Fujairah’s top 12 attractions – description, photos, maps

The 12 Most Popular Tourist Attractions in Fujairah

Fujairah is a modern, hardworking city that is the main east coast settlement. The emirate is separated from the rest of the United Arab Emirates by the jagged line of Mount Hajar , although the city itself is a grid of tall office blocks, many prides and fine restorations have been incorporated into several historical sites – the Al Bidhia Mosque and also Fujairah Fort being two of the remarkable sights visited here.

For many tourists and visitors, Fujairah is a relaxing relief after the hustle and bustle of Dubai. For locals, Emirati is a favorite weekend getaway, and its beaches are high on the to-do list. The beautiful coastline is perfect for snorkeling and sunbathing, and the town is a great base for exploring the Hajar Mountains.

See also: Where to stay in Fujairah

1 Al Bidya Mosque.

North of the city of Fujairah, the copper-brick Al Bidya Mosque is the oldest in the United Arab Emirates and is named after the city that once surrounded it. Engineering features are an important achievement at the time of construction. The mosque consists of a prayer hall decorated with arches, with vents and a mihrab (a prayer niche pointing to Mecca). A central pillar divides the inner space into four squares of equal size covered by domed ceilings.

The area surrounding the mosque has been excavated to show that it has been inhabited for 4,000 years. A large Islamic cemetery just north of the tomb dating back to the Iron Age when the discovery revealed fragments of pottery, metal arrowheads and other artifacts dating back to at least 1000 BC.

Location: 35 km north of Fujairah

2 Fujairah Fort

Built in 1670, Fujairah Fort was badly damaged by a British attack in the early 20th century. Considered the oldest fort in the United Arab Emirates, it previously served as both a defense building and home to the ruling family. And for centuries it was the only stone building along the Fujairah coast. The fort has three main sections: several halls, one square tower and two round towers. In recent years it has been fully restored to its former glory.

The area surrounding the fort is now part of the Heritage Village created by the Fujairah Department of Archaeology and Heritage. Here you can see restored old houses, exhibits on traditional life and a display of the Al Yazra irrigation system which Emirati farmers used in their fields.

Location: Fujairah City

3 Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Mosque

The modern Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Fujairah covers an area the size of three soccer fields and boasts six minarets 100 meters high. The mammoth prayer hall has room for 32,000 worshippers. Its white facade has made it one of the city’s main attractions, and it ranks as the second largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates after the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately, the interior of the mosque is not open to non-Muslims for sightseeing, but you can take pictures of the mosque’s exterior.

Location: Fujairah City

4 Fort Bitnah.

Outside the city of Fujairah, 13 kilometers from the main highway, Fort Bitnah once stood above the strategic routes crossing the Hajar Mountains through Wadi Ham , Built in 1735, the fort was considered vital to the defense of the eastern region of the United Arab Emirates. The fort’s bulky frame of thick golden stone walls framed by a short circular observation tower makes it particularly photogenic, while the view from the ramparts above the village of palm groves and jagged mountains behind is spectacular.

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Location: the village of Bitnah

5 Fujairah Museum

Fujairah Museum Peyman Parvandi / photo modified

Just south of Fujairah Fort , the Fujairah Museum has an excellent collection of Early Bronze Age artefacts that have been discovered during archaeological digs at Qidfa as well as Bithnah , exhibits include Bronze Age and Iron Age weapons, painted pottery, carved soapstone vessels and pre-Islamic silver coins. One of the valuable museum pieces found at Qidfa is an ostrich egg bowl dating back 2200 years. There is also a good ethnographic section with displays of traditional Emirati daily life and crafts.

Location: Fujairah City

6 Al Hale Castle

Al Hale Castle was once used as the headquarters of the ruling family of Fujairah. Established some 250 years ago, it played an important role in the defense of the area, used as a base for surveillance and patrols to protect Fujairah from attack. Not much today – the original fortifications have long since been destroyed – except for one two-tiered tower that sits on a hill as a reminder of the days when these forts were scattered all over the strategic slopes in what is now the United Arab Emirates.

Location: d. Al-Hayl

7 Ain Al Madhab Hot Springs

At the foothills of Mount Hajar, outside the city of Fujairah, the Ain Al Madhab Hot Springs is a popular local retreat. Here the mineral springs produce warm sulfuric water that is pumped into two pools. There are separate bathing areas for men and women. It’s a family-friendly place that’s packed on weekends. If you’re traveling and need some downtime, this is a great place to relax and allows the warm, mineral-rich waters to soothe any aching pains.

8 Beaches.

Fujairah is the only emirate in the UAE that does not have its own coastline along the Arabian Gulf. Lying along the eastern side of the United Arab Emirates the beaches of Fujairah sit on the Gulf of Oman , Some of the best snorkeling as well as scuba diving sites in the country are offshore here, so it is a destination for underwater enthusiasts visiting the region. For the less active, the beaches provide plenty of opportunities to sunbathe. Most have excellent facilities for a day trip, including umbrellas, lounge chairs, cafes and restaurants.

