Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ah, the sweet sounds that stir the soul...

Earlier today I was scrolling through my Google Reader, checking out the latest Dubai and UAE related items, when I came across a post by Geoff Pound on the Fujairah in Focus blog. Geoff is absolutely fabulous at dishing out details about what is going on in the distant Emirate, but his often dry tone can, at times, undercut the significance of what he is writing about.

Today, in particular, I came across a note about a new radio station opening up in Fujairah - 90.8FM. I scanned through the article, but it was only after a slow read that I was able to dig up one tiny mention of the format - rock.

His tone was so matter-of-fact that it was like he was announcing that there would be raspberry scones at the Piffle-and-Forth this coming Tuesday.

I'm betting most readers just scanned through the article, clicking through with either a shrug or a "That's nice." But for me, that one little word cut through all the verbiage, crystallizing in a singular reaction.

What!? Rock!?

I know what you're thinking - whoop-dee-doo. Another rock radio station. And isn't radio dead anyway? Killed by the internet?

If this were Toronto, or somewhere in the US, I might agree. But out here in the Gulf, your only choices for music in the English language are Hip-Hop or Euro-Pop. And if that doesn't suit your fancy, you better start loving the Bollywood stuff, because there really isn't anything else out there.

So this isn't just a rock station. It's the first ever rock radio station in the gulf!

Tonight, driving home, I tuned in. They haven't officially started yet, not until 11am.* But they did have a playlist on, and I tell you, just hearing bands like Def Leppard, Whitesnake, and Green Day...

I know this sounds a bit dramatic, but, man I felt like Jack Black in the School of Rock was my own personal guru, as a visceral sense of relief washed through me through successions of power chords and  pounding drums in 4/4 time. It's #$%*@&^ RAWK, man!

Back home I'd vary the dial between new rock, classic rock, alt rock (and a bit of classical, but let's keep it real here, okay?). Not here, however. In this land the deserts have been both sand and sonic.

But not any more.

*Which is kind of an unfortunate time to celebrate an opening, for us Westerners that is... since the start time is the exact moment everyone in the western world will be observing a moment of silence - 11am on November 11th. Otherwise known as "Remembrance Day".


  1. Love your post James.

    Fascinating also that the rock station will start not only on Remembrance Day but at the hour when the locals are at their service in the mosque!



  2. This is the best station ever in UAE :')
    Thankyou so so much! <3

  3. Err I hope you remove this comment since I cannot find how to contact you hence posted this message as a comment.


  4. You can contact me at