Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Will the UAE Make a U-Turn on Nuclear Power?


Germany has decided this week to close its nuclear power plants by 2022 and is committed to boosting its reliance on sustainable energy sources (wind, solar, hydro etc.) from the current level of 17% to more than 50% in the coming decades.

Switzerland, which currently gets 40% of its energy from nuclear power generation, has also agreed this week to phase the reactors out so it will be nuclear-free by 2034.

Many questions are being asked in Japan since the Fukushima nuclear crisis in March. Prime Minister Kan has talked of slowing the nuclear push while many are questioning the nation’s unwavering dependency on nuclear energy.

No U-Turn

While several countries are making a U-turn on their nuclear energy policies the United Arab Emirates continues to embark on its $20 billion plan to produce nuclear power by 2017 and it is currently in talks with its GCC neighbours about a shared Dh21.3 billion repository in which to store their nuclear waste.

Wrong Bus?

It’s fascinating to see the UAE catching the nuclear bus just at the time when some major industrialized nations are abandoning this mode and staking their future on the sustainable energy bus.

When more countries have abandoned their reactors, will the UAE leaders rue the decision at this time to go nuclear and declare that they have caught the wrong bus?

To what extent will the UAE’s commitment to nuclear power impede its innovation and development of sustainable energy sources?

Will the Masdar experiment become an interesting model for the world to witness or will its lessons be embraced throughout the Emirates?

Geoff Pound

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

Monday, May 30, 2011

Exploring the Establishment of a Fujairah Natural History Group

+ Ever thought you’d love to have a tour of Fujairah’s Bithna Fort and the surrounding area with somebody who knew its history stretching back to the Iron Age?

+ Ever wanted to do a gentle walk in the Hajar Mountains during the cool weather and be taught by an archaeologist how to recognize a petroglyph and read the language of Fujairah’s early rock artists?

+ Ever yearned to paddle around Khor Kalba in a kayak with somebody experienced in identifying the rich bird life of the region?

+ Ever longed to hear an illustrated talk on the rich resources of Wadi Wurayah by the scientists that work there on a regular basis?

It looks like some of these dreams could become a reality with the formation of a Fujairah Natural History Group later this year.

Some people have been dreaming about the formation of a group that exists to explore together, Fujairah and the surrounding area. Here is a letter from HCT teacher, David Edwards, who is dropping a seed thought on behalf of the group and asking if you are interested.

Shout Out!

A Fujairah Natural History Group shout out!


We are shouting out to you to determine the level of interest among the community in establishing a Fujairah Natural History Group.

An informal organizing group has been dreaming of the possibility of such a group and, if interest is sufficient, we would plan for an inaugural public meeting to be held in the latter part of September 2011.

Like other chapters of the Emirates Natural History Group (Abu Dhabi & Al Ain ENHG and Dubai DNHG), the Fujairah Natural History Group will endeavor to further knowledge and awareness in the local flora and fauna, geology and archaeology, environment and culture through a variety of lectures, workshops and fieldtrips.

If this appeals to you, should you wish further information or you would like to indicate what skills or expertise you might contribute, please email us at fnhg@ymail.com at your earliest possible convenience.

Thank you for your assistance, and for your attention here.


David G. Edwards

FNHG Organizing Committee Member

Got Some Ideas?

I shared some of my ideas above—Bithna Fort area, reading petroglyphs, Khor Kalba, Wadi Wurayah etc.—what sort of things would you like to hear about and experience around Fujairah?

Not all ideas can be promised or executed by this group but the theme of the monthly activities and talks at the FNHG will come from interested people like you.

What would you like to learn and explore about the natural history of Al Fujairah?

Geoff Pound

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

Feel free to forward this link, cut and paste the above letter and put it in your staff news or use any other means to get the word out.

Don't forget to email your reply saying, 'I am interested'.

Image: Looking through a door in the small village at the watch tower of the partially restored fort near Khor Kalba. (Photo courtesy of David Edwards)

Arab Proverb: “The Dog’s Tail Will Never Be…”

“The dog’s tail will never be straight.”

More Arab Proverbs—Link.

