Stone of desires
This stone is located in the Hajjar Mountains on the way from Masafi to Dibba. Usually excursion buses make stops there and so did we. If you sit at this stone and imagine a desire or a dream it will come true for certain – that’s the local custom!
You may watch my high resolution photo of Fujairah on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 25° 23' 44.85" N 56° 11' 0.38" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Stone of desires .
You may watch my high resolution photo of Fujairah on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 25° 23' 44.85" N 56° 11' 0.38" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Stone of desires 2.
Diving the East Coast
Diving the east coast of UAE, along the Gulf of Oman, is much better than the west coast. The east coast has better visibility and lower salinity. You will not have to wear as many weights, making it more comfortable. You will have better clarity to enjoy the critters you see. And simply put, there will be more variety and density of fish life.
All hotels in the area will offer dives and can coordinate. I cannot recommend any one specific over the others. Al Boom Diving (contact info below) is located in Dubai, but will offer transportation and connection to dive from Le Meridien Resort Fujairah (which is actually closer to Diba).
If you have any control over it, try to dive further north. The further up the coast line you get, the better the diving. If you make it into Musandam Oman, you will have reached the best diving in this coast line. Bring your own if you have it. All dive shops here have full equipment of good quality.
long drive from Dubai but enjoyable, trough small villages, dessert, little a bit of mountains too. You must see it at least once :)
Love swimming in the ocean. Go and see 'Snoopy' island, snorkel around... very lade back place and really relaxing.
A day in Fujairah
"March 16, 2004"
During our 10 day visit to Abu Dhabi in March, we did manage to get to Fujairah for a quick snorkel trip. We decided to go the "northern" route once we got to the Masafi area to check out the Meridien Hotel at A'aqa, which is just south of Dibba. It's a beautiful hotel, an oasis on the edge of the sea in an arid and uninviting landscape, but they didn't have any snorkeling just off their beach, so they suggested we drive down to the next round-about and go the Sandy Beach Hotel and swim at Snoopy Island, which is just offshore from their beach.
We paid a small amount to get onto the beach and to get towels, and there was a simple changing room with a fresh water shower at the beach near the steps up to the pool area. Because the beach was very crowded, we left our valuables with the receptionist.
The wind that day was very strong; fortunately it was pretty much an offshore wind, or the waves would have made snorkeling impossible. As it was, there was enough sand sweeping down the beach that you could get sandblasted if you sat out on the beach for any length of time.
So we headed out into the water... a little bit cool for me, since I'm so used to a hot, hot climate (even though I don't like hot weather, but my blood has "thinned out"... lol), so it took a few minutes to get used to it. The water was pretty clear, and there were lots of different fish... It became evident, though, that we were on the wrong side of the island, so we swam around to the lee side. There is where we found the shoaling fish, and we were soon in the midst of schools of fish! The Seargent Majors were swimming within inches of us, and we were totally surrounded by fish! There were a few other varieties, too, and one school that swam by in front of me looked like snarling, rabid dogs with their teeth bared! That's the kind of vision that makes you want to try to walk on water, but at least their needle-sharp teeth were a few feet in front of me!
Once or twice when we looked up, we'd hear splashes behind us and look to find "nothing" there. It was the schooling fish just changing their pattern of swimming. I don't even know exactly WHAT fish we were seeing, as I have not been able to find a good chart of fish from the Gulf of Oman/Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean either in book stores or on the web. One big specimen was some type of nudibranch with its sweeping, undulating sides... sort of a pinkish orangy color. But I'll keep looking for their names....
I did some shelling.... found a few beautiful specimens either with their original occupants or with hermit crabs in them. One was a beautiful purplish, elongated snail-type shell! I did find an empty cone shell which I kept, plus some clams and other types which I also have to identify. Occasionally I'd see some vertebrae from some dead fish... really strange shapes!!!!! And I found when I went to shower off, that I had some globs of tar on the bottoms of my feet. Some vigorous scrubbing with sand took care of that, though.
The mountains are also beautiful; very rugged-looking and with deep chasms formed by water run-off. Dark spots in the sides are tiny holes in the stone. Who knows what larger caverns may lie waiting for exploration? It's a very unforgiving terrain; I'd certainly hate to fall while hiking out there. A quick look in a book showed me that caracal, rabbit species, a cat species that looks very much like a housecat, bats, and a number of other species of wildlife live in those mountains. And the mountains became even more beautiful on our drive back, what with the lowering sun accentuating the light patterns on the rocks.
So the upshot is... we need to go back and spend a night or two there so we can get more time in the water. There's too much to see to do it in only three hours. Gotta go back.... gotta go back!
"This is not an empty desert"
These are some of the dunes alongside the roadway just outside of Sharjah on the way to Fujairah.
Low mountains starting to crop up on the road heading east from Sharjah to Fujairah. The poles and wires are also a common sight!
Here is what must be a small oasis or stream with the mountains in the background. It's quite possible that the water is far below the level of the desert due to erosion. Note a few camels towards the foreground.