Fujairah Travel Guide | The Ultimate Itinerary Planner‎

Fujairah Travel Guide | The Ultimate Itinerary Planner‎

For the ultimate in beachfront luxury and relaxation, Fujairah is the perfect place to book in for the weekend or the week.

 

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Amid the sweeping ranges, oases, sandy beaches, and cerulean waters

beckon the secrets of a bygone era

where mountains have a tryst with the sea.

 

Located on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates, stretching along the Gulf of Oman, the ‘Jewel of Arabia,’ Fujairah, sits pretty with waterfalls, glittering sandy beaches, extensive oases, and the imposing Hajar Mountains ~ making for a rather picturesque and enchanting vacation destination.

This charming emirate has the right blend of history, culture, archaeological sites, mountain ranges, and a coastline that will captivate travellers. Known for its scuba-diving and snorkelling, it is an idyllic spot for all those looking for a rather interesting and relaxed holiday.

How To Reach: Since there are no direct flights to Fujairah from India, you can fly either to Dubai or Qatar or from there to Ras Al-Khaimah {which is the nearest airport to Fujairah}. Another option would be to fly to Abu Dhabi International Airport as there are a number of flights operating from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah. I would advise you to check the flight schedules online and plan accordingly.

Fujairah is roughly a two hour drive from Dubai, and there are buses that run regularly between Dubai and Fujairah. The rates are affordable and if you have a valid licence, rent a car. The city can also be accessed by road from Oman, since the Emirate shares its international border with the Sultanate of Oman.

Visa Requirements: If you are a holder of an Indian passport, a visa is required to travel within the UAE, including Fujairah. You get a visit visa issued once you land which will allow you to stay for 30 days {it is free of charge and you can renew it once}.

The Best Season To Visit: The city gets extremely hot during summer so the ideal time for a visit would be between September and March when the weather is cooler.

Currency: The local currency is Dirham and any other currency can be changed to Dirham in most of the major cities in the UAE. Most of the hotels accept major credit cards but it is always advisable to carry some cash with you.

Customs and Laws: Fujairah is an orthodox city so the best thing would be ensure that whatever you do is not offensive. It is illegal to drink alcohol, and be drunk in public, and you can be arrested and prosecuted if you are found making a scene. {Non-Muslim tourists have no restrictions when it comes to drinking, and most of the hotels have a licence to serve alcohol}.

What To Wear: Fujairah is conservative when compared to Dubai and they have dress codes which have to be strictly adhered to especially when visiting their religious places and mosque. It is advisable for women not to expose much of their skin.

 

Places of Interest

Fujairah’s untouched natural beauty ~ pristine beaches and majestic mountains ~ make the city an exotic destination. There are a number of awe-inspiring historical attractions apart from that which draws travellers. Ain Al-Gamura, Ain Al Madhab, and Al Wurrayah, are the three main protected tourist areas in Fujairah.

The Al-Bidyah Mosque: Also known as the Othmanian Mosque, the Al-Bidyah is one of the oldest mosques of UAE and was built in 1446 AD. Not much is known about its past but it is a testimony of a bygone era, with the burned clay and stone built structure providing magnificent views of the mountains and the sea.

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The Fujairah Fort: Built on a high hill about 20 meters above sea, the Fujairah Fort is breathtaking even with its irregular design and gives a spectacular view of the city of Fujairah. One of the oldest historical monuments {around 200 years old} of Fujairah and steeped in history, the fort is said to have belonged to the former Sheikh of Fujairah. Though the mud-brick fortress was destroyed during a British Naval attack in 1925, it has been beautifully restored.

I was taken back to a few centuries as I accessed the Fort through a narrow dirt track. Climbing the tower inside is fun and the sweeping views from the top of the tower are spellbinding.

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Fujairah Museum: 2 kms away from the fort is the Fujairah Museum where the history, culture, and heritage of the place come together and are displayed in three halls; the first one for occupations of the region; agriculture, fishing, and trade, the second one for ancient weapons, utensils, and costumes of the region, and the Antique hall for the numerous artefacts that were excavated from the various sites of Fujairah.

