Time Frame: Fishing into the past

The photograph, taken in 1973 by Alain St Hilaire, shows the fishing fleet of mostly dhows moored in the harbour of Khor Fakkan

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With the arrival of the cooler weather this month (inshallah), it’s time to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of the UAE.

Time Frame should be no exception. In four years, the series has journeyed to London, Paris, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and, as far away as Japan and Los Angeles, to explore the connections between the UAE and the wider world.

But until now it has never been to Khor Fakkan. The town is an enclave of Sharjah entirely surrounded by Fujairah, with a spectacular backdrop of mountains overlooking a bay that is a natural harbour.

This photograph was taken in 1973 by Alain St-Hilaire who visited all seven emirates over the course of several visits here. It shows the fishing fleet, mostly dhows, moored in the harbour of Khor Fakkan, which translates approximately as “the Creek of Two Jaws”. A look at the map explains why. Not long after this photograph was taken, work began on a deepwater container port – the only deepwater port in the area – with direct access to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea trade routes.

Despite the changes, Khor Fakkan remains an area of great historical and cultural interest that, thanks to road improvements, is now just few hours from Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

* James Langton