View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Friday, June 8, 2007

Cyclone Gonu Way from the UAE

U2’s song Beautiful Day, could be a fitting theme song for Fujairah today.

The sky is clear, the sun is up and the sea is calm. The high tide yesterday did not appear to score any further damage to properties.

The clean up is yet to be done but insurance agents are expected to be busy today assessing the damage in Fujairah.

While medical or health insurance is popular and essential in the UAE there is an ambivalence towards household and travel insurance and many expats do what the locals do and not bother. It will be interesting to see if there is a run on new insurance policies, including the Islamic insurance known as takaful.

At Kalba, several kilometers south of Fujarah and on the UAE/Oman border, they are reporting extensive damage to fishing boats and equipment. This is a significant loss as fishing is an ancient and important industry in these parts. The fish markets in Kalba and Fujairah continue to remain closed and the price of fish is soaring throughout supermarkets and shops in the UAE.

Hotels and resorts on the east coast have been reporting today significant damage to their beaches and a drop in guest numbers.

Today is Friday, the major day of worship for Muslims and Christians in the UAE. At the mosques and church services there will be opportunities for reflection and expressions of thanksgiving for divine protection and aid. Even in the midst of the approaching cyclone the most repeated words in this country have still been ‘Insha’Allah’ (‘God willing’) and alhamdulillah (Praise be to God’ or colloquially ‘Thank God.’

Geoff Pound

Image: Friday in Fujairah—It’s a ‘Beautiful Day’.