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The Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque: UAE’s second-largest place of worship is architecturally very beautiful with ornate details similar to Islamic Ottoman architecture, and at 39,000 square metres the mosque can accommodate 28,000 worshippers. We happened to be there close to sunset and so heard the evocative call to prayer as the sun went down ~ a very atmospheric way to remind yourself that you are in the Middle East.

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Hatta Heritage Village: A trip to this mountain village is magical as it will take you back in time to one of the oldest human habitations in the UAE. Nestled in the Hatta Mountains, 100 kms away from Dubai, this sweeping village gives a peek into the life that existed 2000 to 3000 years ago. The village offers glimpses into the social routines, traditions, culture, livelihood, and tribal customs of the Bedouins who inhabited the place.

Get a feel of the vibrant era and of living in the past by donning their traditional attire while sampling the authentic cuisine at the café.

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Ain Al-Madhab Hot Springs: This is a perfect spot for those who want to have a rejuvenating dip in the mineral water springs with warm sulphuric water directed into two pools, one for men, and the other for women. This natural mineral spa is more than just a spa, and has an outdoor park where traditional folklore art and dances are organized on public holidays.

Side note: I would recommend you to combine your trip to Fujairah with another vacation spot in the Indian Ocean since the Emirate is bordered by the Indian Ocean.

 

While Fujairah is a city also known for its excellent shopping and beautiful beaches, the exhilarating water sports and marine life here will leave travellers with some of the most memorable experiences. Whether it be deep sea diving, snorkelling, scuba diving, jet skiing, parasailing, or watching tuna, barracuda, golden dorado, sharks, and sailfish, listening to the harmony of the waters, and discovering the hidden secrets of the ocean ~ it promises a magical and fantastical adventure!

Dibba Rock is an ideal spot for diving and snorkelling, and if you are lucky you might be able to photo capture turtle sightings. The beautiful coral with a wide variety of fish are great fun to watch too, and will entice you to explore the colourful life that exists under the sea!

Snoopy Island {yes, you guessed it right; it has been named so because of its resemblance to Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s pet beagle in the comic strip Peanuts, sleeping on top of his doghouse} is an exotic island getaway, and the crystal clear waters is also a habitat for sea urchin, jelly fish, sharks, and sting ray. Vikram and I enjoyed a day of snorkelling; there was an adrenalin rush when being surrounded by schools of fish and turtles.

Our next stop during our stay at Fujairah was Kalba which is on the Omani border. We soaked in the beautiful sketches of nature that was woven around us with waterways, mangroves, rainforest canopy, and birds. We picked up shells as we walked along the sandy beach, and came back with some wonderful memories and souvenirs.

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Best Restaurants

Al Arab Restaurant ~ Muraba

The scrumptious spread of Arabic food served here along with this shisha bar cum restaurant’s friendly ambiance, makes it a comfortable place to dine with family and friends.

Sailor’s Restaurant ~ Gurfah

Savour lip smacking local seafood delicacies with a modern twist in an ambiance having arresting views of the Indian Ocean that will leave you intoxicated.

Shahrzad Palace ~ Fujairah, Hamad Bin Abdullah St. Farouj Al wadi Bldg

They serve the yummiest Iranian food in the East Coast. The food is mainly grilled and of high quality; the chicken kebabs, grilled lobsters, mutton curry, Persian stew dish, and Iranian ice-cream in delectable flavours are divine.

Taj Mahal ~ Fujairah city centre

The authentic North Indian delicacies here will give you a satisfying gourmet experience. And the rich and ornate interiors reminiscent of the Raj era will make you nostalgic. My recommendations ~ tandoori chicken, mutton rogan josh, and prawn curry.

Views Restaurant ~ Le Meridien, Dibba

The cuisine is an enviable blend of the East and the West, and there was live music while we were enjoying our meal livening up the cosy brasserie milieu. This all day dining restaurant has an extensive buffet menu {themed buffets at times} as well as an a la carte menu.

