It was our anniversary on the 25th of May, and the best way to celebrate it was to explore a new city together. So we decided to go to Fujairah, a lesser known emirate in the UAE. Fujairah is situated on the east coast.
About Fujairah: It is one of the seven emirates of the UAE and is situated on the east coast and has the coastline on the Gulf of Oman. The public transport is scarce here but taxis are available in plenty.
Best time to visit: definitely not May! It was very hot! The winter months ( November to March) are the best time to visit any emirate in UAE for that matter
Dress code: The emirate of Fujairah is not as liberal as Dubai and one must follow the dress code when visiting the mosque and other religious places. Swimwear etc. is allowed within the resort/ hotel limits.
We started from Dubai, which is on the west coast of the UAE at 2:30 PM. We took a metro from the Ibn batuta station to the Union stop. From Union, we boarded the bus E700 that would take us to Fujairah city ( Dh 28). Taking the bus was the biggest mistake we did on this trip It took us 3 hours to reach Fujairah whereas a taxi ride would have taken us to our destination in an hour and a half (Dh 250 approx). After a tiring journey, we got down at the Etisalat stop, Fujairah and checked in to our rooms at Hotel Nour Arjaan by Rotana. The hotel was right behind the Shiekh Zayed Grand Mosque, the second largest mosque in UAE. The view from our hotel was just amazing.
Next day, there was a sumptuous spread for breakfast. We had our heart’s content and left to explore the city.
We asked our taxi driver to take us around the city. Our first stop was the Al Bidya Mosque.This mosque is situated at around 35KM to the north of Fujairah. This mosque is also known as the Othmanian mosque. It is the oldest mosque of UAE and was built in 1446 AD. The mosque was built using only locally available materials like stones and burned clay.
On the way, we saw the Korfakkan Corniche and the Fujairah Seaport.Our next stop was Al Bithna Fort, which was 13 KM west of the Fujairah city.
On the way, we stopped by at the heritage village, but it was not open yet. Then we headed to the fort. We had difficulty in finding the way to the fort as there were no direction signs put up anywhere. Finally, a friendly Emirati guy led us to the entrance.
Al Bithna Fort is the 2nd largest fort and is nestled between a mountain range on both sides of Haam Valley. There is an agricultural oasis in front of the Fort. Al Bithna Fort consists of a main three- storied tower and one smaller tower located at the north. We spent some time here ( It was too hot to be out in the sun) and then went on to Al Hayl Fort and Castle.
The Al Hayl castle was built in the year 1930. The road to this castle was narrow and through the mountains. I was surprised that there can be a castle in such a deserted area. The guide at the castle told us that the forefathers of the current King of Fujairah had stayed in the Al Hayl castle. And there was an entire village in that area. (Now there are no people staying around the place).
It was already 1:30 PM by then and we were starting to get hungry. But we thought of visiting the Fujairah Fort before lunch. As it was Friday, the fort was closed. The Fujairah Fort was built in between 1500-1550 AD. This fort comprises of three circular towers and a square one. We took few snaps outside the fort and headed to the Lulu mall in Al Etisalat road for our lunch.
Post lunch we got back to our room for a bit of rest. It was impossible to go roaming as the temperature was around 40 degrees C. I had a complimentary back and shoulder massage from the hotel :). At around 5 PM, we went on to visit the Fujairah Museum.
Fujairah museum houses the artifacts that were excavated from the various historical sites of Fujairah. The entrance tickets cost 5 Dh per person. The museum is divided into two sections: the heritage halls: which displays the occupations known to the region like fishing, agriculture etc. It also includes the display of weapons, utensils, and costumes of the region. The Antique hall includes the excavated artifacts. The place was worth the visit and gave us a rich insight of the culture of the locals.
Our last stop was to the Fujairah Corniche. The place was very crowded as it was a holiday. We spent some time sitting on the shore and enjoying the surroundings and passed by the Sheikh Zyed Masjid, the second largest mosque in UAE and got back to our room at around 8 PM.
Next day was the start of the holy month of Ramadan, which is why we covered all the attractions in one day. We had a great breakfast at our hotel and checked out at around 12:30 PM.
This time we did not go back by bus 😛 and booked a taxi instead. We had a great time in Fujairah!