Fujairah: An experience to cherish!
The serenity of the place, the movement of ships into and out of the port, the mountain ranges and the Friday market, give it a distinct look: Fujairah, one of the seven emirates of UAE, is worth visiting. I would cherish my stay at Fujairah!
A GOOD two-hour drive from Emirate of Dubai, Fujairah offers the first-time visitor a few attractions not to be encountered there. Nearing Fujairah, one is welcomed by a range of mountains. Not a familiar site in desert terrain but an “in” thing for a person coming from India, where we encounter mountainous terrain everywhere we go. These desert mountain ranges have nothing much to offer, except for a few wild shrubs. It’s just to be expected that the mountains will have limited green cover. Rainfall is as scanty as the vegetation. No sporting activity can be enjoyed in the mountain ranges and none of our students was allowed to venture into the mountains, which didn’t prevent three from doing so, only to be retrieved by fire brigade personnel. The landscape has nothing much to offer by way of greenery, but it does foster a feeling of nostalgia and also acts as a comforting balm when one is away from home. During my three-year tenure in this part of the Emirate, the serenity of the surroundings offered a mixed bag - a feeling of homesickness and at the same time, of being welcomed.
My school, where I resided on campus, was on the outskirts of the city. Whenever I felt dispirited, all I had to do was to go onto the rooftop and admire the serenity. The beauty had a calming effect on me amidst all my mixed feelings. From the rooftop I had a better view of the port and its ship traffic. The port view took my mind back to my brother’s sailing trips, when, one day, his ship finally did anchor in the Port of Fujairah - a joyous moment for me, to be united with him after three years, during which we took our holidays at different times and could never see each other, hailing as we do from Goa, a western state of India. Besides the port view, I also enjoyed the view of the mountains and the city from the rooftop. The evening skyline with the setting sun and the city lights popping on gave me immense pleasure. Sometimes, on a starry night, the full moon had a soothing effect on both mind and body. On some evenings during early December, my colleagues and I would have dinner, not in our respective rooms, but on the terrace under the moon and the brightly shining stars, not forgetting the cool wind partaking in our repast after a day’s work. All this had a refreshing effect on us.
During an outing on the rooftop, I had a glimpse of a shooting star - the first one in my life – on my birthday. As a concession to the traditional injunction to “make a wish when you see a shooting star,” I did not miss the opportunity to do so on behalf of my family and myself. My experience of the rains here in Fujairah was different compared to that in India. Here they usually fall in the winter season, which begins around late October or early November. The skies open up only twice or thrice in a year. Here I witnessed a different form of rain altogether. I am sure you have guessed by now - right! The hailstones. It was like someone pelting my window panes with gravel. Initially I was quite distraught, but a colleague explained to me the entire phenomenon. In fact, ‘hailstone’ was a word I first came across while reading the Holy Bible.
All in all, I do not regret spending these three years in this part of a desert land. Not only did I pass on knowledge to my students, but also gained a lot myself. My stay here will always be a memorable experience I will carry all my life. Long live Fujairah!