym and a Party Banquet room right at the top with stunning views of the city and sea. Here is a view of the Fortune Royal Hotel from the Fujairah Corniche.

The owner, Mr. Praveen Shetty, indicated that the Fortune Royal will be a 4 star hotel according to strict Dubai standards with a liquor license. He will cater for business people as well as tourists and 40 rooms will include a small kitchen and lounge area for guests who plan to stay for a longer term and who like to cook in their apartment.

Fortune Chain
Mr. Praveen Shetty is originally from Bangalore and he has been based in Dubai for the last 21 years. He is no stranger to the world of hotels and accommodation as this new facility is part of the Fortune brand throughout the UAE which also includes the Fortune Residence Hotel Apartments in Fujairah.

Hotel Glut?
Asked whether the emirate of Fujairah is oversupplied with hotel rooms, especially bearing in mind other hotels currently being constructed, Mr. Praveen Shetty stated that this was in line with the wishes of the Ruler and the Tourism authority to increase the city’s needs to anticipate the emirate’s growth.

Location, Location, Location
This new hotel is not far from the airport but it is strategically placed in Fujairah’s shopping district and the souq area. With a surf-casting rod one could almost cast a fishing line from the top of the hotel to the water. Being on Al Gurfa Road it is not far from the coffee pot roundabout and the road to the Port, Freezone, Khor Fakkan and Al Aqah. Here is a view from Al Gurfa Road near the Fish Souq.

Opening Date
A ‘soft’ opening ceremony is timed for 5 March 2011 with a ‘grand’ opening intended later in the year.

Update: Congratulations and Celebrations at Opening of Fujairah’s Fortune Royal Hotel, FIF, 20 May 2011.

Geoff Pound

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

Sunday, February 13, 2011

More Public Art for Fujairah

While the Department of Public Works and Agriculture is renovating the Fujairah Corniche it may be a good time to add some more public art to the city by creating the Bull-Butting Roundabout.

When tourists write about their visit they often note the roundabouts as being among the distinctive features of Fujairah city as well as the northern city of Dibba.

Residents of Fujairah use the roundabouts to give directions as in, “Let’s meet at the shop two buildings down from the Perfume Roundabout.”

If these roundabouts are valuable it stands to reason that as Fujairah grows the city could well benefit from displaying more art on its roundabouts.

The existing roundabouts capture some of the distinctive symbols of Fujairah and Emirati culture—coffee, incense, fish, perfume and the falcon.

Earlier I have suggested the possibility of adding a Fort Roundabout and a Date Roundabout but is there anything that captures more the essence of Fujairah than bull butting?

The roundabout at Al Rughaylat, just south of the bull butting arena towards Kalba would be an ideal location for the Bull Butting Roundabout and would help newcomers to find their way to this ancient weekly event.

Some public art depicting bulls butting on the lush green grass would serve as an apt counterbalance to the Fish Roundabout further down the corniche.

Suggested Location

View Suggested Location for Bull Butting Roundabout in a larger map

The Falcon Roundabout in Fujairah Reminds People of High Values, FIF, 31 October 2010.
A New Fort Roundabout in Fujairah Would Tell UAE’s Best Kept Secret, FIF, 19 September 2010.
It’s Time for the New Date Roundabout in Fujairah, FIF, 18 September 2010.
Fishing Lures People to Fujairah and Still They’re Getting Hooked, FIF, 14 September 2010.
Discover What Fujairah is about from its Roundabouts, FIF, 3 September 2010.
The.Roundabout Architecture of Dibba-Fujairah, FIF, 19 December 2010.

Geoff Pound

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

Images: “The roundabout at Al Rughaylat, just south of the bull butting arena towards Kalba would be an ideal location for the Bull Butting Roundabout and would help newcomers to find their way to this ancient weekly event.” (This photo is taken from the Kalba direction, looking down the Corniche Road to the Fujairah commercial business district)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Flowering of Fujairah and the UAE

Congratulations to the Fujairah Government for its recent initiatives in bringing beauty to the streets and public squares of the city.

Salem al Maksah, the Director and his workers at the Department of Public Works and Agriculture, deserve credit for planting eight gardens along the Corniche between the Coffee Pot and Fish Roundabouts.

They are currently working on the second phase of the Fujairah corniche facelift—renewing the gardens between the Fish Roundabout and the bottom of Fujairah’s main street.

Last year they planted palm trees which are growing well but the irrigation system, the soil and the type of grass is being improved.

The third phase of the beautification process will involve the long stretch of the corniche, from the end of Hamad bin Abdullah Road to the next roundabout at Al Rugaylat.

