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  • Writer's pictureKristin

5 Things to do in Fujairah & Nearby

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Located on the eastern side of the country, this area of the country hosts a wide variety of diversity. From wadis and mountains to beaches there is something to keep you always busy. One of the biggest tourist spots in the Emirate is Hatta; however, accommodation here was well over $500 per night, so we stayed in the nearby city of Fujairah. This area ended up being a great base and gave us the ability to explore multiple areas around the area. These are 5 Things to do in Fujairah and the nearby areas!


[Note: Don't let the emirates confuse you, when you look at a map of the UAE the emirates are split up and separated from other parts. So while it might show as being in a different emirate these activities actually all close to one another.]


Fujairah

Fujairah Emirate

There are a couple of places to check out directly in Fujairah, including the Fujairah Fort and the Grand Mosque.


Fujairah Fort

We visited the Fujairah Fort, which is right on the outskirts of the town. When we first arrived we were greeted with a wide variety of super cars lined up on the way to the Fort. The kids thought it was pretty cool and wanted to take a picture next to their favorite-colored car. It was crazy to see so many cars like this in one spot. The fort is one of the oldest in the UAE and the structure has four different watchtowers. The fort was built around 1500-1550 as a castle and it was instrumental in fighting back colonialism. Information we found said it would be an entrance fee of 5 AED per person, but there was no one there selling tickets so it ended up being a FREE outing.


Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque

You won’t miss this mosque as you are out and about exploring the city – it is the second largest mosque in the UAE! We ran out of time to go inside and explore, but it is supposed to be open to the public to visit from 9 a.m. – noon. However, we did make sure to capture some spectacular views of it lit up at night.

Fujairah Grand Mosque all lit up at night. United Arab Emirates.
Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Fujairah, UAE.

Hatta

Dubai Emirate Exclave

This desert mountain town is a big hub for outdoor adventure – whatever you want to do, you can probably do it in Hatta! Hatta is about a 1-hour drive from Fujairah. We couldn’t find any budget friendly accommodation within Hatta, so Fujairah was as close as we could get.


Hatta Hub

They have hiking, mountain biking, desert overnight stays, horseback riding, ATVs, waterslides, parasailing and so much more! A lot of these activities are located at Wadi Hub in Hatta. We attempted to go for a hike to one of the ponds, but we actually found the signage and the information to be a bit confusing – at one point we lost the trail and the kids were getting cranky because it was hot, so we decided to turnaround. However, we found out that the ponds were dried up during this time of year, so wouldn’t have seen what we hoped anyways; plus swimming is not permitted in any of the ponds.

Little girl setting out for a hike from Hatta Hub trails in the United Arab Emirates.
Exploring the area around Hatta Hub, UAE.

After exploring other areas of Hatta, we came back to the Wadi Hub for some horseback riding around 4 p.m. (when it cooled down). We went to the Info Centre and got the runaround of how to book the horseback ride – nobody really seemed to know who to talk to and we kept getting told to talk to someone else. FINALLY, we ended up finding someone next to the horses that was able to help us! We rented 2 horses for 30 minutes for 100 AED ($27 USD or $34 CDN). Needless to say, the kids were happy!

Little girl & boy on horseback as they are being led on a horseback ride from Hatta Hub, United Arab Emirates.
Enjoying a horseback ride around sunset from the Hatta Hub, UAE.

Hatta Heritage Village

This heritage village was reconstructed by the government in the early 2000s to showcase rural living from centuries ago. One of the great parts was that it was completely FREE to explore. The village was restored using the traditional method of mud bricks, and they had a variety of buildings and displays to show what life was like for the farmers & people living in this region. Some of the rooms had a traditional bedroom set-up or provided more information about the daily life of these people – such as farming, date harvesting and preservation. Hatta has many farming families that have grown dates & palms for generations, and still do so today. There is a tower located at the top of the hill that you can climb to and get views around the historical village & the surrounding mountainsides.


Hatta Dam & Green Lake

After the unsuccessful hike near Hatta Hub, we attempted to go visit Hatta Dam, which is known for its greenish-blue waters. However, the dam was closed due to construction until at least early next month (December 2021) and there didn’t appear to be any short hikes that we could take to get to it. Instead, we opted to look for Green Lake. We found a road that should have taken us to it, but got halted by construction.


We ended up taking a walking path from Hatta Town (the hiking sign was visible from the road as you approach the Hatta Dam entrance), but when we got to a lookout, the lake was completely drained. We’re not sure if it was from construction or just this time of year (mid-November). However, along the way, we had the opportunity to see the working falaj irrigation system, the fields of the farmers being irrigated, as well as several of the farmers working in their fields. All in all, it it turned out be a great little hike.


Khor Fakkan Beach

Sharjah Emirate

Located about 30 minutes drive from Fujairah is the coastal town of Khor Fakkan. They have a big beach in their protected harbour, so the water was warm and calm with the mountains providing a great backdrop. The kids really enjoyed checking out the beach and there was a large variety of seashells for them to discover!

