There is plenty to see and experience in Fujairah. Rightly referred to as the Arabian Jewel, this beautiful mountainous region is hospitable, safe and has a rich cultural heritage and tradition. It is famous for its warm waters as much as it is known for its simple lifestyle. It is a unique blend of the sea and the captivating landscape represented in the vast stretches of the mountain ranges and the extended coastline thus giving the emirate a distinctive beauty and a unique sense of fascination. Fujairah’s sunny beaches and extended coastline attracts visitors looking for maritime sports such as swimming, rowing, sailing and diving all through the year. Lately the emirate has been witnessing increasing flow of people from Europe – mainly Russia and Germany.
Among its main attractions are the beaches, hot water springs and mountains and wadis for adrenaline seekers who crave for the rush of excitement, while shoppers swear by the delights of the Friday market. The local souk tends to sell products for residents (plants, spices etc) rather than tourist merchandise. A smaller souk is open along the Corniche in the evenings, but the main focus there is on generic.
Of some interest is the Fujairah fort, located just outside the city itself. The main structure is still undergoing renovations, but visitors may walk around the reasonably large site (for free). Compared to other forts in the UAE, though, Fujairah Fort is certainly the ‘poor cousin’, but there is a museum (closed on Fridays) and the reconstruction of the heritage village is well on its way.
While the city itself has little to offer, for it is more of a business center than a touristy town but that works in its favour. The city itself not designed for pedestrians and visitors attempting to walk about by themselves are bound to attract tooting horns from the taxis.
Travellers or visitors looking for souvenirs may find it easier to lay their hands on it at the hotels gift shop. It is good to remember that prices at the hotel are not negotiable and tend to be on the higher end of the price scale.
And unless you have heard otherwise, you would definitely be surprised to see how close the mountains are to the sea which makes the hotels nestling between the two more appealing.
Al Bidyah Mosque
The oldest mosque in the region, Al Bidya (also called Al Badiyah or Ottoman Mosque) is the oldest proof of engineering feat in the region. It was named after the historical town that embraced it for centuries. Al Bidyah Mosque is located on the north of the emirate. It has a prayer hall with a prayer niche (Mihrab), pulpit, arches and openings. A central pillar separates the internal space into four squares of similar dimensions. However the mosque does not have a minaret. The internal decoration of the mosque combines stone carvings opening for ventilations and light and special shelves to house the Holy Quran.
Ain Al Ghamour
Deep in the mountains, about twenty kilometers south of Fujairah, is what the local calls the miracle cure – natural springs with water temperature reaching 60 degree centigrade and above is visited by tourists and cure seekers. It is believed that diseases like rheumatism, backache and arthritis can be cured by these waters.
Al Hayl Castle
A short drive away from the city Centre, Al Hayl Castle, a pretty castle believed to be over two centuries old, set amidst a mountains and surrounded by date palm farms is a must visit for any visitor to this emirate. The castle itself is not very big but it is definitely worth exploring. You could climb through it and go on an exploration drive yourself. The wind tower adjacent to the castle is a good place to take in the sweeping view of the surrounding areas. It was considered as the headquarters for ruling family and was used for surveillance, patrolling and to defend the area.
Bithna Fort (above pic)
although the origins of this fort is shrouded in mystery, material evidence prove it to be built around 1735. Currently in a state of disrepair, Bithna Fort was one of the most important fortresses in the eastern part of UAE. Overlooking the route across Hajar Mountains through Wadi Ham from Fujairah to the plains of the Arabian Gulf coast, this small structure built of stones, mortar and plaster is square in shape and has three round towers at its corners. Bithna Fort is also the site of a megalithic T-shaped tomb from the second millennium BC (Wadi Suq period) which was reused in the late first millennium BC. Located approximately 13 km north-west to Fujairah city on Fujairah-Masafi road (E89), it can be seen among palm trees some 400 m from the road on your right side if coming from Fujairah, a few kilometers before reaching the Friday Market. Road signs are clearly marked and there is no way you could miss it.
Fujairah Fort and Heritage Village
Believed to be built in 1670, the Fujairah Fort is a proud reminder of the regions past. Although it was badly damaged in the early 20-th century, it continues to be the oldest and the most historical fort in the UAE and has served as a defensive building and a home for the ruling family. The Fujairah Fort is a mud brick structure with three major sections, several halls, one square tower and two round towers. The fort has been renovated and restored
The Fujairah Heritage Village, near the Fort, is the best example of life in the past. It is the vivid link between the present and the past. Built at the beginning of 1996 in the Madhab region, this village covers an area of 6000 sq meters and replicates all features and intricate details that demonstrate the early way of life, homes, tools and equipment.
The Fujairah Museum is located south of the Fort, opposite the Ruler’s Palace and displays the artifacts found in the archeological digs at Qidfa and Bithna areas. Items dating back to the early Bronze Age (over 4500 years ago) found during the excavations are displayed at the museum. Exhibits such weapons, painted pottery, carved soapstone vessels and pre-Islamic silver coins can be found here.