Geoff Pound

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

Thanks to Shoaib O. Essa for suggesting this proverb.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Reviving the Traditional Art of Paper Camel Making in Fujairah

From LA to UAE

Darcy Harris first left her Los Angeles home in 1986 to travel to Japan where she heard they were desperately looking for English conversation teachers. She never suspected that she would meet her husband and travel the world for the next 25 years. Darcy and Paul have lived in such exotic places as Finland, the UK and Saudi Arabia.

Now based in Fujairah, Darcy is currently the Student Success Coordinator (SSC) for the HCT Men’s College.

Darcy’s first love is theatre and she is hoping to bring her love of theatre to Fujairah in December 2011 by directing an English pantomime. She’s plans to feature some of her paper sculptures in the production.

Paper Sculpting

Darcy has been the director and curator of an art gallery, but it may have been her production of live theatre and the need to create props that got her into the art of paper sculpting.

As a teacher, Darcy noticed the tremendous stack of paper that would mount up below the College photocopy machine and she wondered how the waste might be put to good use.

Paper Camels

Darcy has lived in the Gulf for sixteen years and the UAE for eleven years. She began to notice five to six years ago in the shops and souqs that the ubiquitous leather camels were fast disappearing.

When she started to make her first paper camels many Emirati young people said to Darcy, “That’s what my grandmother made!”

An old Emirati, seeing one of Darcy’s camels, reflected, “I had these when I was a child.”

Darcy lamented the disappearance of this traditional art form and said, “I wanted to bring back something I thought Emiratis and people of the Gulf were losing.”

She decided not to make leather camels but to apply lacquer to the paper and add decorations that might appeal to the youthful generations.

Last year was the first year that Darcy began to sell the camels which was a decision to get them into circulation, contribute to the growing craft culture in the UAE and as a way of recovering some of her costs.

Learning the Craft

To learn the camel making craft, Darcy bought up camels in shops and markets, especially those that were broken. She would take them apart, discover what materials were used and learn how they were constructed. Many of the old camels were stuffed with odds and ends that the maker could find in the house.

Darcy has made hippos and horses but she prefers to concentrate on making camels.

Building a Camel

Darcy makes the ‘building’ of a camel look easy. You take a ball of newspaper, fashion it into a shape, apply water or glue and keep adding strips of paper to make a knee or a hump.

It’s a slow process as the wet paper needs to dry before more paper is added. Darcy uses glue paste after which she sands the dry paper smooth. Gypsum and acrylic paints are applied along with decorative extras before the camel is fully presentable. Darcy offers this observation on camel construction:

“The longer the camels stand for drying the better they will look in the end.”

The smaller ones take two weeks to dry but the larger ones can take up to six weeks so Darcy has lots of camels on the go at any one time, and she will make scores of legs or tails in one burst.

Decorating the Camel

After the camels are dried, they are smoothed and painted before being decorated. Darcy buys up stickers at the markets and One Dirham shops. Her customers will ask for specific designs—camels draped in the Union Jack, camels decorated with Dutch tulips and the ever popular camels with the UAE colours.

While Darcy makes camels in different stances—standing, kneeling or even balancing on a surfboard—it’s the detailed decorations that give each camel their distinctive personality. “Every camel is a canvas,” declares Darcy. “Every camel is sacred.”

Some buyers request that their multi-coloured camel be decked out with flashy beads or with elaborate palm tree ornamentation. As she says, “The world is full of different tastes and some colours appeal much more than others.”

After colouring, decorating and adding the bling the camels receive a lacquer to protect their surface and make them shiny. Water and sunlight will damage these paper creations so the camels are not to be kept outside or in the window light.

Camels for Sale

Darcy has a demanding fulltime job so camel making at the end of the day is a pleasurable hobby. She sets the prices at minimal levels simply to cover her costs.

Here are the current prices for the paper camels:

AED 25 Small

AED 50 Medium

AED 75 Large

AED 150 Extra Large

AED 275 Extra Extra Large

Art and Craft Markets

There’s a growing number of souqs in the UAE which bring together people who make handmade crafts.