Drive around the city—Al Salam Street in Old Fujairah to the Safeer Roundabout and up to the Old Palace, have a good look at Ittihad Street and all the roundabouts or take a ride down Faseel’s King Fayssal Street and you will see more grass, flowers and palm trees.

Apparently there are more flowers and shrubs to be planted.

Flowering of the Emirates
The greening and beautification is extending all over the country with such projects as the ‘Plant a Million Trees’ initiative in Dubai (especially the indigenous Ghaf) and the recently announced 1 million flowers decision (60 species!) in the city of Al Ain.

Fujairah Getting Greener, FIF, 7 October 2010.
The Beautification of Fujairah, FIF, 2 June 2010.

Geoff Pound

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

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Information on Fujairah for Download

Often brochures and menus can’t be fixed easily to a web site so over time the following resources have been posted on a document sharing site.

The links are in various articles on the Fujairah in Focus site but this posting brings the main ones together in one place:

Fujairah Menus
Oriental Restaurant Fujairah Menu with pics
Al Meshwar Menu
Fujairah Fort Café Menu
Saffrons Restaurant Menu
Zhonghua Huiguan Food Menu and Drinks Menu

Fujairah Brochures
Fujairah Marine Club 2010-11 Brochure
MKC Ramadan Tournament 2010 Details
Fujairah Fishing Competition 2010 Rules and Entry Form

Fujairah Directions
Directions for Driving from Dubai to Fujairah

More directions and information about these places may be gleaned from the Fujairah in Focus site. Put the appropriate word in the Search box at the top of the site. Check the INDEX at the top of the site.

Much more information is posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook site. Click LIKE to get a constant source of information, news and photos from Fujairah.

Fujairah Info for Download
Sing out when any of the above gets out of date and do request a new info document or brochure to be added for Document Sharing.

Geoff Pound

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

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Battle of the Fast Food Giants Waged on UAE Streets

Fast food ads have dominated billboards in the Emirates but currently there’s a rash of new ads on the UAE streets designed to seduce hungry Emiratis.

Locally Targeted
The Fast Food giants guarantee a uniform quality regardless of whether you are dining in Auckland, Athens or Atlanta.

Cultural adaptations have been made, like dropping the ‘Where’s the beef?’ ad from commercials in India and withdrawing bacon from burgers cooked in Indonesia.

In the UAE the ads have been written in Arabic and English to broaden the diner base.

Increasingly ads are being targeted to each emirate. Burger King’s ‘Now Flame Grillin’ in Fujairah’ slogan is proof that although BK’s recipes originate from their headquarters in Miami, you can “have it your way” in little old Fujairah.

The ingredients and the cooking have become so personalized and Fujairah-flavoured that these ads get the saliva flowing. Furthermore eating Flame Grillin’ in Fujairah is now pitched as one of the essential things you do in the eastern emirate, almost on a par with visiting the Friday Market, the bull butting or Wadi Wurayah.

Targeting Sports Lovers
During last year’s Football World Cup, the fast food ads in football crazy UAE included pictures of football stars to indicate that international soccer success starts at the dinner table with the right diet. The secret to the Lionel Messi success was revealed as he was portrayed holding a tub of spicy chicken.

Many 2011 fast food ads are associating burgers with fast motorcycles and champion basketball players. McDonald’s has done a deal with Apple Mac so by telling a good burger story you can be in the running to receive a free Notebook—a MacBook Air.

Targeting Emiratis
To promote the new Mega Arabita (not to be confused with a rabbit burger), KFC blends a modern Arabian flavor with their secret recipe. In this land of walls, veils and tinted windows, another secret is finger lickin’ good.

Pictured is an Emirati (or he could be a national from any Gulf Country) who is wolfing down one of the new Mega Arabitas.

Some UAE marketers have criticized this ad claiming that the model has an awkward pose, as he is hunched forward with a crooked neck and a padded chest. Others have seen in this solitary diner the devotional stance of a man so in love with what he is eating that he’s oblivious to anything else.

To Emiratis confronted by alarming obesity rates and warnings about poor diets this ad is reassuringly marked with a large halal sign to certify that the Mega Arabita is not only permitted but it has the Sharia stamp of approval.

Freedom to Choose
The ads from various fast food outlets remind us that we have freedom to choose what we eat but it’s useful to reflect on the subtle messages that are beamed to us on our streets by the hidden persuaders.

Geoff Pound

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

“For smart people, signs can replace words.” (Arabian Proverb)