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Emerging Markets

Port in a storm— Fujairah

Preface

Known as the quieter sibling of the UAE’s growing mega cities, the port of Fujairah links the Gulf to the Indian Ocean. But with investment rising and a politically strategic position, this tranquil place may be about to boom.

Arabian sea, Gulf, Indian Ocean, Port, Trade

The sight of Abu Dhabi licence plates on the roads is a good omen for any small town in the United Arab Emirates. It means investment, interest and capital is on the way. Cars brandishing these plates now race across a new highway that connects the east coast town of Fujairah with the rest of the country. As the only Emirate not to strike oil in the rush of the 1970s, Fujairah has remained quiet, rural and pointedly proud of it.

Whereas Abu Dhabi’s skyline is dominated by high-rises, Fujairah has the stark but spectacular Hajar mountains as a…

Old territory

The summer’s punishing heat may be sweeping across the Gulf but diplomacy between the UAE and Iran couldn’t be frostier. The latter’s threats to close the Strait of Hormuz might have soured the once cordial relationship but things nose-dived again in April when Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a surprise visit to the tiny island of Abu Musa. Despite a population of only 2,000, Abu Musa has long been a bone of contention between the two states. The Emirates claim historic sovereignty and that the island has been illegally occupied by Iran since 1971. Ahmadinejad’s arrival was taken as a provocation by the UAE’s leadership, which has long pushed to settle this matter of ownership at The Hague.

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