Fujairah shows that there’s a lot more to a holiday in the UAE than sand, sunshine and shopping (although there’s nothing wrong with that!). For those interested in soaking up a little local culture and history, Fujairah has plenty of amazing attractions to enrich your visit to the Middle East.
Al Badiyah Mosque
The Al Badiyah (Al Bidya) Mosque in Fujairah is by far the most popular tourist attraction for visitors to Fujairah. Standing high on a rocky outcrop, this well-maintained mosque with its fortress-like tower was built of mud and stone. It is the oldest mosque in the UAE, believed to date back to around 1446 AD. The interior of this small mosque is simple but exudes a serene atmosphere. Climb to the top of the tower for amazing panoramic views of the coast.
TIP – Inevitably, the mosque is busy on weekends and holidays, and it is still used for worship. Plan your visit accordingly, and make sure you dress appropriately for this religious site.
Fujairah Historic Fort
The imposing Fujairah Fort stands on a slight hill above Fujairah City and is about 360 years old. It has survived Wahabbists occupation from 1808-1810 and an attack by the British Navy in 1925. Watchtowers rise above the walls by at least 2.5 metres and the main square tower is called the Murabaa.
Surrounded by local mud brick houses and date palms, the restored fort is constructed from rocks, mud and plaster on a frame of mangrove poles. The smooth walls change colour from light brown to burnt orange depending upon the time of day and the angle of the sun.
Highlights to look out for are the well, now dry, and the hole where prisoners were lowered into a ditch. On a brighter note, Channels gouged into the floor were used to channel the date syrup that ran out from the fermenting piles of dates.
TIP – You don’t have to enter the fort to see it at its best. It looks beautiful when lit up after dark and is a great photo op.
Arranged inside a modern building, the Fujairah Museum offers up some extraordinary artefacts from archaeological digs around Fujairah. Pottery, arrowheads and carnelian beads indicate that the area has been inhabited for over 3,500 years. More recent exhibits include Bedouin jewellery, clothing and weapons.
Tip – Due to the language barrier there is a lack of meaningful signage and explanations, so keep an open mind when you visit.
The Wadi Wurayah is an interesting contrast to other attractions around Fujairah. This designated Ramsar Wetland in the mountains is home to over 100 species of birds, reptiles and amphibians. The wadi has some endemic freshwater fish species and wild orchids to look out for. Best visited on an off-road tour with a guide, the area is one of the last homes of the Caracal Lynx, the Arabian Leopard and the endangered Arabian Tahr. Check out the scenic waterfall high in the Hajar Mountains with streams and pools between the rocks.
TIP – Parts of the wadi may be closed for conservation work, so check the latest info before you make the trip.
In between visiting these must-see attractions, enjoy the beaches, shopping and dining that make Fujairah a deservedly popular destination in the UAE from September to May.