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Step ashore in the port of Fujairah and see a different side to the Emirates. You won’t find the gigantic hotels of Dubai here, but rather an equal mix of old and new. Explore the mountainous surrounding countryside on a safari adventure, or take a journey out to discover a wealth of regional history – far removed from the modern urban affluence in this part of the world.
Numerous public sculptures decorate Fujairah’s busy centre, but the area’s real treasures lie in its cultural history and natural beauty. Take some time to swim and snorkel in the beautiful surrounding seas, or head further out on a shore excursion to discover some enchanting old architecture.
Fujairah Museum and Heritage Village
A world away from the bustling modern cities of the Emirates, this comprehensive museum complex surrounding Fujairah Fort gives its visitors a real look at what life was like before the advent of modern urban centres. Here you’ll discover a rich variety of artefacts on display, charting the 4,500-year history of the region through folklore, pottery, traditional medicine, Iron Age weaponry and pre-Islamic coins. You’ll also have the chance to look around the sparse, traditional rooms of a typical home from decades past, and see Fujairah’s fortress standing on the hilltop nearby.
Some shore excursions could give you the chance to tour the mountainous surrounding countryside by 4x4, in a region which enjoys slightly more rainfall than much of the Emirates – meaning more fertile ground, and more greenery in the outlying hills. Here you’ll travel through a dramatic desert landscape of jagged mountain peaks, arid canyons and thriving palm groves – the perfect tour of this landscape of contrasts.
Al Bidyah Mosque
The unique, diminutive Al Bidyah Mosque is the oldest active mosque in the United Emirates, made with traditional mud-plastered walls and sporting four small domes on its roof. The carpeted interior makes for a welcome retreat from the heat outside; a quiet place of worship with little more than a central pillar and a handful of objects inside. Up on the hill nearby stands and impressive historical watch tower, giving visitors some incredible views of the date orchards and red, rugged Hajjar Mountains beyond.
Shoppers will find a great choice of stores in the city centre, especially when it comes to fashion and jewellery, which can be found in a number of malls and shopping centres. For a more traditional shopping trip, head to the local souk for food, bright mounds of spices and locally-made fabrics.
There are plenty of options for traditional dining during your time around Fujairah, and you may well want to get a seat at one of the restaurants overlooking the bay. Many eateries serve delicious falafel and shawarma meat wraps; alternatively, there’s also a good choice of cafes in town serving fresh coffee and a variety of teas.
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