These are some souqs where Darcy sells her camels:

Art and Craft Soukh—Times Square Center, Dubai (2nd Friday of the month from 12pm-7pm). Website: www.arte.ae

Art and Craft market—Festival Centre at Dubai Festival City (1st Friday of the month from 12pm to 9pm). Website: www.arte.ae

Art and Craft Soukh—Al Hamra Mall, Ras Al Khaimah (three Fridays a year from 2pm to 9pm). Website: www.arte.ae


For information and inquiries Darcy Harris may be contacted at this email address:


Geoff Pound

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

Your Suggestions to Solve the Oil Dumping Crisis in Fujairah Waters


New Head of the Municipality’s Environment Protection Department, Eng. Fatma Hassan Sharary, said she would welcome suggestions from the public as her department puts together a plan to address oil dumping in Fujairah waters.

After the major oil dumping in April that killed fish and birds and closed the tourist beaches at Al Aqah and another blanket of oil this month, the issue of finding an effective solution must be marked URGENT and IMPORTANT.


Let your creative ideas flow about the following matters:

  • Surveillance and policing
  • Detection of oil entering the water
  • Accurately tracing the oil to the rogue oil tanker
  • Penalties for oil tanker owners
  • Early alerting of stakeholders regarding oil in the water
  • Preventing the spread of leaked oil and clean up operations
  • Determining local government and federal government responsibilities
  • Financing the oil dumping prevention plan
  • Other aspects

Pass Them On

I’m happy to receive your ideas and plans on this matter and pass them on to the department.

Geoff Pound

Contact via the following:

Email geoffpound(at)gmail.com



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

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rare Visit to Fujairah, UAE of Franklin’s Gull

'Is It a Bird?...'

Alarm bells started to ring when Dr Reza Khan posted in the UAE Birding Forum the names and photos of birds he had spotted on Tuesday 17 May 2011 at Fujairah and Kalba in three different locations.

‘Weird Black-Headed Thing’

Mark S, one of his birding colleagues added these comments to the forum:

“White-eyed Gull AND that weird white-eyed black-headed thing, Reza? Not only is White-eyed Gull a serious rarity, but that black-headed gull looks VERY interesting - similar to Laughing/Franklin's Gull. Reza-do you have any more photos of either bird?”

Franklin’s Finding Authenticated

The spotting and identification of the Franklin’s Gull in Fujairah was reported (25 May 2011) in The National along with news of a sighting on 12 May of a Cory’s shearwater which had also not been seen before and documented in the UAE.

Video Footage

On 27 May 2011 UAE birder Mike Barth posted an article about visiting Fujairah on Friday 20 May 2011 to discover this ‘extreme migrant’.

Mike found the Franklin’s Gull on the stretch of beach near the Fujairah Port and posted on his blog some photographs along with some video footage.

He writes about wading out among the high waves and getting drenched in order to get his photos. The lengths that bird spotters go to get their photos and video footage!

Take a look at Mike Barth’s post, his photos of the rare bird in Fujairah and the Franklin’s Gull starring on video.


Fujairah is For the Birds, FIF, 3 November 2010.

Geoff Pound

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

Image: The Franklin’s Gull making his rare appearance in Fujairah and the UAE. (Photo courtesy of Mike Barth).

Friday, May 27, 2011

Crown Prince Orders Speedy and Efficient Public Services in Fujairah

The Fujairah Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, spoke this week (25 May 2011) to the directors of all his departments and urged them to speed up and facilitate their procedures as they serve the public and investors.

The Crown Prince is not happy with the slow and cumbersome procedures. He has obviously heard stories from business people, investors and the general public about inefficient and slow systems encountered in Fujairah.

Can’t Do Culture

The slow, convoluted processes do not match the marketing propaganda of the UAE being a ‘Can Do’ country.

The common response, that ‘things happen shway shway (slowly, slowly)’ in Fujairah, is wearing thin.

To use the insha’allah expression as an excuse for not getting things done efficiently and on time is a perversion of its meaning and simply a way of passing the blame.

Slow and Cumbersome

What are the processes in Fujairah that you are finding to be slow, confused and inefficient? Pass on your stories. Maybe some publicity might lead to further pep talks from the Prince, a simplifying of the processes and some speedy, smiling service.

