Fujairah (Arabic: الفجيرة Al Fuǧaira) is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and the only one of the seven that has a coastline solely on the Gulf of Oman and none on the Persian Gulf.
|TIME ZONE :||UAE standard time (UTC+4)|
|LANGUAGE :||Arabic (official)|
|AREA :||1,166 km2 (450 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||25°16′N 56°20′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 70.1%|
• Female: 29.9%
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :|
The UAE culture mainly revolves around the religion of Islam and traditional Arab culture. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture on its architecture, music, attire, cuisine and lifestyle are very prominent as well. Five times every day, Muslims are called to prayer from the minarets of mosques which are scattered around the country. Since 2006, the weekend has been Friday-Saturday, as a compromise between Friday's holiness to Muslims and the Western weekend of Saturday-Sunday.
Drinking alcohol is allowed at designated hotels, and as of 2000, at a few bars. Until 1998, gambling in the form of slot machines was allowed in certain hotels, but personal petitions by locals to the Sheikh outlawed the activity. Some players were losing entire monthly wages on the slots, leaving nothing for the upkeep of their families.
Groups of (Emirati) youths tend to socialize together on the streets and cafés or outside games arcades, cinemas and mini malls. It is unusual to see mixed-sex groups as Emirati society is quite segregated.
On vacations, many Fujairah residents travel to western emirates such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, for entertainment and shopping purposes. They also visit the Wadis surrounding the emirate on camping and hiking trips. At the same time, other emirates' residents visit Fujairah for relaxation purposes and to get away from the stifling heat of the desert. Watersports are becoming more and more popular amongst both locals and tourists. Examples of watersports are jet skis, windsurfing, waterskiing and diving. Professional diving instructors can be found in Le Meridien or in Royal Beach Hotel, where one can even obtain an International Diving License, for a fee.
Fujairah, dominated by theSharqiyin tribe, sits at the mouth of the important trade route, the Wadi Ham (which is guarded by the Sharqiyin fort at Bithnah), through the mountains to the interior and the Persian Gulf Coast. Known as theShamaliyah, the east coast of what is now the UAE was subject to Muscat until 1850, when it was annexed by the Al Qasimi of Sharjah.
The Shamaliyah was governed by the Al Qasimi Wali at Kalba although frequently seceded and in 1901 Hamad bin Abdulla Al Sharqi, chief of the Sharqiyin, declared independence from Sharjah. This was recognised by a number of the Trucial Sheikhs and also by Muscat, but not the British, who were frequently provoked by the independently-minded Ruler.
In 1952, Fujairah entered into treaty relations with Britain, becoming the last of the emirates to join the Trucial States. On 2 December 1971, Fujairah joined the United Arab Emirates.
Fujairah is home to the oldest mosque in the United Arab Emirates which was built in 1446 of mud and bricks. It is similar to other mosques found in Yemen, eastern Oman, and Qatar. Al Bidyah Mosque has four domes (unlike the other similar mosques which have between seven and twelve) and lacks a minaret.
The weather is seasonal, although it is warm most of the year. The months of October to March are generally regarded as the coolest, with daytime temperatures averaging around 25 °C (77 °F) and rarely venturing above 30 °C (86 °F)—with temperatures climbing to over 40 °C (104 °F) degrees in the summer. The winter period also coincides with the rainy season and although by no means guaranteed, this is when Fujairah experiences the bulk of its precipitation. Rainfall is higher than the rest of the UAE, partly because of the effect of the mountains that encircle the Emirate, and partly because the prevailing winds are easterly bringing with them water-laden clouds off the warm Indian Ocean.
Climate data for Fujairah
|Record high °C (°F)||30|
|Average high °C (°F)||23|
|Average low °C (°F)||12|
|Record low °C (°F)||5|
The emirate of Fujairah covers approximately 1,166 km2, or about 1.5% of the area of the UAE, and is the fifth-largest emirate in the UAE. Its population is around 152,000 inhabitants (in 2009); only the Emirate of Umm al-Quwain has fewer occupants.
Fujairah is the only emirate of the UAE that is almost completely mountainous. All the other emirates, such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi are located on the west coast, and are largely covered by deserts. Consequently, Fujairah boasts a higher than average yearly rainfall of the UAE, allowing farmers in the region to produce one crop every year. The emirate has a cove, Ad Dayt.
Fujairah's economy is based on subsidies and federal government grants distributed by the government of Abu Dhabi (the seat of power in the UAE). Local industries consist of cement, stone crushing and mining. A resurgence in the construction activity helped the local industry. There is a flourishing free trade zone, mimicking the success of the Dubai Free Zone Authority which was established around Jebel Ali Port.
The federal government employs the majority of the native, local workforce, with few opening businesses of their own. Many of the locals work in the service sector. The Fujairah government prohibits foreigners from owning more than 49% of any business. The free zones have flourished, partly due to the relaxation of such prohibition within the zones, as full foreign ownership is allowed there. Shaikh Saleh Al Sharqi, younger brother to the ruler, is widely recognized as the driving force behind the commercialization of the economy.
Fujairah is a minor bunkering port with large scale shipping operations taking place every day. Shipping and ship related services are thriving businesses of the city. Due to the business friendly environment and ease of logistic support, ships trading from Persian gulf anchor here for provisions, bunkers, repair and technical support, spares and stores before proceeding on long voyages. The city is also geographically well suited for such ship service related activities.
Government of Fujairah is major shareholder in National Bank of Fujairah, an UAE local bank, incorporated in 1982. NBF is in the areas of corporate and commercial banking, trade finance and treasury.
Foreigners or visitors are not allowed to buy land. Emirati nationals can purchase land from the government, after proving their nationality. If there is no suitable land available via the official government offices, private purchases can also be made, with the eventual price being determined by the market and the individuals themselves.