Fujairah general background
Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and the only one on the Gulf of Oman in the country's east.
Fujairah is well known for its Wadis due to the geological topography of the area. Wadis are dry riverbeds that contain water after a heavy rain, in Arabic it can also mean oasis.
Tourists can enjoy Wadi Bashing, Wadi Siji, Wadi Saham, Wadi Mai and many other wadis. Wadi Ham is the largest and longest, springing from Masafi area.
You can watch my 4 min 06sec HD Video Fujairah Along by bus part 2 out of my Youtube channel.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Fujairah on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 25° 24' 3.34" N 56° 11' 15.29" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Masafi - Diba road 3.
It isn’t really a Fujairah local custom tip but a Russian (even a Soviet) local custom tip concerning Fujairah.
Through the sixties and into the early seventies Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain were noted for its colorful, superbly designed postage stamps, the many series of which became - and still are - collectors' prizes.
In far 1966 a 12-years old Russian boy named Sergey, who was a fan of post stamps and already had a great collection, bought a very picturesque set of 9 stamps from a country with a very mysterious name which he had never heard before “Fujairah”. Could he even dream ever find himself in such an exotic country? Of cause, not!
Have you guessed who he was? Yes he was a future VT-member and you know his name, haha, who visited this country (now – Fujairah Emirate in UAE) 42 years later and who wrote this tip.
And you can see these stamps here. And the most amazing thing is the fact that he even saw all the sights in reality about which he could only dream when a boy!!!
January 1966: Stamp Exhibition - Cairo, Egypt
3 n.p. - Queen Nefertiti
5 n.p. - Colossi at Abu Simbel
10 n.p. - Mask of Tutankhamen
15 n.p. - Sphinx at Giza
25 n.p - Statues of Prince Rahotep and Princess Nofret
50 n.p. - First Christian church
1 rp. - Columns of the Great Temple at Philae
2 rp. - Sphinxes on the Nile
5 rp. - Pyramids at Giza
If you get the chance, take a drive in a 4-wheeler up into the mountains. These areas remain as they were many years ago. Calm, serene, with fantastic views. Drive round a bend and come upon an oasis or a local farmer working on the land.
If walking be careful for local widlife such as scorpions which may be hiding under rocks or foliage to escape the heat. Not many of these around and I have yet to see any despite visiting tumbled down villages where no-one lives anymore. Best to be safe than sorry though. A camera is a must as is plenty of water!
24th February 2008 - Having said that I have seen no scorpions, the grandmother of an Emirati friend was stung by one recently. She was sitting on the ground resting when it nipped her leg. She is fine now, but it took 2 weeks of rest for her to get better.
Weekend in Fujairah
Just an hour and a half's drive from Dubai is Fujairah, a small and really quite undeveloped Emirate but with fabulous coast line and superb diving and snorkelling. Fujairah is split in two by Khorfakkan which is part of Sharjah (remember: no alcohol in Sharjah). If you approach the northern half of Fujairah, via Dibba, you are treated to the sight of a set of massive pots on a roundabout. Why? you may well ask. Who knows? There must be a reason for them, but they aren't for catching rain!
"Le Meridien Al Aqah"
This stunning hotel rises up like a phoenix from the ashes..well sand actually. There aren't many hotels to choose from, and certainly nothing of the 5* quality of the Al Aqah, however, in true Emirates style, a new Rotana hotel is being built right next door.
The Al Aqah is very proud to have "the largest swimming pool in the UAE" - it seems callous to point out that decent beach hotels in Dubai have three or four pools all of which are nearly as big as their one.
We always go for the Royal Club rooms at the hotel, which start on the 15th floor. The benefits of this (for not much more money) are that you get free soft drinks, tea, coffee and water all day, free afternoon tea, free happy hour alcohol and canapes, personal service and really really nice slippers and robes in the black and green marble bathroom. (Its the little things that count!) Oh, and you also get a set of rubber ducks to play with in the bath, in all rooms, not just the Royal Club.
"Unspoilt - for now"
This picture was taken from our 17th floor room balcony and is the public beach next to the hotel. The long straight road is used by the local youth to test their quarter mile standing start capabilities, and other essential driving skills like handbrake turns and doughnuts. Quite often, these manoeuvres are undertaken in old Toyota pick-up trucks or Nissan Sunnys. Not much to rival the F1 Grand Prix, but everyone has to start somewhere. And there isn't really much else to do in Fujairah, other than laze around in the sun or go diving.