Ideally departing from the Capital, Abu Dhabi, the Emirate of Umm al-Quwain (of which the spellings Umm Al Qawain and Umm Al-Qwain are also considered correct) is located after Sharjah and Ajman and before Ras Al Khaimah and extends along the coast for 24 kms, while its territory (the surface area of which is 777 sq kms) amounts to just 1% of that of the entire Confederation. It is a small town with deep historical roots, which has developed by and in the sea, which still today plays a role of primary importance in the life and culture of the place.
It is precisely in this little Emirate’s inseparable identity with the sea that the project, currently being realized, is based, of Umm al-Quiwain Marina: an extraordinary undertaking which will contribute enormously to improve the quality of life in the area, offering a range of luxury facilities dedicated to leisure and pleasure craft tourism. The evocative coastline will see the construction of villas and residences, hotels and shopping malls, restaurants and cafes, landing stages and all the services useful in making stays as comfortable as possible for pleasure cruisers and all those who choose Umm Al Quwain as a destination for their holidays.
The morphology of the territory in se lends itself magnificently to make this little Emirate a naturalistic gem, its having developed around a lagoon, Khor al-Baydah, which is formed by a peninsula not far off on the eastern side, while on the western side, magical little islands emerge from the sea. Clearly, its economy has always been based on fishing (and once also on pearl cultivation) and, more recently, on tourism linked to natural beauty. The entire coast is, in effect, composed of the whitest of beaches, one after the other, decorated by luxuriant palms and rich in animal life. In effect, many enthusiasts choose Umm Al Quwain also and above all for the opportunities that it offers for excursions by sail boat (or by sea in general) and bird watching.
Another ideal location for bird enthusiasts is Seneyah Island, situated 1 km from Umm al-Quiwain. It is a natural reserve, home to a large number of bird species as well as luxuriant vegetation. This is, furthermore, one of the places in the United Arab Emirates where dhows – the traditional two-prow wooden boats – are built.
History is also affirmed here thanks to the rich heritage of forts, of which there are a good seven in the territory, one of which has been completely restructured and now houses a , where one can admire the precious finds from the digs carried out in the entire area, and which testify to periods from the relatively recent to those of the remote past.
The etymology of the name of the Emirate is also evocative – in Arabic it means mother of two powers and refers to the power exerted by Umm Al Quwain as much over the earth as the over the sea and which in a sense is reflected in the form of the territory. It is a place, therefore, destined to the lover of nature, the sea and the animal kingdom, and of close contact with these elements, rather than having frenetic stays, fast paced and full of non-stop engagements.
Here, on the contrary, time finds its more spontaneous dimension, without strain, and allows those perfumes and odors, those horizons and perceptions which only nature can offer, to emerge.
Photograph provided courtesy of Igor Yariv