Epic film maker Joe G + Dion + UAE Wavepool = 7 minutes of awesomeness. Can’t believe they built this thing after I left!
Archive for the ‘dubai’ Category
I’ve been lagging on a post on this for a while and I guess I’m just a little bitter that I left the middle east before they finished it.
“Al Ain”- arabic for ‘the eye’- is a little garden oasis in the southern part of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi which has been continuously inhabited for more than 4,000 years thanks to a plentiful source of fresh water. It is the birthplace of Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the UAE, and now its the birthplace of artificial wavepools in the middle east.
My understanding is it’s the same technology as the one in the Canary Islands (check STAB here).
The boys in the sand pit tell me it’s been a great winter for surf in the Gulf so I imagine “wave sales” will spike in the coming months as the surf fades and people start to getting surf starved. Would be interesting economics to see if they raise prices in summer due to lack of competition (no real waves) vs. low season heat (really f$%king hot) and less people in the UAE
I can’t say I’ve been missing the emotional roller coaster of waiting for waves in the Middle East, but I do get a little twinge of discomfort when I hear from the boys back in the Sand Box that the waves have been good. This shot is from my good buddy Rixta who did some scouting outside of the usual Dubai swell spots… somewhere in the UAE…
In between the wind and sand last week, Neptune delivered some late season treats in the gulf…
Been a lot of wind around here lately but unfortunately also tons of sand in the air. Some days it reminds me of a foggy morning back home (June gloom) until my eyes start stinging from being pelted by grains of sand in the air. Couple little waves last week (nothing special) and looks like more on the way before the spring heat really kicks in…A “Shamal” is the result of strong northwest winds being funneled into the Gulf through the mountains of Turkey and high plains of Saudi. A strengthening high pressure over the Arabian peninsula coupled with a distinct cold front… or basically: the polar jet stream pushing in from Europe collides with the sub-tropical jet stream from the southern Arabian peninsula= dynamic weather system= lots of f#@#cking sand/ dust in the air. When you’re outside in these conditions you start to understand why the local dress evolved to what it is.
It’s also worth mentioning that there is a subtle yet distinct difference between sand vs. dust storms. Sand storms basically happen when the wind is strong enough to lift and “bounce” particles along, which collide with others, lifting and bouncing them and so on. Sand storms reach heights of about 50 feet (see photo in the background of the title at the top) and last as long as the wind persists. Dust storms on the other hand are literally dust particles small enough to be blown into the air and carried aloft by wind currents. These storms can be much bigger and tend to last much longer as they don’t require the heavy winds to keep the sand “bouncing” along. So there’s your daily meteorological factoid.
Remember the climax of The Endless Summer: the guys trekking across the massive sand dunes to “discover” the perfect wave at Cape St. Francis? Well, I just had a similar experience but unfortunately there was no perfect point on the other side of the sand- just more sand. We went way down south in the UAE to the Liwa Oasis and what is the start of the “Empty Quarter”, one of the largest sand deserts in the world. Known lovingly as just The Sands, this area covers more than 225,000 square miles across the UAE, Saudi, Oman and Yemen and is notorious for being one of the most desolate places on earth.
Amazingly the Beduin culture calls this place home. The ancestor’s of the rulers of Abu Dhabi came to the coast from this oasis back in the late 1700s.
Been slack in the posting lately for the first time since I started this thing. Lots happening but no excuses. Well, first swell of winter has hit the gulf so been trying to squeeze in as much water time as possible while maintaining my existence as a corpo desk jockey. Couple quick pics snapped this morning