The geographical location of Khor fakkan is in the Emirate of Fujairah. It is situated on the east coast of the Unites Arab Emirates on the Gulf of Oman, but it is actually a remote commune, which is the part of the Emirate of Sharjah. It is particularly a shallow port with oil refineries (Luxury Hotels U.A. Emirates, 2009, Para 1).
Khorfakkan, one of the most prominent harbors of the UAE, has an extensive history of human arrangement. A research team from the Sharjah Archaeological Museum has found 34 graves and a settlement that seems to be from the period of the early-mid second millennium BC. These are collected on rock protrusions ignoring the harbor (A Walk Through Time, Para 1).
History of Khor Fakkan
During 1950 a Venetian jeweler Gasparo Balbi observed ‘Chorf’ in some places on the east coast of the UAE, which was called Khor fakkan later. A fort was built by Portuguese at Khor Fakkan but during 1666 it was reduced to rubble. The logbook of the Dutch vessel called as Meerkat talks about this fort and another fort. The book also discusses about ‘Gorfacan’, a place situated on a small bay, which consisted of almost two hundred small houses made of date branches in close proximity to the beach.
There is the description about a triangular Portuguese fortress on the Northern side, whose bleak ruins can be observed. It also describes about another fortress on the Southern side of the bay, which has no garrison or artillery on it. This fort is also in ruins. This place has an attractive valley with large number of date trees and fig trees. The wines of melon and watermelon can also be seen there. This vegetation has lots of fresh water wells also which are used for irrigation (A Walk Through Time, Para 2).
An Omani Sheikh Mohammad Sohari who was the commander of the Persian navy invaded Khor Fakkan. This can be considered the main reason for the for the ruin condition of the forts of Khor Fakkan. Sheikh Mohammad Sohari mainly invaded the East Coast in 1623, which is now the Emirates.
He faced a Portuguese counter attack and pulled out the Portuguese forts, which includes Khor Fakkan. When the Persians were pushed out, the Portuguese commander Ruy Freire asked for the loyalty of people of Khor Fakkan for the Portuguese crown. He also settled a Portuguese custom office. In 1737 after expelling Portuguese from Arabia, the Persians again attacked Khor Fakkan that happened with the help of the Dutch during their involvement in the Omani Civil War (A Walk Through Time, Para 3).
According to a Carsten Niebuhr, a German Traveler during 1765 Khor Fakkan belonged to a Sheikh of the Qawasim (A Walk Through Time, Para 3).
Archaeology of the Khor Fakkan: in the mountains of Khor Fakkan Rifaisa dam is a place of worth watching. It is said that this dam is built over a village and when the water is at a standstill, one can see the tops of the old houses of the village (Luxury Hotels U.A. Emirates, 2009, Para 7).
Tourism of the Khor Fakkan
Khor Fakkan is a very famous tourism spot. It has big mountain ranges and attractive beaches. It has a very famous hotel named Oceanic. It has coral projections, which is good for diving and snorkeling. Here the tourism is little affected due to the ban on alcohol in Sharjah.
There are different kinds of souq like fish, vegetable and fruit, which are situated at the Southern end of the corniche. Al Wurrayah falls is an attractive place to see that is accessible by four-wheel drive that is at the north of the Oceanic hotel and 4.5 km away from it (Luxury Hotels U.A. Emirates, 2009, Para 1).
While approaching Khor Fakkan one passes through the first social housing Dhadnah and the Sandy Beach Motel, then a mosque can be seen that is an adjacent cemetery from the period of the Islamization decline, then one reaches Bidyah where a historical mosque is situated. It is thirty-six km away from the South of Diba that is the wide bay of the two pine trees.
It is Sharjah’s historic harbor that has been once the hub of traffic Dhau to Africa and Asia during 16th and 17th century. Basically the Oceanic hotel is the entrance of the city. The hotel is the summer palace of the Emir on the hill. An ancient watchtower here reminds the rule of Portuguese over the city. A belt of broad green beach goes from the hotel to the place where one can see new and architecturally beautiful souq.
Many local families enjoy its wide and white beaches and spend their weekend over here. The Oceanic hotel has its own diving station and gives a panoramic view from the rooms and restaurants of the hotel (Survival Kit for Khor Fakkan, 2009, Para 1).
While visiting Khor Fakkan it comes to our mind what to eat there and what to see there. There are many restaurants in Khor Fakkan. Shabab Al Khor, Tagg Khor Fakkan, Khor Fakkan Cafe. One can find varieties of food in Shabab Al Khor like machboos, groos, kabees, chicken biryani, eggs, meat, fish, Harriees, seafood, yogurt, rice, pasta, butter, fruit, vegetable, bread, salad, honey, cheese and sweet. Many kinds of drinks are also available here like tea, coffee, milk, orange juice, fruit juice and grape juice (Khor Fakkan City, Nice places, 2005, Para 2).
While visiting Khor Fakkan, one can see many places there as mountains, parks, beaches, remains of fort and old buildings. Rifaisa dam is like a water reserve for the town, which controls the flow of floodwater (Khor Fakkan City, Nice places, 2005, Para 3).
Development of the city
In Khor Fakkan, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) has finished ninety percent of the work on a gas station. Thais project has been developed in five-kilometer area and has completed its first phase to provide natural gas to the Kalba city people in the Eastern region (Sewa completes 90% gas work in Khor Fakkan City, 2009, Para 1-3).
The project has to be inaugurated officially to supply natural gas to the consumers of Kalba city. According to Ibrahim Rashid, SEWA’s Deputy Director General, the natural gas project in Sharjah has been very successful and approximately 132000 consumers at industrial, residential and commercial levels will be benefited with this project. According to him the gas installations network in the city has been expanded in more than 1500 km (Sewa completes 90% gas work in Khor Fakkan City, 2009, Para 4).
List of References
‘A Walk Through Time’, UAE Interact.
‘Khor Fakkan City, Nice Places’, 2005.
‘Sewa completes 90% gas work in Khor Fakkan City’, 2009.
‘Survival Kit for Khor Fakkan’, 2009. Tripwolf.