As you may have read yesterday, I took Bertha out for a spin on the weekend and wondered down to Yiti. Many years ago, Omran got together with Sama Dubai to develop the area under a project entitled Salam Yiti.

Now this is a sorry tale. Local Contractors, Douglas OHI originally won the Contract with Sama Dubai to carry out the construction of the project. They built a large labour camp near to the site (and still use it today) as well as a large Concrete batching plant. They spent some significant capital to set up for the project. All of the dredging work was completed, and then Sama Dubai flaked on the project. It turned out that no, they did not have the $2 Billion required to fund the project after all.

Sama Dubai was one of the first victims in Dubai to succumb to the Credit Crunch. In fact their website has not even been updated since 2007, and their last press release was in fact promoting Salam Yiti. Yup, that's right - not even a press release to announce that they were shutting up shop. You've got to love the Corporate responsibility there.

Meanwhile, it looks like a bomb went off at Yiti, with massive dredging and levelling works more or less completed there. There are the usual industry rumours: HM is upset at Sama Dubai, well, their owners, Dubai Holding - ultimately we're talking about Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. And so the rumour goes; HM is considering taking the land back, with Dubai forfeiting the land (and the money paid for it) for not completing the project. What is for sure, is that Omran currently don't appear to know what to do with it. Significant money was spent on the infrastructure, massively upgrading the access and power availability to the area at significant cost. Yiti, and Seifa are lovely places, but a road to the standard that has been built, just to visit those villages... not required. That road was built to transport tourists in large coaches. It's not a total loss, there are other projects popping up in the area, but nothing even close to the magnitude of what was envisaged for Salam Yiti. Watch this space for more news on it when/if it comes though.

Gratefully though, the beach has survived so far.

And I have to say it was a nice day out. A short drive there (thanks to the new road - although I do recommend the old road from Hamriyah for a nice drive). And there was hardly anyone there! The temperature was a lot cooler than it has been in recent weeks, and it was fantastic. A really nice day trip - I highly recommend it for a sneaky beach trip if you feel the need any time soon (ie before it's "developed").

However, driving through the village, it's obvious that the recent storm, Phet, dealt a pretty hard slap to the village. The road was practically gone, almost all of it was just a gravel track again. Many houses also got wiped out, see below:

I hope those that lost their houses are going to be OK. I've not seen anything in the press about Yiti in so long, I wonder if there are any plans in place to replace these houses? Re-new the road running through the village? Upgrade the facilities and infrastructure in the village?

le fin.
Yiti Yiti Reviewed by Sythe on Monday, July 12, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. the Sultanate of Dubai ruler visited Muscat to meet His Majesty Sultan Qaboos before the work started on the latest Maktoum expansion and again just after work collapsed; he’s a very hands on guy (but seems to claim that Sama Dubai was a private company!!! and nothing to do with the state/him) . As the land was originally under the tender care of the owner of the Al Harthy Complex before it does seem to be a floating asset.
    The unfortunate people in Yiti have had 3 major catastrophes over the last 4 years
    The massive realignment of the khor and sea access and demolition of mountains for rock; and were they under the false impression that they would have new housing as recompense and of course jobs in the new project ? They now have an eyesore, have suffered a few years of heavy equipment nuisance, have had their sprit on the rock disturbed, have had their fishing boat haven acquired by the landed gentry and mountains used for goat grazing bulldozed away.
    Guno swept through and lifted their date plantations out to sea , demolished houses.
    Phet finished off much of what Guno left
    So they have lost environment, livelihood, capital and acquired instead what?

    And it would be great if the State Audit Office went through the Ministry of Tourism and not only looked at where the paper trail leads with land being given to local and foreign Wastafarians and have the state pay the bill for road infrastructure (how much will the road to Sifa cost? to make it proof against the next cyclone and good for coaches)
    but also ask themselves if it is morally right that these projects have swept up
    land that was owned by local people (the old ruins in Badar Jissah still have people alive who know where their family used to live – quite apart from fishing rights and grazing rights)
    land of use to the local population both for income and leisure (in Badar Jissah both went hand in hand while in Yiti they were not so closely linked).
    Omran have no idea what to do – full stop.

  2. Yiti is a great place to picnic. Now that you don't have to take the windy road (the one through hamriya), it's an even better ride (at least for me).

    I miss our 'Bertha'.

    We used to picnic at that big 'rock', but since they've pretty much butchered the place, you need a boat to get to it and I'm not even sure there's a place to chill there any more. Is there?

    We went once and stayed in those little apartments you could rent by the night. We must have been complete idiots because we had no idea of the impending weather. We *almost* got out, but was stopped by a massive wadi. Then there was another and another after that. Holy freaking wadi(s). And holy expatriates - they must have been hiding in the caves because when we were on the beach it felt like we were the only people there that day.

  3. I hope everything's fine in Yiti some years after that unfortunate event. I hope Dubai's economy grows so such incidents would be avoided. It could affect terribly a lot of people. calgary concrete


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