One glaring example of inefficiency reported today (27 May 2011) concerns a lack of cooling in schools around the UAE, including some in Fujairah. Despite the intense heat in recent days The National said that the Ministry of Education currently knows of 7,000 faulty AC units in UAE schools! It added that the usual time for getting these cooling units fixed was between five to 10 days. Department officials would not tolerate such slow service in their own homes. The Ministry indicated that these cooling problems would be attended to by the end of the summer holidays! How long is that? The Ministry of Education receives a FAIL for such inefficiency.

Celebrating Service

Write in with your stories of excellent service that you experience in Fujairah. The celebration of the ease of doing business and the ‘can do’ spirit is something that needs to be reported and encouraged.

Well done to the Fujairah Crown Prince for addressing such an important issue.

Geoff Pound

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

Image: The Fujairah Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oil Update on Sea and Beaches at Al Aqah, Fujairah

Following the oil dumping that appeared at Al Aqah on Monday and grew in its intensity on Tuesday a further report emerged on Wednesday (26 May 2011).

Guests at the Al Aqah resorts said that Wednesday was a rough day at sea with waves crashing onto the beaches, particularly at high tide.

This turbulence helped to break up the long band of oil and may have been a blessing to the many hotel staff who were on the beaches and in the sea attempting to disperse the oil.

On Wednesday morning there were many hotel workers armed with brooms and shovels seeking to clean the washed up oil from the sand. Despite their good efforts there was still much oil in evidence on the beach.

One hotel guest who ventured along the beach said the smell of oil was still in the air and the waves had a ‘creamy top’ to them.

The roughness of the waves not the oil was the primary cause of the curtailing of many water activities yesterday.


New Oil Dumping in Sea and on Beaches at Fujairah’s Al Aqah Region, FIF, 25 May 2011.

Geoff Pound

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

Images: Views of the Al Aqah beach on Wednesday (25 May 2011) and those who were part of the cleaning brigade.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Oil Dumping in Sea and on Beaches at Fujairah’s Al Aqah Region

A huge dumping of oil has been washing over the beaches at Fujairah’s Al Aqah hotel and resort region.

The oil started appearing on Monday (23 May 2011) but by Tuesday afternoon it had arrived with greater intensity.

The oil was in a band about twenty yards wide from the beach out to sea. According to Al Aqah hotel guests on Tuesday the beaches were closed. Nobody was allowed in the sea from the Rotana Hotel to Sandy Bay.

Guests said the oil was causing their eyes to water and the pungent smell was most unpleasant.

One guest reported seeing a turtle raise its head through the oily sea surface but who knows if it will survive.

Hotel workers along the Al Aqah stretch were working strenuously to clean the beaches but with so much oil still in the water it appeared as if it would be a long process.

It is one thing to get the beach to the point where guests can walk on it without them getting tar on their feet or shoes. It is another thing to thoroughly clean the beaches so they are brought back to a satisfactory condition.

Fujairah Municipality Response

Newly appointed head of the Environment Protection Department of the Fujairah Municipality, Eng. Fatma Hassan Sharary, said today (Wednesday) that she was aware of the oil dumping at Al Aqah and that every effort was being made to ensure that local people were assisted in the cleaning of the beaches.

Prevention is Better than Cure

When reminded of the most recent oil dumping at Al Aqah last month and asked what more is being done in the way of prevention, Fatma mentioned that a new plan was being devised to combat oil dumpings. This will address early surveillance and using technology to accurately detect the tanker from which the oil is being discharged through to reviewing such matters as policing, penalties and cleanup operations.

Fatma said that the problem is too big for it to be left to municipalities and that there needs to be a national approach.

The new plan will involve a significant amount of work and is likely to be released and put into operation sometime in 2012.

Isn’t it Ironic?

As the oil is washing up on the beaches, delegates at the Wetlands Workshop and the Ramsar Convention from the UAE and the surrounding region are inside one of the Al Aqah hotels discussing more effective ways of conserving protected areas and hearing reports from the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME).

Geoff Pound

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

Image: A photo taken on Tuesday of one of the Al Aqah beaches, showing traces of oil in the sand and the dark band of oil in the sea.

Arab Proverb: “A Promise is a Cloud…”

“A promise is a cloud; fulfillment is the rain.”

More Arab Proverbs—Link.

