May 3, 2017
This is another port we visited on our last trip and we did the same thing we did last time… we went on the shuttle to the mall. Only this time our shuttle bus was stopped by the traffic police for an expired registration (or at least that is what we could comprehend!) We were stopped at a gas station for about 30 minutes while they came to some agreement and we went on to the mall.
There really is not much going on here. It is the smallest of the Emirates, only 1.5% of the UAE’s total area. The landscape is very hilly and it all looks like stone.
There is a mosque but not as huge as the ones we have already seen. It is also called the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and was recently built. The older one, the Al Badiyah Mosque is 19 miles north of the city and is the oldest mosque in the UAE, built of mud and local stone. We chose not to make that trip.
So it was the shopping mall for us where I had hoped to have my nails done but they didn’t have any places for that. So we picked up some local dates (delicious) and a few other things we needed and headed to Starbucks for what we hoped would be free and fast wifi. We were half right, it was free for an hour but really not fast, so we couldn’t back up our devices. I did have a mango iced tea that was really good, and we observed many men in the white robes and women in the black. Some of the women had their faces covered and others just covered their hair with scarves. It is 103 degrees here. Why is it that the women wear black and the men wear white, I wonder?
You are supposed to dress conservatively in public places here – this is the sign on the doors entering the mall.
There was a beautiful candy shop. We didn’t buy any but the shopkeeper let us take pictures anyway.
And, Mark, Gillette products are big here.
Fujairah is the only one of the Emirates that is not on the Arabian Gulf, it faces east to the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Oman), so it is not as heavily developed. Many visitors come from Dubai to experience the largely deserted beaches on the coast. I don’t think anyone from the ship went to the beach though, you would definitely burn your feet on the sand! But you can wear swimsuits there.
We are in a shipping port and there are a huge number of tankers in the harbor (our neighbor on the ship – Winston – counted 89) and lots of circular oil storage containers in the port. You are not allowed to walk in the port and I can see why. They have almost completed an oil pipeline from Abu Dhabi to here. The pipeline will allow them to import oil without having to send it by ship through the Strait of Hormuz, close to Iran. They are afraid that Iran would be able to block the ships and thus cut off their supply of oil. So,this pipeline is critical for them as well as for much of the rest of the world. In March American warships here were harassed by Iranian forces, so this is timely.
To see the map, click here: Strait of Hormuz
On our way back to the ship, we passed some beautiful homes and also some slum like areas quite close to them.
We had a nice surprise this morning at breakfast. April and Robert, a couple we met on the last world cruise – and had a lot of fun with – joined the ship yesterday and will be on until Montreal! We made so much noise in the dining room last time I thought they would throw us out. So we are in for some good times.
Anna and David Smith are also back (photography lecturer- David- and quilt expert – Anna). It is really fun to see passengers and crew returning. Our first captain, Maroje Brajcic, has also returned. Oceania has loyal passengers. At the cocktail party for returning guests they usually have to have it on two nights as almost 85% are returning guests. Sometimes we get approached by people who remember us from previous trips or are readers of the blog and recognize us from that. We love this cruise line, so it is not surprising there is such loyalty.