2006/08/06

Al Ain/Buraimi Border

I have been playing around with Google Maps, and it is pretty amazing how detailed the resolution has gotten. Here is what I think is a really interesting and dramatic view of the the border between the town of Al Ain (in the UAE) and the town of Buraimi (in Oman). Since Google doesn't want me to copy their map and I can't label it on their site, here is a simplified map of what is in the satellite picture:



Together the Al Ain and Buraimi share the Buraimi Oasis area. The very green area on the left side of the satellite picture is one of the many parks (Hadeeka Seleemi, specifically) in Al Ain. Then just to the right of that you can see the fence that forms the border between the two towns (it looks like a straight line from the satellite and is red in my map). On the Omani side of the border it is bare desert until you reach the oasis to the Northeast. I don't think that I'm taking too much of a flyer here to assume that the Al Ain side of the border looked about the same before Sheikh Zayed began his project of 'greening' the desert. If you scroll around, you can see how much more work has been done on the Al Ain side of the border.

(You can also see Zayed Central Library, where I work, at the bottom of the photo just right of the park and just south of the border.)

3 comments:

Desert Dweller said...

Ok so what exaclty is Zayed Library? Is it open to the public? Do they have english books? Have often wondered.....

Desert Dweller said...

Brn can't you tell us about the Zayed Central Library? Is it a public library?

Anonymous said...

The shared border is now technically no longer open except to UAE and Omani nationals.

This is absolutely not in interest of the economy of Buraimi which has clearly been prejudiced by recent moves regarding the shared boundary with the UAE.

Buraimi and its businesses are direct beneficiaries of a close relationship which has existed between the two municipalities up to now.

These common interests which also apply to so many other Omani towns bordering the UAE have been substantially prejudiced by recent developments regarding the shared border.

While Omani and UAE citizens are travelling unimpeded between the two municipalities, Oman expatriates are forced to apply and pay for expensive visas to visit the UAE. Those who are living in Buraimi, like so many of my UAE expatriate friends can only travel between the two 'cities' by encountering long delays and queues at the border post. Only the traditional entrance to Buraimi is being used by Emiratis and Omanis, the manner in which they are identified closely resembles racial profiling. No checks are made if people fit the 'profile'.

This has now meant that many have had to advise their respective landlords that we will no longer be able to live in Buraimi. Out of fear and the unknown many expatriates have already left Buraimi.

In an age in which many countries around the world are dropping their borders in the interests of dynamic economies and accelerated economic growth, this move is retrogressive to the economic development of the region. It also prejudices the growing potential for collaboration between the two economies.

I am fairly sure all sorts of reasons have been given for this development, but as a resident of Buraimi for nearly four years I can only speak highly of the warmth, hospitality and service given by Omani citizens and residents. The have shown high levels of integrity and we have experienced absolutely no crime. The responsibility exercised by its citizens in terms of their personal conduct, driving etc is exemplary.

I cannot help feel that this development has not been fully considered.

It also contradicts what was understood to be an agreement between Oman and the UAE which would allow people to live in Oman unrestricted and at peace with everyone.