Thursday, 6 November 2008


Sitting on an Air Arabia flight (perfectly pleasant, incidentally) and flicking through the inflight mag, when I saw an article on the Six Senses Hotel and Spa at Zighi Bay. This bay used to be a great weekend campsite, just off the Wadi Bih track up the Hajar mountains North of Dibba. It was only relatively recently that a tortuous track was cut up the hill past the army firing range that used to be up there, over the hill and down to the fishing village that always, always has me humming David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust.

It was a lovely place to camp or picnic, Zighi Bay. Now I can pay nigh on a thousand bucks to ‘chill out’ on the self same beach.

The thing in the article that jarred with me was the claim that ‘there was a rudimentary, albeit treacherous, road that was regularly washed away by rains.’ The article goes on to say that there’s now a safe road to the bay, developed over eight months by the hotel. It somehow seems to me to frame this as a really positive benefit from the hotel's development, a selfless contribution.

Well, the fact is that there was a graded track up the hill and down to the village that was steep but perfectly serviceable and that I never saw washed away once. The villagers had accessed the bay by sea for time immemorial; they are fishermen. But the track was a fun drive, a tad precipitous, but fun. But it certainly wasn't up to the standard you'd need for hotel delivery vehicles. They HAD to build a new road for their own purposes.

It’s just a tiny thing, hardly worth bothering about. But it got up my nose for some reason.



the real nick said...

Mate, you are supposed to be talking about Barack Obama, not your hedonistic UAE expat pursuits up and down graded roads and sandy snickets and restaurants.

PS: I fully agree. The last few great beaches and coves on the East coast are being fucked up by VIP villas and hotel resorts. I am personally responsible for at least two projects there where I used to go camping.

The moral struggles I have to endure in doing my job!!

redstar said...

It's a shame Zighy beach has gone. I used to love driving up and down the track. Very scary, but great fun.

alexander... said...

Nicko, that's really fundamentally immoral!!

I know. If you didn't do it, someone else would... :)

Rose in Dubai said...

Its sad. I feel the same way about the track though Hatta Pools. Used to be a lovely quiet bumpy fun drive. Now its a racetrack for morons in Nissan Sunnys

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