Geoff Pound

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Importance of the Wetlands Workshop to Fujairah and Beyond

Royal Support

The patronage and presence of the Fujairah Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi at yesterday’s (23 May 2011) opening ceremony at Le Méridien Resort Al Aqah did much to elevate the importance of the Wetlands Workshop and the Ramsar Convention in West Asia—the Gulf countries, Iran and North Africa.


The workshop which continues until 26 May 2011 is hosted by the Environment Protection & Development Department of the Fujairah Municipality and organised by this group, the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, Ramsar Regional Centre RRC-EA, EWS-WWF and supported by the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) of United Arab Emirates, the Secretariat of the League of Arab States and UNEP-ROWA.


The workshop is focusing on the national implementation of the Ramsar Convention wetland policies, national policy mechanisms for the conservation and wise use of wetlands by regional organizations and governments. It is exploring greater opportunities for regional cooperation.


Some of the practical wetland site issues include working with local communities, management planning wetland habitat management, the restoration and monitoring of areas, community education and public awareness and tourism programs.


More than 30 experts, site managers, governmental officials and NGO representatives are attending the workshop which includes a combination of papers, discussion, field visits to UAE protected areas and formal and informal networking.

Importance of UAE

Adding to their international importance for some breeding species, the UAE wetlands are the last refuelling stop-overs for thousands of migrants waterbirds coming from the Northern Hemisphere breeding grounds (Siberia, Russia) on their way to the Southern Hemisphere wintering grounds (Africa) before crossing the thousands kilometres of Arabian desert.

They also provide a respite for these flying migrants before reaching breeding sites on their way back.

In these arid countries, artificial wetlands (dams, reservoirs, sewage basins, etc.) are attractive as feeding and resting grounds for waterbirds and some have been categorised as of international importance.

Other wetlands like Wadi Wurayah in Fujairah have been shown to host a unique biodiversity and cultural heritage, in addition to freshwater resources. However, because of the recent development of the country, a lot of natural wetlands have shrunk considerably or disappeared.

UAE and Ramsar

Since 2007, the UAE has been a member of the Ramsar Convention, named after the Iranian city of Ramsar, on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea, where the international “Convention on Wetlands” was signed on 2 February 1971.

Ramsar Convention

This convention is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

The Convention's mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world".

Wetlands Defined

The definition of wetlands according to the text of the Ramsar Convention is the following: “Wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed 6 m”.

Value of Ramsar

Although the RAMSAR listing doesn't ensure a protection, it elevates the site to a higher status: the wetland is recognized as a place of “international importance” and it focuses more attention upon it. National governments are then implicitly making a commitment to ensure that the ecological character of the site will be maintained.

UAE Ramsar Sites

In 2008, the first UAE RAMSAR site was declared: Ras al Khor in Dubai and in November 2010, the second Ramsar site for UAE was designated at Fujairah’s Wadi Wurayah.

Wurayah Process

On March 16, 2009, Wadi Wurayah, Fujairah, was designated officially by HH Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammad Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, as a Protected Area, becoming the first Mountain Protected Area of the United Arab Emirates.

Generous Support

Initiated in 2006, by the Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF) in partnership with Fujairah Municipality, the Wadi Wurayah project has been generously sponsored by HSBC Bank Middle East, Bridgestone, and with contribution of Jumeirah English Speaking School, Raffles school of Dubai and Higher Colleges of Technology of Fujairah.

Precious Resource

Wadi Wurayah contains mountain as well as freshwater habitats that shelter rare and endangered species. It also provides opportunities for the sustenance and revival of livelihoods of tribal communities. These make the Wadi, undoubtedly, a critical area for environmental and cultural preservation. Work will now commence on establishing a sustainable protected area that will integrate local tradition and lifestyle with the conservation of the Wadi’s biodiversity.


Fujairah to Host Workshop on Wetlands & Ramsar Convention for Region, FIF, 24 May 2011.

Geoff Pound

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

Image: The Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, in conversation with international delegates at the Wetlands Workshop in Fujairah.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Happenings at the Fujairah International Airport 2011

Busy Year

It’s been a busy year so far at the Fujairah International Airport (FIA) with the hosting of the inaugural Air Center Conference in April, further Safety and Security Exercises and attendance at the Arabian Travel Market on the Fujairah Tourism & Antiquities Authority Exhibition stand..

