If you’re looking for a relaxed 2019 / 2020 holiday in the United Arab Emirates, Fujairah is an ideal alternative to the hustle and bustle of Dubai’s city streets. Despite the slower pace, there’s still plenty to see and do. A Fujairah holiday offers a wealth of activities and landscape to explore, along with the hot, hot weather and extensive shopping malls synonymous with the United Arab Emirates. Visit this stunning city and you’ll discover ancient mosques, exotic marine life, world-class cuisine and fascinating souqs - all set against a magnificent mountain backdrop.
If the bright lights of Dubai are beckoning, the city is reachable by car in under three hours or a short flight. Back in Fujairah, there’s plenty to stay for. Hot springs nestled under the Hajar Mountains, hiking trails, night markets and shopping centres packed with hundreds of high street retailers. Shop ‘til you drop or simply relax on the beach and soak up those all-important rays.
The Gulf Coast is a haven for keen divers, with an abundance of exotic fish and coral reefs, plus a few small wrecks to explore. Snorkelers can also discover a magical world under the clear waters of the Gulf of Oman. Fujairah's location is one-of-a-kind, a sprawling city flanked by sandy shores where beach lovers can enjoy pristine beaches with all the facilities of the city close at hand. Fujairah is also home to a number of impressive mosques. Their stunning architecture and often impressive size aside, they also offer an authentic insight into life in the United Arab Emirates.
Fujairah’s cityscape is set against a beautiful mountainous backdrop, and these mountain areas are fantastic for exploring the region’s countryside. They are also home to the regional sport of wadi-bashing. You can hike or drive your way through the wadis (dry riverbeds) exploring and overcoming tough terrain on the way.
Adventurous foodies will be in gourmet heaven on a trip to the United Arab Emirates, and a holiday to Fujairah is no exception. With restaurants and chefs from just about every corner of the globe, you can dine on sushi, fish and chips, gourmet French cuisine and a whole host of foods from various nations. Also on the menu are some speciality dishes from Fujairah and the United Arab Emirates. Track down a restaurant serving authentic Emirati cuisine and you may well find yourself feasting on hamour - a grouper fish found in local waters. Hummus, tabbouleh and falafel may be familiar sights on menus, but for a different taste try the Al Machboos - a meat and rice dish, flavoured with fragrant spices and a delicious staple on many menus.
It’s worth remembering the strict rules regarding alcohol consumption in the region, drinking is permitted but only in designated areas. For a tee-total tipple you can share with local residents, try the ayran - a refreshing yoghurt-based drink.
The unspoilt beaches and calm diving waters make a Fujairah holiday ideal for families. Children who don’t have their diving credentials can start to learn to scuba or snorkel safely on the surface. The magical underwater world of Fujairah’s waters is not to be missed. If diving is off the menu, the warm gulf is perfect for a swim during a fun day on the beach. A highlight for visitors young and old, the night souq - a daily market during Ramadan and Eid- takes place on the Fujairah Corniche. Hundreds of stalls line up, selling everything from locally-made crafts to global cuisine. Horse, donkey and camel rides are available for children - and adventurous adults! A fairground completes the picture, along with fireworks and fun.
The natural springs at the Ain Al Madhab gardens also have attractions children can enjoy while parents relax. 124 acres of open gardens, along with a recreated traditional village and renovated fortress, give kids a chance to explore and imagine life in Fujairah during days gone by. If you’re looking to escape the sun, head to Fujairah Central Mall. The children’s play zone is second to none, with arcade games, bowling, slides, bumper cars and a cinema. The adults will be queuing up to join in the fun too!
Action & Adventure
One of the main, and most exhilarating, pastimes on a Fujairah holiday is the diving. If you haven’t yet got your PADI credentials, you can make a start - or add to your hours - at one of the first-class dive schools. If you are ready to scuba dive, there are reefs, wrecks and plenty of marine life to spot. Not quite ready to scuba dive? There are plenty of excellent snorkelling spots where you can enjoy the colourful undersea world.
Back on dry land, the countryside around the city is waiting to be discovered. A highlight of the landscape, the wadis (dry riverbeds) provide a playground for petrol heads. Wadi-bashing - the sport of 4x4 driving through the beds - is hugely popular. To the north of the city, Wadi al-Wurayah sees a plunging waterfall cascading into a beautiful pool below. Ideal for a wild swim or Instagram-worthy selfie opportunity. Climbers and hikers can head into the Hajar Mountains for a challenging adventure away from the cityscape and bustling traffic.
Although the city of Fujairah is a bustling business hub and boasts a high-rise skyline, the city also has fantastic beaches. This unique destination is the only part of the Emirates whose beaches are not on the Persian Gulf. Instead, Fujairah’s beaches are dotted along the Gulf of Oman. A mecca for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts thanks to the beautiful coral reefs and exotic sea creatures found lurking beneath the calm, clear waters. You can take advantage of the many different diving courses on offer, where skilled instructors are on hand to guide you every step of the way.
If you prefer to enjoy long, lazy days soaking up the sun, there are plenty of umbrellas and sun loungers lining the golden sands, including at beach front all inclusive hotels. Away from the beaches, Fujairah is just a stone’s throw from the Ain al-Madhab Hot Springs. Located at the base of the Hajar Mountains, these mineral-rich spring waters fill two separate pools. Family-friendly, and busy during public holidays and weekends, the pools are a fantastic place to relax and unwind - especially on a week day when there are fewer visitors.
Fujairah is Dubai’s more laid-back cousin, and the same applies to the nightlife. With its fair share of bars, there are still opportunities to party the night away. Glitzy bars, lounges and hotel cocktail bars offer a sophisticated and chic atmosphere to enjoy as the night goes on. If an active day in Fujairah leaves you looking for a slower-paced evening, then the theatres and cinemas offer a chance to sit back and relax while the entertainment unfolds in front of you. The relatively new McGettingan’s Irish pub has rejuvenated Fujairah’s nightlife. Quiz nights, open-mic evenings and regular happy hours see visitors flocking to the bar to sample some familiar pub hospitality on faraway turf.
Fujairah’s beautiful beaches and long sunny days are an idyllic setting for couples. Away from the bustling city of Dubai, Fujairah offers couples a chance to get away from it all and enjoy some quality time together. Romance can flourish in the city, but visitors should also be mindful of the strict rules regarding public displays of affection. Holding hands for a stroll along the beach is fine. As with any country, respecting the UAE culture is key. While Fujairah is a laid-back city, the daily markets and shopping malls can get quite busy. To find a secluded spot, hire a car and escape into the nearby mountains. The beautiful scenery and remote setting makes an ideal spot for a picnic. Back at the beach, the warm gulf waters are perfect for a relaxing swim, before enjoying a candlelit meal at one of Fujairah’s first-class restaurants.
Away from the skyscrapers and the city’s business district, Fujairah is home to two stand-out mosques. The first, the Al-Bidyah Mosque, is the oldest in the United Arab Emirates. Made from a simple mud-and-brick construction, the mosque is home to artefacts dating back to around 1000BC. Dwarfing it in size is Fujairah’s more modern mosque, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which covers an area equal in size to three football pitches. A major landmark on the outskirts of the city, it has room for over 30,000 worshippers. Non-Muslims may not enter the building, but the grand, white exterior and sumptuous grounds are well worth a visit.
To learn more about the archaeological finds unearthed in the area, head to the Fujairah Museum. Highlights in the exhibits include a stunning bowl made from an ostrich egg, Bronze Age weapons and painted pottery - all discovered locally. With forts, castles and the Fujairah Heritage Village to explore, there are plenty of opportunities to uncover the local culture.