Mother & daughter holding hands walking down the Khorfakkan Beach in United Arab Emirates.
Enjoying an afternoon at Khor Fakkan Beach, UAE.

Right across from the beach was the large man-made Khor Fakkan Waterfalls and the outdoor amphitheater that was built to look like an ancient Roman amphitheater.

Two children in front of the man-made waterfall in Khor Fakkan, United Arab Emirates.
Khor Fakkan Waterfall in the eastern seaside town of the UAE.

There is also an Old Souq that was fun to walk through at night with the streets all lit up!

Three Arab men walking down the lit up Old Souq at night in Khor Fakkan, United Arab Emirates.
Evening views of the Khor Fakkan Old Souq, UAE.

Wadi Shees

Sharjah Emirate

This area is about 30-minute drive from Fujairah, or only about 15-20 minutes from Khorfakkan, and was one of our favorite areas to explore in the area. This wadi is nestled right in the mountains.


Once you reach the area, there is a Shees Park that has been built to attract tourists, but the real gem we found was the Wadi Shees Nature Trail that was located shortly past the park. This was a short 30-minute loop trail that took you up along the hillsides and followed the traditional Falaj, which is an irrigation channel along the mountainside that waters the terraced gardens. It is said that this is one of the only traditional Falajs that still has water running through it year-round in the UAE. Farmers along the mountainside, take turns of watering their crops, fruit trees, etc. There were even a couple of traditional villages.

The morning we explored, there were also men unloading bales of hay and taking sections of it up the hill for their goats. It was an added bonus to our hike, as we got to see this everyday activity.


As we finished the loop, we saw some goats on the hillside and went to visit them and gave them small pieces of the hay that had fallen to the ground. While they weren’t tame, the kids enjoyed putting the hay down for them and watching as they cautiously approached the snack.


Ironically, we were only a kilometer or so from the Oman border! This particular part of Oman is actually an exclave that is completely surrounded by the UAE, but then within the Oman enclave there is another small section that is UAE again. We decided to check it out and actually crossed into the Oman border for a bit! However, we didn’t have enough guts to keep going, as we didn’t want to run into any insurance issues with our rental car (it was not allowed to be taken into Oman). However, we can say that we were within Oman for about 10 minutes! A 4x4 would have been perfect to explore this area.

The Oman/UAE border just past Wadi Shees with the Hajar Mountains in the background.
Discovering the Oman Exclave within the United Arab Emirates, not far from Wadi Shees.

Al Madam Ghost Village

Sharjah Emirate

Located about a 45-minute drive from Fujairah (or an hour from Dubai), is the mysterious abandoned village of Al Madam. As you make your way towards the sand dunes, the outlines of these homes are nestled into the desert that surrounds it. What remains here is a ghost village, and an intriguing place to explore.

Red sand dunes form up against the abandoned houses with the abandoned mosque in the background. Sharjah Emirate, United Arab Emirates.
Sand Dunes forming up against the abandoned houses of the Al Madam Ghost Village - UAE.

There are a variety of stories about why the town is abandoned, including that evil genies lured the villagers out. However, the Sharjah Art Foundation did a study in 2018 and they believe that the village that was built in 1970s was left abandoned due to fierce sandstorms that left it uninhabitable. Other researchers say that in the 1960s when the UAE government introduced modern public housing for the nomadic Bedouin population, that this was one of the villages. However, because they were built so quickly and not well, the infrastructure wasn’t always in place and the Bedouins ended up abandoning the homes.


All of the houses are accessible for people to come and look around in them (except the abandoned Mosque at the end of the town). There was one house that still had the lighting fixtures and the tiles up, and others where you could see the multiple rooms including the bathroom. However, within all the houses the sand has made its way in – and there are sand dunes galore in each of the homes. This made for a perfect place for the kids to explore – it was basically like one big sandbox. However, it had the added benefit of having the shade to protect them from the sun.

Sand dune goes up to the ceiling of one of the abandoned houses at the Al Madam Ghost Village in the United Arab Emirates.
Sand dune within one of the rooms of the houses of the Al Madam Ghost Village, UAE.

Food & Accommodation in Fujairah

As we found in Ras Al Khaimah, food was affordable and reasonable if we searched out local restaurants. We easily could find dinner for less than $20 USD or $25 CDN for the four of us.

As with our stay in Ras Al Khaimah, we had a hard time finding places on Airbnb, and found hotels to be the most budget-friendly option in this location. We stayed at a local hotel for about $63 USD or $80 CDN per night.



We were impressed by the variety of things offered in this eastern part of the United Arab Emirates. Similar to Ras Al Khaimah and Al Ain, this area of the United Arab Emirates might get looked over by most people, but it offers so much; and we’re glad we had an opportunity to explore it! We hope that if you explore this area, one of these 5 Things to do in Fujairah & area might be appealing to you as well.

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