The Dubai Diaries: Exploring Fujairah

So I thought I’d do something a little different and write about somewhere a bit closer to home. Although not actually in Dubai, the emirate of Fujairah (one of 7 in the UAE) is located just a short drive away.

Since my flatmate Kirsty is leaving in less than a month (boo!) we wanted to explore a little bit more of the UAE, and hired a car for a mini road trip!

Our plan had originally been to head out in the morning and stay overnight, but we both landed around 8am from flights and decided a day trip would work just as well. The next morning, after sorting out car hire logistics and making a rough plan, we picked up the car and off we went!

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It was my first time driving in the UAE (luckily I learnt to drive in Austria, where they drive on the same side of the road) so I was a little apprehensive, mainly because everyone drives like lunatics here, but I soon got back into the swing of things! Even easier due to the automatic car – why isn’t every car automatic?

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Once we were out of Dubai it was long straight roads all the way to Fujairah, with not much to see for the first half of the drive. Soon some beautiful rocky mountains popped up, and we headed to our first stop, the Fujairah Fort.

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The fort was built in 1670, and is the oldest fort in the UAE. For many centuries it was the only stone building along the Fujairah coast, and served previously as both a defensive building and a home for the ruling family.

We wandered around inside and climbed up into the turrets, which boast some lovely views of the surrounding Hajar Mountains and the city itself.

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From the top of the fort we’d spotted a big mosque, which happened to be pretty close by. We parked up close and wandered down to have a look. It turns out the mosque is actually still under construction, although it shouldn’t be too long before it’s finished.

Since it isn’t done yet we were allowed inside (although I’m not sure if non-Muslims will be allowed in once it’s finished, like the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi?) and had a look at the stunning architecture.

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We then drove on down to the seafront, and continued our drive in search of Snoopy Island, so called because it looks like Snoopy lying down!

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We stopped for some lunch at the Meridien, where we had originally planned to stay. Since that didn’t happen, Kirsty will just have to come back to Dubai ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Our next stop was Al Badiyah Mosque, which is the oldest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. We’d spotted it on our drive up to the Meridien, so knew we just needed to turn back and head down the same road we’d come on.

The mosque was built in the 15th Century, and has an area of just 53 square metres. It was built from stones and mud bricks, and still stands just as strong as it did hundreds of years ago.

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We strolled up to the little fort at the top of the hill, and admired the beautiful views from both sides. On one side we could see the Hajar Mountains which surround Fujairah, and on the other side we could see out to sea and Snoopy Island.

Supposedly Fujairah is a great area for snorkelling and scuba diving, with plenty of fish and underwater life to see. Just another excuse to come back!

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Our next stop was to be Wadi Wurayah, a conservation area which is over 12,700 hectares in size. It’s home to over 100 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, as well as over 300 species of plants.

To our disappointment however, the Wadi has been closed for renovation since last year. It has been spoilt by graffiti and the locals are trying to restore the natural beauty.

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Nonetheless, the surrounding mountains were still stunning, and we didn’t see another car for miles.

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Our final stop of the day was the Friday Market, which is located a short drive outside of Fujairah, on the road back to Dubai. Despite the name, it’s actually open every day of the week, and sells all sorts of goods from fruit and veg to huge carpets and rugs!

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We fuelled up with some freshly squeezed juices for the drive home, just as the sun was beginning to set.

It was so interesting to see another part of the UAE, especially as it’s so different from Dubai. I’d really love to explore some of the other Emirates as well!

P.s. Follow me on Instagram & Twitter for more day-to-day updates on where I am in the world!

24 Comments

  1. June 17, 2015 / 5:06 am

    My friend has just started with Emirates so going over to visit her in a few months, since I will have a lot of time to myself (although hopefully will get to spend proper time with her!) while she is flying I had this as one of my day trips, thanks for sharing your experience!

