Fujairah The easternmost of the United Arab Emirates, Fujairah is the only Emirate not to have a coastline along the Persian Gulf. It is also the youngest of the Emirates, only becoming independent from Sharjah in 1952.
While Fujairah has an airport, it is closed to passenger aviation at the present time. Airborne visitors will arrive at one of the western Emirates.
Fujairah is roughly 2 hours by car from Dubai and the trip is on sealed roads throughout.
It is also quite easy to reach Fujairah from nearby Oman, as the border is very close.
Note: Fujairah is in UAE, which is separate from Oman (two countries), although they belong to the group known as GCC Countries. Visitors must have separate visas for Oman and UAE in order to move from one to the other by car or any other mode of traveling.
Buses run regularly from Dubai and other Emirates. Fujairah has something of a reputation as a vacation spot in the Emirates, which should equate to reliable bus coverage.
Bus services are available from Dubai to Sharjah, from where a traveler must take the Fujairah bus. The bus service bound for Fujairah from Sharjah operates every hour. The bus service is comfortable and inexpensive. As UAE is an Islamic country, male and female travelers have separate seating areas (females in the front two to three rows and males in the remaining seats.
By Taxi Taxis run from Fujairah (next to the old cinema) to Dubai and Sharjah. A shared taxi to downtown Dubai (Deira taxi stand) costs around $7 and they go as soon as the car is full. An unshared one costs about $28 but it depends on where you want to go in Dubai. Add another $15 if you want to go the Marina area where all the tourist hotels are. Beware - metered taxis from Dubai to Fujairah are twice the price.
Fujairah city itself is most emphatically not designed for pedestrians, being dominated by main roads. Thankfully, taxis (which should be metered, although some are not) are plentiful. In fact, visitors attempting to walk around the city will attract horn blasts from taxi drivers, who seriously cannot believe that anyone would choose to walk.
Despite its location, there is very little to see in Fujairah city. The city is a business centre first and foremost, with none of the enticing atmosphere of the other large cities of the UAE.
Of some interest is the fort, located just outside the city itself. The main structure is still undergoing renovations, but visitors may walk around the reasonably large site (for free). Compared to other forts in the UAE, though, Fujairah Fort is a poor cousin.
While the Indian Ocean is enticingly close, the beach would not seem to be a good option to swim at. The profusion of offshore oil tankers contributes to its ugly appearance, and local attitudes are relatively conservative when it comes to bare flesh.
All things considered, Fujairah is probably more suited as a base from which to go on excursions to the surrounding areas (most of which are enclaves of Sharjah), rather than doing anything much else. The city is growing in stature as a business destination, particularly where oil is concerned, but tourism remains significantly behind...
The local souk tends to sell products for residents (plants, spices etc) rather than tourist merchandise. A smaller souk is open along the Corniche in the evenings, but the main focus there is on generic goods - and copies of brand-name items.
For souvenirs, most top-level hotels have at least one gift shop with the customary array of items. Prices are not negotiable and tend to the higher end of the spectrum.
The al-Meshwar restaurant is located in the centre of the city in a whimsical-looking building and features a ground-floor "cafe" serving the regional staples (shawarma, felafel etc) and shishas. Above that is the main restaurant, which serves good-quality Lebanese fare.
A franchise of the Persian restaurant chain Sadaf is also to be found in the city. The decor is rather startling (including a waterfall in the middle of the dining room), but the food is of a good standard.
The Al Diar Siji Hotel (part of a chain based in Abu Dhabi) is generally designed for business travellers. Staff are attentive and the rooms are pleasant. There are also a number of clubs attached to the hotel, including a 10-pin bowling alley.
Al Diar Siji Hotel Fujairah
Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort
The customary cautions regarding drivers in the UAE apply in Fujairah as well. Road rules are understood to exist, but drivers will tend to take risks which would seem borderline-suicidal to many visitors. Additionally, bear in mind that most roads are multi-lane in each direction in the city, which may well mean that a taxi or one's own car is the best bet here.
Surprisingly for such a simply laid-out city, many taxi drivers do not know their way around Fujairah. Be prepared to play navigator in these situations. Additionally, where the trip meter is either not present or "not working", agree on the fare before starting the trip.
A trip to nearby Khor Fakkan (an enclave of Sharjah) is highly recommended, as the beach is regarded as one of the best in the region.
A drive through the Hajar Mountains (which extend over the border into Oman) may also be enjoyable, however this will require some planning as regards the standard of car to be driven.