FUJAIRAH / WAM
“The whole of Fujairah is a jewel,” according to the Emirate’s Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi. “We need to polish it, so that it will shine.” He was talking to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), about the work currently under way on completing Fujairah’s Master Plan.
“The Port of Fujairah and the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ), with the associated offshore oil bunkering industry, along with the Fujairah Free Zone will remain essential parts of our economy and our plans for development, but there are other aspects on which we also need to focus,” he said. He singled out culture and tourism as being areas that will receive more attention.
“Fujairah,” he added, “has probably the largest number of traditional villages in the whole country. They can be found in every wadi (valley), wherever there is a spring or a source of water. Instead of fading away and disappearing, these villages are growing,” he said.
“In each wadi, there are tombs, watchtowers and other sites that are evidence of our ancient heritage. Our castles, such as those at Bithna and in Fujairah City itself, and other sites, like the ancient mosque at Bidiya, still in use, as well as our traditional farms, provide further evidence of our historic culture.”
Improving the infrastructure in these areas will be one of the key objectives of the Master Plan, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi suggested.
As Fujairah seeks to develop its tourist industry, the Crown Prince said, “we need to promote knowledge of our past and to protect our environment, so that our people understand its value and can communicate that to visitors from elsewhere in the UAE as well as from abroad.”