    • June 18, 2015 / 10:02 pm

      Thanks for reading, hope this give you a bit of inspiration for your trip ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. ansh
    June 10, 2015 / 1:05 am

    It was actually the first time i saw ur blog, must say it is beautifully written clearly describes each and everything what u do and all of it shows how dedicated you are, wish u all the best and keep up the good work, hope to cya someday. Tc

    • June 18, 2015 / 9:52 pm

      Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoyed reading my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • ansh
        June 19, 2015 / 3:51 pm

        Ur welcome dear, keep the good work going. Tc

      • Anonymous
        August 28, 2015 / 11:18 am

        I love u so much

  3. May 26, 2015 / 12:34 am

    Hi Rachel quick question I wondered if you worked with Emirates and you moved from Britain would you be able to retire and live in Dubai if you know longer work for the company

    • May 26, 2015 / 12:58 pm

      Hi there! Well I guess so, I’m not really sure how it would work though as you need a job to get a residence visa here unless you have someone sponsoring you (such as a spouse/family member). I’m probably not the best person to ask!

    • ansh
      June 10, 2015 / 1:09 am

      No u cant live in the country if u have no job, because ur visa gets cancelled once u leave the company, if u have a business here u can stay as long as u have the business.

  4. Anonymous
    May 21, 2015 / 8:51 pm

    Rachel I absolutely love following you on your adventure! Such a joy to read, I’m joining Emirates later in the year and your posts make it so much more exciting! Thank you dor taking the time for you blog! Safe travels, Lauren x

    • May 26, 2015 / 12:56 pm

      Thank you so much! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck and hope you enjoy it! xx

  5. Anonymous
    May 21, 2015 / 5:59 pm

    Hello!

    I love reading your blog from time to time but was wondering if you have felt any negatives from working with the company? Obviously each person will have their own experiences but I have been recently been reading about the so-called poor management and poor treatment towards staff at emirates. Have you felt any of this with your time with the company? I am meant to be joining in the coming weeks a recently reading theses blogs and articles has definitely made me concerned and would love to get a current employeeโ€™s opinion if possible.

    However; I do understand if you do not wish to comment.

    • May 26, 2015 / 12:56 pm

      Hi there! I personally love my job (and I’m not just saying that), I find it to be a great lifestyle and a relatively easy job. Of course there are negatives such as the jet lag and getting up in the middle of the night, but then again when is any job going to be perfect all the time? I know the articles/blogs you’re talking about and I find them to be taken out of perspective. If I had been fired I expect I wouldn’t be so happy either! Good luck with everything and let me know how you get on ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Anonymous
    May 19, 2015 / 12:59 pm

    Great post ๐Ÿ™‚ but why Kristy is leaving?

    • May 19, 2015 / 3:39 pm

      Such amazing photos! Just wondering if there’s a chance you could do a blog about what you guys do the entire time on your long 16 hour flights? It must get so boring and tiring!

      • May 26, 2015 / 12:53 pm

        Thank you! Yeah I’ll definitely keep that one in mind ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s definitely tiring on the long flights, we do get a little break (around 3 hours) in the bunk beds but other than that we’re almost always busy working!

    • May 26, 2015 / 12:52 pm

      Thank you! Kirsty is getting married and moving to Hong Kong to be with her fiancรฉ! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. miragern
    May 18, 2015 / 8:46 am

    Nice blog you have here. I used to live in Fujairah and my father has been there for almost 30 years. Now I’m already here in San Francisco and I miss Fujairah (partly because my brother and some of my really good friends are there).

    • May 26, 2015 / 12:51 pm

      Thank you! Aw well hopefully you enjoyed seeing a few pictures of Fujairah!

  8. May 17, 2015 / 9:08 am

    wow, I have visited this city yesterday as well ๐Ÿ™‚
    good say and nice post Rachel!

  9. Kristy
    May 15, 2015 / 5:01 pm

    Hey Rachel, your blog is sooooo lovely, the way you are writting is very nice ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for all your posts ๐Ÿ™‚ my DOJ is 26th of June, hope to meet you one day on board! ๐Ÿ™‚

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