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The name Chembur is likely derived from the word Chimboree, which means "Large Crab" in Marathi.

Chembur comprises large cosmopolitan residential societies of concrete buildings dating back to the early 1950s in addition to older villages such as Ghatla, Gaothan, Wadavli, Mahul, Gavanpada, Ambapada(Ambada), etc. Chembur is also said to be a reference to Chevul at the mouth of the Kundalika River on mainland Maharashtra.

The Portuguese built a fort at Khorfakkan that was a ruin by 1666.

The log book of the Dutch vessel the Meerkat mentions this fort and another one, describing "Gorfacan" as a place on a small bay, with about 200 small houses built from date branches, near the beach.

The Dh 300 million (.75 million) project involved reclaiming some 150,000 square metres (1,600,000 sq ft) to increase the storage capacity and to facilitate large cranes, and 16 metres (52 ft) deep quays to accommodate for major vessels over 400 metres (1,300 ft) in length. Khorfakkan lies on the east coast of the UAE, between the Arabian Sea and the Shumayliyah Mountains, rising to 1,023 metres (3,356 ft) at Jebel al Hilqah.

The bay of Khorfakkan is north-east facing and is protected from prevailing winds by a jetty serving terminal for container ships.

From November to April Khorfakkan is sunny and warm during the day; the evenings are cool and humidity low. One may expect rain and tropical storms between January and March.

Khorfakkan Beach lies to the north of the centre of the town.

These are clustered on rock outcrops overlooking the harbour.

Around 1500, Duarte Barbosa described it as a village “around which are gardens and farms in plenty”.

It refers to a triangular Portuguese fortress on the northern side, in ruins, and a fortress on a hill on the southern side, also in ruins, without garrison or artillery.

As well as date palms, the Meerkats log also mentions fig trees, melons, watermelons and myrrh.

There is a map by the French cartographer Rigobert Bonne dating to about 1770 that shows the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf and includes Khorfakkan.

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