White Shark Restaurant ~ Corniche road

You cannot leave UAE without having a taste of Arabian food and the White Shark Restaurant nestled far from the city’s maddening traffic and crowd is my suggestion for that. The rates are reasonable and the portions are large.

 

Recreational Activities

Aces Bar (Ladies Club) ~ Tennis and country club

The club is a great place for weekend fun to play tennis and other games during the day. The club gets a makeover at night and transforms into a party arena.

Hilton Resort Breezes Bar & Terrace ~ Ghurfah

Arabic food, appetizing cocktails, and shisha ~ the food, service, and experience are all wonderful at this idyllic beachfront bar, and it’s also a nice place to sit back, and relax watching the sea.

Sharkeys Bar ~ Al Faseel

The bar is known for its vibrant atmosphere and exotic range of beverages. They have live DJ music, and the lovely setting and impressive bar menu will leave you wanting for more.

Tropicana Bar ~ Al Faseel

This pool bar is the perfect place to enjoy a drink with gardens and a fountain view adding up to the calm ambiance. It is also ‘the place’ during summers and is open throughout the night.

Zorba Lounge ~ Diar Siji Hotel

Exotic drinks, snacks, and reverberating music ~ you cannot ask for more! The place is ebullient where you can let your hair down and groove to pulsating music.

 

Souvenir Shopping

Fujairah is a haven for shoppers and it provides the right melange of traditional and modern shopping experience to visitors. It is impossible to miss out on the colourful radiance of carpets, shawls, footwear, and fabrics along with the aroma of spices while taking a stroll in the Traditional Middle Eastern Souks.

Central Souk is the place to pick up meat, fish, dates, spices, herbs, and other essential food items as it is basically a food market. The colours, aroma, and buzz of the souk is infectious.

The roadside Masafi Friday Market or Souk Al Jumaa {open all week} is a great crowd puller and definitely a place for shopping aficionados ~ they have it all and if you are good at bargaining then this is the place to pick up souvenirs, handicrafts, pottery, earthenware, and antiques. With the Hajjar Mountains as the backdrop; the location is picturesque.

Another delightful shopping experience awaits you at The Safeer Market which has an array of traditional Arabic shops selling local clothing, perfumes, furniture, and special Iranian tea. You can also purchase traditional hookahs and flavoured Shishas from here.

Fujairah has its own share of shopping malls and I would suggest visiting the Fujairah City Centre for a complete shopping experience. The mall has an array of stores and retail outlets selling electronics, fashion accessories, clothing, and even kitchen appliances.

 

Where To Stay

The best accommodation is found on a little strip called Al Aqah, on the outskirts of Fujairah.

Intercontinental Fujairah Resort & Spa

This Moroccan style resort is located on the shoreline of the Al Aqah beach and a sea view facing room takes you right up there; on to the beach. Everything about the hotel is new, and the Arabian hospitality is palpable all around the place. Do not miss out on treating yourself to a massage at the award-winning spa, L’Occitane where the soothing relaxation techniques will take you back in time.

The crowning moment is having a candlelight dinner by the sea where it is just the murmur of the waves, moon light, and the two of you!

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Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort

This stylishly elegant resort enjoys the advantage of being sandwiched between the imposing Hajjar Mountains and the Indian Ocean. The resort has a private stretch of beach and an array of dining restaurants. You can also book your scuba-diving, fly-fishing, and snorkelling packages from here. They will let you use their private beach if you are driving down from other Emirates for a nominal fee.

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Fairmont Beach Resort

With the Hajjar Mountains as the backdrop, staying at this resort is a wonderful experience. They have two swimming pools and a wellness centre with many facilities which can be used to unwind and refresh. There are also a number of activities to be enjoyed here ~ live music, dancing, folklore, and entertainment shows that will keep you occupied.

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Verdict: This Emirate is a great combination of land and sea which gives travellers a variety of choices to discover while on holiday. The fine blend of ancient and modern with picturesque fortresses, dramatic mountain scenery, and unspoilt beaches has made Fujairah a much sought after holiday destination.

 

Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the Fujairah Tourism & Antiquities Authority. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review.

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