Dozens of giant tankers are anchored off a port on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates.

They come here to refuel, restock with food and allow crew to switch in and out before travelling through the Strait of Hormuz or east through the Gulf of Oman.


It was here off Fujairah port that violence first flared up in this latest Gulf crisis.

On 12 May, four tankers were targeted in a series of coordinated suspected limpet mine attacks blamed by the United States on Iran.

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Tehran denies involvement but this assault was the start of an escalation in tensions principally between the US and Iran – but also dragging in Britain.

Sky News was given access to Fujairah port and the anchorage point on Sunday afternoon.

Tankers at Fujairah port
Tankers at Fujairah port

The port itself is where a number of tankers come to load up with oil or cargo such as steel and wood.

A large construction project is underway to expand the facility so it can receive more ships.

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The anchorage point is about a 20 or 30 minute boat ride out to sea. This is where ships are able to rest and resupply.

The British-flagged Stena Impero tanker seized by Iranian forces a week ago last Friday had travelled from Fujairah into the Strait of Hormuz when it was taken.

The stretch of sea seemed very much business as usual as we cut around it on an accompanied tour.

We saw a giant tanker with a Greek flag being filled up with fuel.

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Other tankers were just bobbing up and down in the water, each a few hundred metres apart, stretching out into the horizon.

There are about 113 tankers and other large ships from different countries around the world at the anchorage point at the moment.

They come here to drop anchor for a few hours or a few days depending upon their schedule.

Apparently the volume of traffic has not been affected by the rise in tensions in the region over the past three months.



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