Home Uncategorized Travel Diary: 36 hours in Fujairah

Travel Diary: 36 hours in Fujairah

September 14, 2014


A seasoned road-tripper will ask you to pack light, stock up on water and don’t forget your back-up printed maps, in case the GPS stops working . A style blogger, on the other hand will advice 3 pairs of sunglasses, spare swim suits and a compact blow-dryer as the absolute essentials. Well, I’m a bit of both, with a voracious appetite for travel so my packing list is… quirky, to put it mildly but handy nevertheless.

Packing for a roadtrip: Dubai to Fujairah

Packing for a roadtrip: Dubai to Fujairah

Here’s what you need to know for a fantastic roadtrip from Dubai to Fujairah:

Distance: 181.1 km
Time: From Jumeirah Lake Towers to Fujairah City Center Via Emirates Road took 2 hours including a gas station stop.

The Drive:

It’s a scenic, gorgeous drive alongside the cacti-strung yellow-red desert and rugged wadis (canyons)of Fujairah, passing several terrains of land. The winding roads in the mountains gradually descend into a beautiful seaside stretch with the ocean one side and the bare, rustic Hajjar Mountains on the other.

Scenic drive to Fujairah via the new Emirates Road. Packing for a roadtrip: Dubai to Fujairah. We used Googl;e Maps to navigate but it did get a few road numbers wrong. Even so, very useful!

Scenic drive to Fujairah via the new Emirates Road. We used Googl;e Maps to navigate but it did get a few road numbers wrong. Even so, very useful!

Scenic drive to Fujairah via the new Emirates Road. Packing for a roadtrip: Dubai to Fujairah. We used Googl;e Maps to navigate but it did get a few road numbers wrong. Even so, very useful!

Road tripping: Dubai to Fujairah 181.1 km, 2 hours

The destination:
Fujairah has this charming, small beach town vibe about it, which I loved. The city center has pretty much everything in terms of food and supplies, but there aren’t too many supermarkets apart from these in the Emirate, so make sure you stay very close to the city center for convenience.

For sightseeing, I passed by the Al Bidayah mosque, between Al Aqqa and Khor Fakkan – a mudbrick structure which happens to be one of the oldest mosques in the UAE, built in AD 1446. It’s not spectacular to look at, but it does have a quaint little desert garden and the mosque is steeped in history so it makes for an interesting visit.

The Al Bidayah Mosque in Fujairah- Don't miss it!

The Al Bidayah Mosque in Fujairah- Don’t miss it!

Another place of interest is the Fujairah Historic Fort, which I missed but would have loved to visit. Made from rocks, mortar, mud and plaster, the sand-colored fort actually changes color from between deep orange and light brown, depending on the location of the sun!

Stay:
We booked the Concorde Fujairah for a night, close to the city center However, we faced a few hiccups, as we found out that breakfast was not included in the rate and that there was no free WiFi in the room ( AED 60 per 24 hours). Also, someone had to come into the room to fix the router after we checked in. Although it did say it’s a 5 star rated hotel, it didn’t quite match up and I was a tad disappointed by the experience.

The Concorde Fujairah

The Concorde Fujairah

Another factor was that the hotel was 40 minutes away from our main destination for the next morning! So we eventually did skip the breakfast at the hotel and opted for a Subway sandwich on the way to Al Aqqa.

Top pick:
An absolute must-do in this gorgeous Emirate is snorkeling and diving While I’ve already gone diving before, I opted to snorkel this time in the shallower ( 5-10 meters) blue-green waters of Fujairah. I was delighted that atleast one of the two locations we snorkeled in, had excellent visibility and a very vibrant marine life to observe.

Off to Al Aqqa for Snorkeling

Off to Al Aqqa for Snorkeling

Off to Al Aqqa for Snorkeling

Off to Al Aqqa for Snorkeling

The Al Boom Diving Center at Al Aqqa, Fujairah took the two of us in a high speed motor boat shared with three other divers and two instructors onboard for AED 250 each. We left at 9 am for an expedition which took us to two dive sites (30-45 min at each site) – Dibba rock, which was okay in terms of visibility for snorkelers, although the divers reported spotting two Black-tip Reef Sharks and Sharm rocks, which was excellent for snorkelers (but again, the divers spotted turtles and we didn’t!). What we did see were porcupine fish, boxfish, moray eels, cuttlefish and other tropical reef species.

Snorkeling at Dibba Rock

Snorkeling at Dibba Rock

Few pleasures compare to that of jumping off a boat in an attempted canonball! Sharm rocks, Fujairah

Few pleasures compare to that of jumping off a boat in an attempted canonball! Sharm rocks, Fujairah

Im definitely coming back to dive. Fujairah, You've been amazing!

Im definitely coming back to dive. Fujairah, You’ve been amazing!

I can think of no better way to spend a birthday afternoon, than swimming alongside shoals of beautiful fish in the most dazzling colors and nature’s symmetry- an overwhelming experience for any nature lover and marine life enthusiast. In all, Fujairah is a must-do for residents of the UAE and even visitors. I’d love to take friends and family on this road trip- such a unique way to explore the country. Fujairah gets a thumbs-up – I cannot wait to come back for a dive!

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