Coming Up

There’s no letting up on the 2011 calendar of the Fujairah International Airport.

Airport Show-Dubai

The FIA will be participating in the eleventh annual Airport Show 2011 which is being held at Dubai Airport Expo from 31st May until 2nd June (10 a.m. - 6p.m.)

This is another opportunity for FIA to promote the development of new facilities at FIA, in the quest to fulfill the vision of the airport that is mapped out until 2025. These include new airline offices, maintenance workshops & store rooms/offices and the Executive Aviation Terminal. It is also an opportunity to see the latest and most advanced equipment and services related to airport development and operations..

FIA will be one of the many exhibitors along with the Fujairah Aviation Academy and the Fujairah-based company, Perma-Pipe Middle East.

EMAA Awards

The Airport Show is hosting a Gala Dinner on 1st June at Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Dubai at which the Emerging Market Airport Awards (EMAA) 2011 will be presented.

This is one of the world’s largest Airport gala dinner events and it recognises excellence in 25 categories in the Airport industry.

The Fujairah International Airport has been nominated for an award this year.


Fujairah International Airport Evolving into Air Center for Middle East, FIF, 20 April 2011.

Exciting Plans Developing at the Fujairah International Airport, FIF, 17 April 2011.

Middle East Aviation Boom Sets Context for Air Center Conference 2011 in Fujairah, FIF, 14 April 2011.

Geoff Pound

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

Image: Glimpses of the 2010 Air Show in Dubai.

Arab Proverb: “He Walks Slowly and…”

“He walks slowly and arrives first.”

More Arab Proverbs—Link.

Geoff Pound

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

Image: Photo (taken in Dibba) courtesy of this blog.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Congratulations and Celebrations at Opening of Fujairah’s Fortune Royal Hotel

Crowds of invited guests packed Fujairah’s Fortune Royal Hotel to celebrate the grand opening, view the new facilities and sample the chef’s cuisine.

The hotel staff just before 7pm putting the final touches to the façade of the Fortune Royal Hotel.

The celebratory cake appropriately iced and waiting to be cut.

Many flowers decorated the hotel lobby.

Mr. Praveen Shetty, (on the left), the Managing Director of the Fortune Group, receiving more well wishers and their gifts of flowers.

At 7pm the Fortune Royal Hotel lobby was filling up with guests and abounding in colourful saris.

Sheikh Sultan Bin Ali Bin Rashid Al-Naimi, the sponsor of the Fortune Hotel Group, came from Ajman. He is looking very happy with the Grand Opening. Mr. Walid Issa Baw, who already manages the Fujairah Fortune Residence Apartments and now has the responsibility for the new Fortune Royal Hotel is looking more pensive.

Q: How do you attract members of the Indian community to the opening of a hotel?

A: Invite Indian film stars to your function.

Pooja Gandhi (left) from Kannada and Rima Kallingal (right) from Kerala certainly turned out to be a draw card. Here they are getting ready to cut the cake.

This was their first visit to the Emirates.

Sheikh Sultan asks the superstars how they were finding Fujairah. “It’s so hot,” they said as the evening temperatures were still hovering around 40 C degrees.

The lighting of the tall and heavyweight candles provided some sparkle and gave the cake a sprinkling of magnesium.

The art of getting half a dozen people to cut the cake at the same time—Sheikhs, Stars and Shettys.

The dignitaries look relieved to have cut the cake successfully.

Everybody begins to clap as the music starts and they hear the voice of Sir Cliff Richard singing:

“Congratulations and celebrations…

When I tell everyone that you’re in love with me.

Congratulations and jubilations,

I want the world to know I’m happy as can be.”

After the formal cake cutting ceremony everyone went on a tour of the new Taravad Restaurant and a tasting of the Fortune food.


More details about the Fortune Royal Hotel, its facilities, pictures, menus for download and contact information have been posted at the first link:

Why Visit the New Fortune Royal Hotel in Fujairah, FIF, 13 April 2011.

Fujairah’s Fortune Royal Hotel Celebrates Official Opening, FIF, 19 May 2011.

Geoff Pound

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