Fujairah was the last emirate to join the United Arab Emirates. Nevertheless, Fujairah may be worth becoming your first choice in the UAE. Fujairah is known for its castles and beaches. It is a perfect spot for history lovers and solitude enjoyers. Either if you have a checking list with all the hidden historical places on a map, or you are one of those who love reading without any distraction or annoyance on a perfect beach, Fujairah would be a good option for you.
What to expect from Fujairah
The United Arab Emirates is a union of seven emirates, with Abu Dhabi as its capital. The other emirates are Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm al-Quwain, and Ras al-Kahimah. It is the fifth largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates.
Fujairah is the only emirate that has a coastline on the Gulf of Oman. The climate in Fujairah is probably the best in the country due to the surrounding Hajar mountains. That means it rains enough and it doesn’t get too hot. Actually they had problems with flooded areas in the city when we were there. Water allows farmers to produce one good crop a year. The best time for us to visit Fujairah is from October to March.
In Fujairah it seems that time stopped some centuries ago and the conservation of its spread heritage has been a success. In Fujairah you will find the most antique Mosque in the country. The beaches are calm and empty, so they are perfect spots for offshore activities including scuba diving and snorkeling. There are many beautiful sites for this kind of entertainment available in the area.
What to do in Fujairah
Al Bidya Mosque
This tiny mosque is located 35 kilometers north of the capital, and claims to be the oldest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. You may expect that it was crowded with tourists but when we visited we just parked at the gate and there was only one single person praying inside. We were actually the only tourists. The visit is free and you will be able to be in touch with real history. In its surroundings, archaeological excavations have revealed that the area has been inhabited for more than 4000 years with many objects found more than 1000 years old. This is our favorite spot in Fujairah.
It is strange and beautiful. A very interesting fort for real. The rather irregular design, with three circular towers plus a fourth square iteration makes it a must-see for history lovers. The fort dates back to 1670 and it is the oldest in the country. It was for centuries the most important defensive building on the coast, and also the residence of the emirate’s leaders. Opens everyday from 8 am to 5 pm. The visit is free. You can arrive with your car and keep driving after passing the fence to get into the parking lot which is just in front of the fort. You won’t find a crowd of tourists waiting for the perfect picture. From the fort you will be able to take interesting panorama pictures of the city with Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and some skyscrapers in the background.
In the surroundings of Fujairah Fort, they have built the Heritage Village, with restored houses that show what the traditional way of life was like. It is not a must-do tourist attraction so far but since you will be there it is not bad taking a quick look.
It is close to the fort and it has a collection of objects from the Bronze Age. In the ethnographic section, you can see scenes of how people lived in the past. There are some similar museums in the country showing similar kinds of content. You will have the chance of admiring some better ones.
Al Bithna Fort
Al Bithna Fort is located 13 kilometers from the city but it is very much worth going. This fort is located in the middle of a palm grove. The construction is a traditional double story rock and mudbrick fortification. The fort has played an important role in the history of the country, particularly in the rising of Fujairah as an independent emirate in the early 20th century. It has a controlling position overlooking the Wadi Ham.
This is a remote castle on a location that makes it great. Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamdan Al Sharqi built it in 1932 and the fort became the residence of the emirs for the following two decades. We drove there and an official guard came out from a house to help on the visit. It was possible to climb to the top of the towers and admire the mountain views. This fort is simply very special and beautiful and even though it is an effort to arrive because of the road condicions we recommend not to miss it.
Sakamkam Fort is a historic fort in Sakamkam, just north of Fujairah City. The fort is on a hilly position and the views from its round watchtower to the town are contrasting in between the modern skyscrapers and the stone made past of the old fortress. The fort became ruined but the authorities renovated It recently. Even though you will still have a feeling of abandonment visiting it.
Wahlah Fort was probably built in the early 18th century and it was restored in 2005. Archaeological excavations proved that the Islamic fort was built on the site of the 8th century B.C. The fort has a small rectangular ground plan with one round watch tower and 2 buildings around a courtyard. The fort is located on a ridge overlooking the wadi next to the village.
This is a very impressive rock because of its shape. It reminds of the famous cartoon character Snoopy laying down on his back. The shallow waters of the 20-meter-high rock provide a welcome haven for all kinds of marine life, including blacktip reef sharks. When the visibility is maximum, the scenes are great. It is possible to have an amazing diving experience there.
This is a new built-up area in Fujairah. Umbrella Beach is a newly developed seafront complex with plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, food trucks, and business oriented asset. The project tries to establish a commercial landmark in the Emirate of Fujairah, taking the advantage of the beautiful surroundings and the perfect location next to an amazing good looking beach.
Dibba is a town at the North of Fujairah close to the Oman border crossing to Musandam region. The town is quite forgettable itself regardlee it counts with the nice renovated Dibba Fort. However it is still quite popular among divers and beach lovers because of the nice shore assets.
Dibba Rock is a real diving paradise in the United Arab Emirates. Dives can go as deep as 30m and visibility can be 10 meters on good days. It is easy to spot swaying corals, while stingrays, green turtles and colorful scales floating above a small shipwreck and an artificial reef.
This is the country’s most famous mountain range and it is shared by several of the seven emirates. Fujairah has a portion of it overlooking the Gulf of Oman. There are three must-do valleys which are Wadi Al Wurayah, Wadi Al Hayl and Wadi Siji. From there you will be able to take amazing instagram pictures far from the stereotypical image of the desert in the Middle East.
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque
This is the second largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. The style of the architecture and the serousity of the guards reminds me of the main mosque in Abu Dhabi. However, when we visited we were the only tourists in the huge complex. We were a bit shocked and amused by the amount of strict rules in the site we all pretended to follow (including the guards). The mosque has room to serve 28,000 worshippers. Tours run almost every day of the week but Fridays and guides can share details of its construction but can perfectly do the visit on your own.
How to get to Fujairah
The country’s communications are very much encouraging to use private transport. To visit Fujairah at the best condicion we only can recommend two options:
Rent a car
For those who like to drive, since there are beautiful roads, it will be a delight. It will be a good idea to carry a cellphone with GPS.
Book a tour
There are several options on the Internet. We always recommend to check your options with trustworthy providers.
Where to stay in Fujairah
In Fujairah is important where you stay in terms to be close to the activity you plan to do. Check your options carefully and take the most convinient accommodation for your budget.
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