Located along the Gulf of Oman, Fujairah in UAE is surrounded by the Hajar Mountains. If you want great views of the ocean then this is the place to be. Fujairah draws hundreds of travellers every year due to its iconic mountains, astounding architecture and fantastic beaches – the best you will see in the UAE. Exploration, swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving are some of the most interesting things to do in Fujairah. Read on to know more…
Resting on the east coast of UAE, Fujairah is one of the seven emirates of the country. While the Hajar Mountains separate the place from the other six emirates, it is the only emirate that is situated on the eastern end of the Arabian Gulf. The place joined the UAE in 1971. Prior to that, Fujairah consisted of about 150 houses and more than 2,000 date palm trees that was a source of living for the local people.
The beautiful city is home to some of the oldest mosques in the world. The city covers approximately 1,166 sq km and about 1.5% geographic area of the UAE. Having a population of 152,000, the city is the fifth-largest emirate of the UAE. It is ruled by Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, who has been ruling the place after the demise of his father in 1975. The economy of the place is dependent on the subsidies and grants provided by the government of UAE. The local industries comprise cement companies, stone crushing activities, mining and local businesses.
Travelling within Fujairah has been made easy with the development of many highways and roads by the government. But, the city has very limited availability of public transport with only a few dedicated bus services. Besides, there are a number of taxis operating within the city.
Here are some of the best places to visit and things to you can do in Fujairah…
Top things to do in Fujairah
Visit Al-Bidyah Mosque
Marvelling at the architecture of Al-Bidyah Mosque is one of the best things to do in Fujairah. As you enter the mosque, you will observe that it has fewer domes than the other mosques in the city. The important architectural wonder has four layered domes and a prayer hall that is decorated with the help of arches. You will find the interiors feature natural lighting and ventilation. Take a moment and appreciate the calm and ancient atmosphere of the mosque, and pray to the almighty for this life.
The Al-Bidyah Mosque is famous for being the oldest mosque to exist in the UAE. The famous mud-brick mosque, situated close to the village of Al-Bidyah, is about 35 km to the north of Fujairah. The mosque is believed to date back to 1446.
The area surrounding the mosque is also very intriguing. As you explore the area outside, you will find an Islamic graveyard situated towards the north of the mosque. The graveyard houses a huge tomb belonging to the Iron Age. In fact, when the tomb was discovered, metals, pottery and interesting artefacts were unearthed. You will also find watchtowers, ancient ruins and stalls selling handicrafts.
Witness the beauty of Fujairah Fort
Another one of the best places to visit in Fujairah is Fujairah Fort. For maintaining its heritage and architecture, the government of Fujairah has focused on restoring the beauty of the fort. The world-famous Fujairah fort is the oldest fort in the country. Built in 1670, the Britishers vandalized the fort in the 20th century. The iconic structure has stood the test of time, and operated as the home of the royal family. It was extensively used in the various battles waged to combat the wave of colonialism.
The fort is made of mud bricks and is a popular place for taking amazing photographs. So, get ready with your cameras and smartphones to click memorable pictures. You will also notice that the fort is divided into three sections. There are two round towers, a square and many halls inside. Exploring the interiors of the famous fort is considered as one of the top things to do in Fujairah.
As you experience the ancient charm that the structure projects, do not forget to explore the surrounding area. You might get to know a lot more about Fujairah Fort and its historical importance. Head over to the Heritage village that is set up by the Fujairah Department of Archeology and Heritage. The village is a treasure trove of ancient history. Explore the restored ancient houses and buildings to learn more about local history. Make sure that you do not miss the Al Yazrah irrigation system, which was used by the local farmers.
Enjoy at Al Aqah Beach
Al Aqah Beach is among the best places to visit in Fujairah that attract tourists from all over the world. The popular beach town is just a two-hour drive from Dubai and is a popular getaway for travellers. So, if you want to get away from the busy beaches of cities, such as Dubai or Abu Dhabi, then it is a great place to check out.
Located towards the north of the Gulf of Oman, the beach town offers picturesque views of the sea. As you drive up to the place, you will find it studded with a chain of hotels and resorts. If you plan to spend more than just a day at Al Aqah, you can start by checking in any of the resorts. Popular resorts include Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort and Iberotel Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort. Both the properties have luxury facilities where you can chill and enjoy the magnificent views of the beach along with the scenic mountains.
One of the top things to do in Fujairah is Al Aqah Beach camping. If you are on a budget and want to relax on the beach, then set up your tent here. Sit back, relax, sip some refreshing beverages and enjoy! If you plan to stay here all night, then be prepared to spend a night under the stars. The fun does not end here as the Al Aqah Beach is popular for water sports. The hotels that are scattered along the shore are all set up for activities, such as scuba diving, snorkelling and paddleboarding. Dive into the crystal clear waters to witness turtles, fish, jellyfish and other amazing marine creatures. There are plenty of hotels and pubs on the beach where you can grab a drink after a tiring day of water sports.
Experience the magnificence of Bithnah Fort
The Bithnah Fort is located at a distance of 13 km from the main highway and is just outside Fujairah. Built in 1735, the historic fort was once used to keep an eye on the different strategic routes crossing the Hajar Mountains through Wadi Dam. The fort was used as a defence structure for protecting the eastern region of the UAE.
Considered as one of the best places to visit in Fujairah, Bithnah Fort has a bulky structure. When you visit the place, you will observe that that fort has thick walls made of golden stone. You will find two watchtowers in the west. The square-shaped structure of the fort is made up of mortar, plaster and stones.
The place is ideal for taking breathtaking photographs. So, after witnessing the architecture of the magnificent fort, get your cameras ready to take amazing pictures of the fort with the jagged mountains in the background. Any tourist can visit the fort for free.
Explore Hajar Mountain Wadis
For those of you who love to spend time outdoors, Hajar Mountain Wadis is a great spot. One of the top things to do in Fujairah is hiking along the dusty terrains of the Hajar Mountains. The area is famous for its wadis – an oasis, valley or dry riverbed that may have water after a rain shower. Another one of the major things to do in Fujairah is driving across the wadis here.
You can take a stroll or drive across the wadis in the region that includes Wadi Siji, Wadi Saham, Wadi Maidaq, Wadi Ham, Wadi Al Taiwan and Wadi al-Wurayah. Hiking in the wadis is an experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life. There are other things to do while you are here. You can trek along the mountains while capturing the surrounding beauty through your camera. Experienced rock climbers can participate in rock climbing activities. For history lovers, there are interesting archaeological destinations nearby, such as Al-Ayn, Bat and Al-Khutm.
But, if you are looking to set up a camp near the wadis, look for higher spots. This is because the wadis have a tendency to flood unexpectedly, which can be dangerous for you if you camp here. But overall, the Hajar Mountains is a unique place to unwind if you are tired of the busy streets and towering skyscrapers.
So, if you are planning to take a trip to the fantastic city of Fujairah, then the ideal time is between October and March. The weather in the city remains pleasant and warm throughout the year but it is best to avoid the period between June and August. This is because the temperatures may rise up to 40 degrees during these months.