26 Mar Fujairah
Welcome to Fujairah
Fujairah City is the seventh-largest city in UAE, located in the Gulf of Oman and shares its borders with the emirates of Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. Fujairah is known for its beaches, solitude, relaxation, natural sceneries, and fresh air, hence “The Lungs of the UAE.”
Distinguished by its rugged mountains, valleys, waterfalls, oases and wide sandy beaches, Fujairah is a great getaway for locals and tourists to escape the heat of the bigger cities due to its easterly location. It has several hot and cold mineral springs and waterfalls, making it a unique place.
Fujairah is essential to the UAE as it is the only access to the Indian Ocean, which operates a multipurpose port that offers access to major shipping routes worldwide. Only 90 minutes from Dubai, it is a worthwhile drive to see a different side of what the UAE has to offer.
Escape from the Heat
It’s the end of March (averaging 32 degrees Celsius). As the temperature of UAE gets warmer day by day, we decided to take this opportunity to hire a car and explore another highly recommended destination before the temperature reaches the high 40s.
Visiting Fujairah had a friendly vibe with its fresh atmosphere and beautiful landscapes. But it only got better as we left the central city of Fujairah and headed for the beaches and mountain range. It is an incredible discovery with its epic rugged scenery, beautiful sandy beaches, and a certain charm that makes you want to see more.
You will encounter two-lane tunnels that have been excavated in the mountains. The longest artificial tunnel is 2.7km and perfectly displays civil engineering at its best, considering the challenging mountainous terrain.
Places Of Interest
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Fujairah’s modern Sheikh Zayed Mosque opened in 2015 and has become one of the city’s significant landmarks and ranked as the second biggest mosque after the famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center in Abu Dhabi.
The mosque offers free tours to visitors, but please be mindful of dressing conservatively by covering arms and legs, and female visitors should bring a headscarf.
Near the coast of Fujairah lies the oldest and largest castle or fort in the United Arab Emirates. Built-in the 16th century, the Fujairah Historic Fort is known for its significant role in resisting colonial expansion. It is undoubtedly one of Fujairah’s architectural treasures. It is located on the top of one of the tallest hills in the Gulf, overlooking the entire Emirate, 20 metres above sea level. It was the only stone structure standing along the Fujairah coast for centuries.
A small Heritage Village surrounds the fort. You can see restored old houses, exhibits on traditional lifestyle and a display of the irrigation system that farmers once used in their fields.
The fort is open every day until 5 pm; entry is free.
Al Hayl Castle
Built around 1830, the Al Hayl Castle or Al Hayl Palace belonged to the ruling family of Fujairah. This historical castle made of mud-brick and plaster portrays an excellent example of traditional Arabian architecture. The site is a fortified, residential compound and a defensive fort located on a hill, known as Al Hayl Fort.
Visiting Al Hayl Castle will give you an insight into the inhabitants of the past, where you can still see the outlay of the presidential palace’s meeting rooms known as the majlis, storage areas, bedrooms and a kitchen.
Not too far from the Fort, there is a short set of steps leading up to the Al Hayl Fort. This defensive Fort on a small hilltop overlooks the palace, Al Hayl Village and where you can admire the stunning views of the lush valley dotted with palm trees against the backdrop of rugged mountains.
Driving to Al Hayl Castle can be challenging, as the start of the road is quite rocky, so you will have to go slow. We found driving a sedan was ok to drive through here, so don’t be put off by the look of the road.
Our first stop was a town called Korhfakkan. We did no research at this stop and were pleasantly surprised when driving along the coast to enter this unique place.
KhorFakkan is a town on the Gulf of Oman with a promenade that runs along the beachfront, also called the ‘Corniche’ and has a stunning backdrop of the dramatic Hajar Mountains, which provides the perfect setting for this scenic location.
Korhfakkan Waterfall & Amphitheater
The Korhfakkan Waterfall adorns a natural cliff that overlooks the Khorfakkan Corniche and sits 43 metres above sea level. From the top of the cave, one can enjoy panoramic views of Khorfakkan Beach.
In 2021, inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, the Amphitheatre and an artificial waterfall were added to this town.
Al Rafisah Dam
Driving to the Al Rafisah dam is an incredibly fantastic experience. The roads are awe-inspiring as you meander between the mountains and the mystical tunnels built under the mountains.
The construction of the Al Rafisah Dam happened in the 1980s and became a tourist attraction when the authorities built a rest area with tourist attractions.
The magnificent Hajar sandstone mountains display a stunning backdrop over an immaculate azure reservoir alongside a tranquil green landscape and an artificial waterfall.
The Dam boasts a rest area, a mosque, outdoor play areas for children, a big parking lot, a cafe, a small co-op with snacks and drinks, and a popular restaurant with stunning lake views. You can also rent out boats and kayaks for the perfect experience on the water.
It’s a perfect venue for the whole family to enjoy a peaceful weekend. The Dam’s proximity to the highway is easily accessible aswell.
Al Bidyah Mosque
About 35 kilometres north of Fujairah city, the mud-brick Al-Bidyah Mosque is the oldest in the UAE, named after the town that once surrounded it.
The mosque consists of a prayer hall decorated with arches featuring ventilation openings and a mihrab (prayer niche pointing to Mecca). A central pillar divides the internal space into four squares of similar dimensions, covered by domed ceilings.
The mosque’s site has been excavated to reveal 4,000 years of habitation, a sizeable Islamic graveyard dating back to the Iron Age. When unearthed, it revealed fragments of pottery, metal arrowheads, and other artefacts dating back to at least 1000 BC.
Al Aqah, Fujairah
Only 45 kilometres north of Fujairah city, Al Aqah is one of the UAE’s lesser-developed resort areas, with only a few five-star hotels lining the beachfront but with plans for more development in the future.
For sun and sand, most people head straight to Al Aqah. With a long beach hugging the shore, you will notice a rock in the distance with a view of the Gulf of Oman called “Snoopy Island. This area is the hub for scuba diving and snorkelling.
Where To Stay
- InterContinental Fujairah Resort
- The Address Apartment Fujairah
- Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort
- Sandy Beach Hotel & Resort with
views of Snoopy Island
- Radisson Blu Resort
- Novotel Fujairah
- Ibis Fujairah
- City Tower Hotel
- V Hotel Fujairah
Although Fujairah is a liberal and modern place, respecting local culture and customs is essential, especially the dress code.
Dress modestly and ethically, and it can be as simple as keeping your shoulders and knees covered when visiting public places.
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