Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Monday, April 4, 2011

International Business Forum Highlights Fujairah’s Assets and Opportunities

Visitors to the Fujairah International Business Forum, which opened today (Monday 4 April 2011), were welcomed warmly and offered enticing cakes, chocolates and coffee as they registered at the Al Bustan Centre.

A very active exhibition was on display with the Fujairah Port, the Airport and most major industries having a booth and giving away environmentally-friendly show bags full of brochures, magazines, pens, coffee mugs and T-shirts.

Some Things Never Change

The forum got underway with the procession of sheikhs and VIPs accompanying His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi and the singing of the National Anthem.

Ms. Kate Sweeting, a journalist with the BBC, introduced speakers and added a personal touch. Ms. Sweeting said when she was about to leave the UK on Saturday she spoke with her grandfather who had lived in this region in the 1950s. He said to her:

“You will see lots of changes but some things never change—the tremendous hospitality and the generosity of the culture.”

Kate Sweeting said, “In my short time in your country I have already experienced something of what my grandfather remembered.”


A welcome address was given by Mr. Sharief Habib Al Awadhi, Chair of the Organising committee and Director General of the Fujairah Free Zone Authority. A representative of the Patron of the inaugural Fujairah International Business Forum, Sheikh Hamad Bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Fujairah gave some words on behalf of His Highness.

Leadership Forum

In addition to keynote addresses the conference is adopting the method of holding forums in which six or seven speakers are given 10 minutes each to address a common theme.

In the first forum Dean Monske, the Deputy Mayor of Toledo Ohio, drew comparisons between Toledo and Fujairah and encouraged the leaders of Fujairah to work hard at marketing its assets. He, like most international speakers, was effusive in his praise of Fujairah business leaders in taking the initiative to begin holding international business forums.

Why Fujairah?

From the words of welcome to the first forum it sounded like the conference was going to be a sustained selling of Fujairah and why not?

Many international investors were present and UAE speakers were quick to list the advantages of investing in Fujairah-based business.

Mr. Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary of Foreign Trade Affairs in the UAE, sought to instill business confidence with these headlines:

  • There is a general air of economic optimism in the region.
  • The UAE has been recovering rapidly from the global recession.
  • The UAE has one of the highest rates of economic growth—growth in GDP was one of the highest in the world in 2010.
  • The UAE relies strongly on innovation.
  • The UAE is a country that is most open to trade as it has trade relations in more than 202 countries of the world.
  • The UAE is among the top 20 exporting countries of the world.
  • The growth is attributed to the wisdom of the country’s leaders, its sound policies, free market policy and cheap export costs.
  • The UAE has a wide range of investment opportunities.
  • The UAE provides assistance to businesses wishing to set up in the country.

Fujairah Distinctives

As well as being part of an innovative country, the unique assets of Fujairah were highlighted including:

  • The strategic location of being outside the Persian Gulf and having access to the Indian Ocean.
  • The large multipurpose shipping port.
  • Its status as one of the top three bunkering ports in the world.
  • The new and growing infrastructure for the city and emirate.
  • The Fujairah Free Zone Facilities.

Forum Programme

Participants at the Fujairah International Business Forum will be hearing more of the qualities of the UAE and Fujairah in particular.

On Tuesday (the second and final day) there will be four more forums, another ‘Business networking lunch’, further plenary meetings, a business tour and a concluding city sight seeing tour that winds up at 5pm.

Take a Look

Some photos taken of some scenes at the Fujairah International Business Forum are in this photo album.


Fujairah International Business Forum 2011 to Explore New Horizons, FIF, 13 March 2011.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Facebook Page—Fujairah in Focus.

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