2006/08/13

Roundabouts of Al Ain #5

Murabbaa Roundabout

This is often called the Coffee Pot Roundabout, but it is actually labelled Al Murabbaa, which is also the name of the district that it is in.  I first saw this on the cover of this map that I bought before I came here.  Murabbaa is in the town center, and the roundabout joins the street that Al Ain Mall is on to the streets that have the livestock market and the fruit and vegetable souk, so you could say that joins old and new Al Ain.  Here it is on the wikimapia satellite map:







As you can see on the map and the satellite, the roundabout used to have grass.  At this time, there is just sand though, and to be honest, it looks a little sad.





The art in the middle is the traditional Arabic coffee pot and small cups, symbolic of hospitality.





I really like the speckled effect on the cups that is created with small ceramic tiles.  I also like the way that the 8-pointed stars (which show up a lot as decorations here) and line around the base make a subtle addition to the entire design.





Part of me wishes that the coffee pot looked more like brass and not so much like cement painted brown.  But I do like that the designers did not make the pot pouring water into a cup.  One last thing about the pot:  either they wash this thing frequently or they have somehow figured out how to keep pidgeons off of this, because there are none of the usual reminders that they leave behind.





Last thing that I noticed from the first picture:  I almost had a picture of a roundabout where everyone was in their lane, but this guy had to blow it.


7 comments:

al buxman said...

Man, he's only slightly off...since Al Ain has very few lay-bys, I generally pick up a taxi right on the roundabout or on the road (just check that traffic behind him is not too heavy).

P.S. I dont like this roundabout at all...because of the brown mud. Let it also be mentioned it's in a central part of the city, quite close to the bus and taxi stations and the fruit and vegetable markets. Lulu Centre is situated on this roundabout (as can be seen in the picture).

P.P.S. Re: Al Ain taxis--they're like the Dubai taxis of yesteryear...put your clothes in the wash after riding in one of them....

Desert Dweller said...

This design seems to be popular. There is a very similar one in Fujairah, known as the Hilton r/a(this should give the location away). I'm sure some of the other emirates have this design too.

I'm sure they're getting this r/a ready for their latest in r/a must haves....the pebble layout.

Brn said...

There is another coffee pot roundabout coming up in the series, the one that is on the road to Dubai just as you leave town.

nzm said...

ah good!

I started reading this thinking that this was the round-a-bout that you were writing about, and got horribly confused! lol

nzm said...

btw - really enjoying this r-a-b series of yours - I think that there's a book in it somewhere, oh learned librarian!

Brn said...

thanks nzm,

It is nice to see so many people enjoying them. I bet that really nice pictures of the roundabouts of the UAE would make a nice book.

Your Man in Dubai said...

This looks like one of the fountains from The old Abu Dhabi Corniche. I know that it has moved from AD now but I don't know if they out it somewhere else in AD or if it is the same one. The one on the AD Corniche used to pour water and moved around going from cup to cup.

How long has the coffee pot been there is it new or been there a while? If it is new there might yet be water coming, inshalla