The easternmost of the United Arab Emirates, Fujairah is the only Emirate not to have a coastline along the Persian Gulf. It is also the youngest of the Emirates, only becoming independent from Sharjah in 1952.
While Fujairah has an airport, it is closed to passenger aviation at the present time. Airborne visitors will arrive at one of the western Emirates.
Trains only operate in Dubai.
Fujairah is roughly 2 hours by car from Dubai and the trip is on sealed roads throughout.
It is also quite easy to reach Fujairah from nearby Oman, as the border is very close.
Note: Fujairah is in UAE, which is separate from Oman (two countries), although they belong to the group known as GCC Countries. Visitors must have separate visas for Oman and UAE in order to move from one to the other by car or any other mode of travelling.
Buses run reguarly between Dubai and Fujairah (around one every hour during the day and evening); the cost is 25 Dhs one way (tickets to be bought from the ticket window before boarding).
The bus service is comfortable. Women and couples/families sit in the front two to three rows and males in the remaining seats.
Buses leave from Union Square in Dubai, and from the old Plaza Cinema/HSBC in Fujairah (stopping at the bus station on the way out of town, where passengers need to disembark to buy their tickets before re-boarding).
By Taxi Taxis run from Fujairah (next to the old cinema) to Dubai and Sharjah. A shared taxi to downtown Dubai (Deira taxi stand) costs around $7 and they go as soon as the car is full. An unshared one costs about $28 but it depends on where you want to go in Dubai. Add another $15 if you want to go the Marina area where all the tourist hotels are. Beware - metered taxis from Dubai to Fujairah are twice the price.
Fujairah city itself is most emphatically not designed for pedestrians, being dominated by main roads. Thankfully, taxis, which have been completely changed to a new fleet of Nissan Altimas and Toyota Camrys, are metered,and start at 2 dirhims during the day (2.50 at night.) are plentiful. In fact, visitors attempting to walk around the city will attract horn tooting from taxi drivers, who seriously cannot believe that anyone would choose to walk.
Despite its location, there is very little to see in Fujairah city. The city is a business centre first and foremost, with none of the enticing atmosphere of the other large cities of the UAE.
Of some interest is the 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 a poor cousin; however there is a museum too (closed on fridays) and the reconstruction of the hertiage village is well on its way.
While the Indian Ocean is enticingly close, some parts of the beach would not seem to be a good option to swim at. However, Dibba Al-Fujairah which is 30km far from Fujairah city would be a good choice, where you can enjoy the sunny beaches and you can practice any sea activity you like. One more interesting thing to do is that you can make a boat trip to one of many islands that lie in the Gulf of Oman, a really wonderful places to visit and it is a good place for fishing.
All things considered, Fujairah is probably more suited as a base from which to go on excursions to the surrounding areas (most of which are enclaves of Sharjah), rather than doing anything much else. The city is growing in stature as a business destination, particularly where oil is concerned, but tourism remains somehow significantly behind.
Not everyone is a fan though. Upon revealing to one of his collegues that he was taking us (his family) to Fujairah, my father was given this simple but effective statement (has to be said in a thick Scottish accent) - "Nigel, don't go to Fujairah, Its a toilet!".
Fujairah Aviation Academy is a flight school located in Fujairah's airport.
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 goods - and copies of brand-name items.
For souvenirs, most top-level hotels have at least one gift shop with the customary array of items. Prices are not negotiable and tend to the higher end of the spectrum.
Gulf Flower Bakery sells good falafel sandwiches and other bits and pieces.
The al-Meshwar restaurant is located in the centre of the city in a whimsical-looking building and features a ground-floor "cafe" serving the regional staples (shawarma, felafel etc) and shishas. Above that is the main restaurant, which serves good-quality Lebanese fare.
A franchise of the Persian restaurant chain Sadaf is also to be found in the city. The decor is rather startling (including a waterfall in the middle of the dining room), but the food is of a good standard.
There are no local specialties as far as drink goes, which means that the usual collection of water, juices, tea, coffee and softdrinks are readily available.
Alcohol is mostly only available within top-quality hotels. Cheaper alternatives include the Fujairah Marine Club on the corniche and Fujairah Beach Motel, which also has a retail "hole-in-the-wall." You'll have to ask as it's hidden away a bit.
The best value drinks in town are to be had in the pub at the Tennis and Country Club (go on a Tuesday and you get karaoke too).
Fujairah is not rich...but is developing along with U.A.E. Although there is one YHA backpackers hostel with rooms for around 75DHS or $25US. The owner is not very friendly and doesn't speak very good english but rooms are clean and comfortable with private bathrooms.
The Al Diar Siji Hotel (part of Abu Dhabi-based Al Diar Hotels) is generally designed for business travellers. Staff are attentive and the rooms are pleasant. There are also a number of clubs attached to the hotel, including a 10-pin bowling alley.
- Radisson Blu Resort Hotel Fujairah, P.O.Box 12590, Fujairah, UAE, ☎ P.O.Box 12590 - The emirate of Fujairah - Fujairah - United Arab Emirates Phone: +971 9 244 9700. Located 90 minutes from Dubai and 40 minutes from Fujairah City.
- Al Diar Siji Hotel Fujairah.
- Miramar Beach Resort
- JAL Fujairah Beach Resort
- Fujairah Rotana Beach Resort
The customary cautions regarding drivers in the UAE apply in Fujairah as well. Road rules are understood to exist, but drivers will tend to take risks which would seem borderline-suicidal to many visitors. Additionally, bear in mind that most roads are multi-lane in each direction in the city, which may well mean that a taxi or one's own car is the best bet here.Additionally, where the trip meter is either not present or "not working", agree on the fare before starting the trip.
A drive through the Hajar Mountains (which extend over the border into Oman) may also be enjoyable, however this will require some planning as regards the standard of car to be driven.