South-eastern Abu Dhabi
small date grove sits in the lee of a dune in south-eastern Abu Dhabi.
Even in otherwise unassuming places in the desert it is commonplace to
find fenced off squares planted with date palms. Aftercare once the palms
are established is minimal, and within five years of planting a summer
harvest of trusses burgeoning with fruit can be expected.
herder, looking for all the world like something biblical, has climbed
to the crest of a high dune to look for his herd of camels, which have
strayed. Hobbling one or more of the herd prevents the animals from traveling
far and they will easily be located. The paucity of the grazing is the
result of two years of unbroken drought and many camels will have been
moved to new areas to reduce the pressure on what little fresh 'bite'
has managed to come through. Tapping underground water supplies by deep
drilling has permitted herds to be kept in the same area year-round, with
bought fodder brought to the herd.