On my second long weekend in Abu Dhabi, after I had explored Dubai, I went to a more new area of the UAE – Fujairah. Although, not as big or as popular as the cities on the West coast of the UAE, Fujairah is quite well developed but still has elements from before. Firstly, it is not very densely build yet, although there are a lot of construction sites. This results in more open air areas and thus emphasises the lack of human presence, generally quite common for the UAE. It is very tranquil, especially in contrast with Dubai, and there aren’t many commercial attractions. There are however, a number of historical locations such as forts, museums, archeological sites, and a heritage village.
The reason I went all the way to the other side of the UAE is that I wanted to dig deeper into the life before the oil and the money, when the economy was pearls and air conditioning didn’t exist. Fujairah was so far given me the best insights into that life, for two reasons. The contrasting underdevelopment supported with an influence on history. I visited almost all of the cultural and historical places except for the bullfighting arena. I learned about the people who lived there 7000B.C. or 3000B.C. and how they lived. I saw some of the lives of the pearls, the houses and dresses that people had. Their boats, weapons, and utensils.
In order to perceive the sharp contrast with the near past and to understand about life in the desert and the culture that it creates, I decided to solidify my knowledge about the place. I took out my tourist map that I found at my hotel in Fujairah and decided to make it my canvas for recollection.
I wanted to show to the dynamic between modern style architecture and heritage that exists in Fujairah. I decided to show it in 3d using SketchUp Pro 2017 and some models of buildings I found on the internet specifically in 3dwarehouse. I thank yiorgos for his models.
I created a mosque on my own and edited the rest of the buildings so that they fit on a map. I have chosen only buildings that I have seen and remember as part of my journey, but not everything. The map lacks the concentration of skyscrapers on the East side of the city. I have only put the building of Commerce which is in the beginning of the highline. I have put a famous hotel – Hilton, which resides on the shore and is important location for tourists as the area is populated with a number of hotels. The Fujairah fort is surrounded by the museum and a modern hospital. I have added Al Badiyah Mosque a small, old mosque that is now a tourist attraction and resides North of the center.
SketchUp Pro 2017 is quite had to navigate because unlike Photoshop it doesn’t have layers that allow for separation of all objects. The forms that are inbuilt are limited and details and more complicated structures have to be worked out by hand. Otherwise, it is very simple so easy to get used to, and does a very good job with simple models.
Despite all of this, I feel like the map is missing some objects in order to fully transfer my message of coexistence of the old and the new. I think that the bullfighting arena should be included as a token of incorporation of tradition into modern society. The museum, so old that in itself creates historical interest should also be included. Moreover, on the Eastern side of the city a few more of the modern building should be marked. And lastly, the new mosque Sheikh Zayed, the second biggest mosque in the UAE, represents the integration of traditions in modern society. I am currently working on creating the model itself and I will update it on the map when it is ready.
For me this extended 3d journey into the history of the UAE both in Fujairah and online, has given insight into the modern Emirate culture. It has set, like a history course in Middle school, a base understanding of the changes that a society has faced and is facing in a particular place. This time the place was the UAE and it was completely different from the one that I knew back home, so the lesson has been an important one. I hope you enjoy my map and if there is any interest for any continuation just write me a comment or an email and I will share the file.