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

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Salaam and Ciao as Italians Explore Collaborazione in Fujairah, UAE

Italian Delegation
WAM reports that the Fujairah Crown Prince HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed, has received (24 November 2008) a delegation of over 70 Italian businesspersons, who are exploring investment opportunities and ways of boosting joint investment and trade cooperation between Italy, Fujairah and the UAE.

Contemporary business thrives on discovering opportunities where parties win and grow because of mutual collaboration.

Coming from a country of mountains and coastlines the Italians will see much that attracts them in the UAE’s eastern coastline and the Hajar Mountains. These businesspersons will quickly recognize the strategic nature of Fujairah as a trade hub where cargo is less likely to be impeded than if it were being moved within the Strait of Hormuz.

The Fujairah emirate has majored on fostering its ancient history and there is much to be learned from Italians as to how best to preserve its archaeological finds and to showcase Emirati heritage.

Love of Sport
One of the things that could glue the residents of Italy and the UAE together is their love of sport and especially their shared passion for football. With Italy having won Football’s World Cup four times and being the current cup holder the development of football in the Emirates has tremendous scope with such a partnership.

With a major canal system being constructed in Dubai and talk of a new canal from Fujairah to Dubai, there is vast potential for learning lessons from Italian canal technology as well as pondering possibilities of a tourist canal route in fine Venetian style where people can travel across the Emirates and through the scenic Hajar Mountains in gondolas and river boats.

Car Industry
Emiratis love their cars with the same intensity that for centuries they have shown toward their camels. With the attractive free zones of the Emirates how good would it be to see branches of the Italian auto industry being established in this country—Lamborghini, Ferrai, Maserati, Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo. With a growing passion for riding motorbikes in the UAE there could also be some new coperazione with Ducati and Vespa.

Art and Culture
It is pleasing to see international recognition of the Middle East as a growing hub for contemporary culture and the way that Abu Dhabi is partnering with the Louvre and the Guggenheim Foundation to add richness to its local showcase.

In a truly United Arab Emirates there needs to be a spreading of cultural wealth and in this regard the forging of links with Italy has the potential to see the galleries and academies of Florence, Milan and Rome establishing a Middle Eastern presence, perhaps in Fujairah.

Inhaling the Connection
Hopefully the Italian visitors will recall Shakespeare’s line in Macbeth about “All the perfumes in Arabia” and breathe in the possibilities of reviving Italian perfume centres through establishing an Arabian base in the Emirates.

It might be good for them to visit the shopping malls and souks to smell the distinctive fragrance of the Emirates. In this country Emiratis put ‘perfume’ on their shopping list as certainly and as regularly as they would write ‘dates’ and ‘yoghurt’. In what other country do men at tertiary institutions get presented with a bottle of perfume on their first day as is often the custom in the Colleges of the UAE?

Buona Opportunità
When you start to think about an Italian-Fujairah-UAE connection the possibilities are endless. Imagine coffee shops along the Fujairah corniche where people can imbibe an Italian espresso or sit down, majlis-style over a traditional Arabic coffee! It gets the adrenalin flowing when you start to think that coffee qahwa قهوة has its roots in Arabic culture and the leisurely Emirati art of coffee drinking is symbolised by the coffee pot roundabout near the Fujairah corniche.

And ponder the Italian-Emirati connections in fashion, literature, vineyards, poetry, cakes, Interfaith Dialogue, dairy products, language centres … What possibilities!

The Italians are coming to Fujairah! Bravo! Magnifico! Fantastico!

More on Fujairah
Fujairah is a Load of Bull, Fujairah in Focus.
Fujairah is Just the Place for a Harley, FIF.
Buy Yourself a Camel at Friday Market, FIF.
Buying Oranges and Ouds at Friday Market in Fujairah, FIF.
Fujairah Ruler Says UAE Fully Supports Interfaith Dialogue, FIF.
Directions from Dubai/Sharjah to Fujairah, FIF.

Stop Press
In a joint statement issued today by the Italian and UAE governments it was declared that Dubai's Emirates airline has chosen Italy as its European hub and has asked for more than 50 weekly landing slots in Milan, Rome and Venice.

The deal also covers Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways, which is in line for seven landing slots in Rome and the same number in Milan.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Italians Exploring Collaborazione in Fujairah.