9 Wadi.

Because of the topography of the area, the area around Fujairah is well known for its wadis. In Arabic, a wadi represents a dry channel (which may contain water after a heavy rain), but it can also refer to any oasis in the valley. Wadi bashing (four-wadi adventures or wadi hikes) is one of the main things to do when visiting Fujairah. Among the most beautiful wadis in these areas are Wadi Siji , Wadi Saham , as well as Wadi Maidak . Wadi Ham is the longest valley and Wadi Al-Taiwan is interesting to visit as well as for the stunning mountain route needed to reach it. North of Fujairah, Wadi Al Wurai is also a major attraction. Here you will find waterfalls tumbling down to a beautiful pool, perfect for swimming.

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10 Masafi.

Gajar Mountains landscape Michael Gaylard / photo modified

The village of Masafi is on the edge of Mount Hajar near Fujairah. It was originally a trading post and gas station before the region’s modern highways were built in the 1970s. Masafi sits on the border between the two emirates, with most of the urban part of Fujairah and a smaller part belonging to the Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah. Masafi is known in the United Arab Emirates for its natural springs, and the leading producer of Gulf mineral water (named after the city) is located nearby. On Dubai Fujairah Road, as you approach Masafi, an excellent local market is a great place to sell carpets, pottery, antiques and local handicrafts.

Location: 33km northwest of Fujairah

11 Awhlah Fort

This distinctive fort with its high high walls is one of the best preserved forts in the Emirate of Fujairah. It lacks the overly restored “new” look of many other forts in the United Arab Emirates, and is therefore a great place for history buffs to embrace the Emirates’ sense of heritage. It is 30 kilometers from the city of Fujairah itself, on a hillside, in a great strategic location to guard the countryside. Inside, the round watchtower is 20 meters high and has narrow windows built into the walls for archers and beautiful views.

Location: Auchla village

12 Bull Butting

Bull butting was introduced to the United Arab Emirates by colonizers from Portugal. In Fujairah , bull butting takes place every Friday and is a popular family event. The day begins with 20 bulls fighting each other and the numbers slowly dry up as the winners move on to the next round. The prize for the winning bull is an increase in its value. For tourists, the competition has the added danger that even though the bulls are tied and handled by attendants, they sometimes get loose and have been known to charge spectators.

Where to stay in Fujairah for sightseeing

If you’re visiting Fujairah for your scuba diving and snorkeling, reputedly the best in the country, the beach resorts along the coast are a great place to stay. Although many are a distance from the city center, you can use the beach resorts as a base and go further afield to historical sites, most of which are also outside the city, including the Al Badia Mosque, Al Hale Castle and Fort Bitnah. Here are some highly rated hotels in popular tourist destinations:

    Luxury Hotels: These upscale accommodations on Al Aqa Beach, about 55 minutes north of downtown Fujairah, are all family-friendly resorts with spas. They are about a 10-minute drive from the Al Badia Mosque. The Miramar Al Aqah Beach resort, with its local PADI dive center, has an eclectic Middle Eastern style. Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, with its more modern aesthetic, is another family favorite, as is Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa.

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Fujairah’s 12 major attractions.

Sightseeing in Fujairah - UAE

Modern Fujairah is the main city of the east coast of the UAE. The emirate is separated from the rest of the United Arab Emirates by a jagged line of the Hajar Mountains. Although the city itself consists mostly of straight blocks of multi-storey office buildings, there are also a few historical landmarks. First and foremost, the Al Bidia Mosque and Fujairah Fort are excellent places to visit.

For many tourists and visitors, Fujairah is a haven of calm after the hustle and bustle of Dubai. For UAE citizens, it is a favorite place to spend a weekend, and visiting the beaches is high on the to-do list. In front of you are photos and descriptions of the best attractions in Fujairah. If you want to sunbathe or go scuba diving, the scenic coastline awaits you and the city itself is a great starting point for exploring the Hajar Mountains.

El Bidia Mosque

El Bidia Mosque

El-Bidia Mosque | Photo: Artur Malinowski / Flickr

The mosque is considered the oldest mosque in the UAE; the stumpy building with pompous forms dates back to 1446. It is crowned by four pointed domes resting on a single internal pillar. The entrance is permitted to non-Muslims, but one must be modestly dressed and undressed, and women must cover their hair. The headscarf and abay may be taken from the attendant.

The inner prayer hall, with colorful carpets covering woven palm leaf mats and Qurans stacked in niches of smooth plastered walls, makes a calm, calming impression. Note the simple geometric patterns on the domes and the minbar (mosque pulpit) made of stone and coral blocks.

The mosque stands on a low hillside by the coastal road, north of the village of Bidia, and is guarded by two ruined watchtowers. It is worth wandering around and enjoying the spectacular views of the Hajar Mountains and the bay.

Address: Al Bidiyah Mosque – Al Fujairah – United Arab Emirates.

Opening hours: Fri – Wed: 9:00 – 17:00.

Entrance: free.

Fujairah Fort

Fujairah Fort

Fujairah Fort | Photo: Nick & Mindy Martin / Flickr

Walk through the fort gate framed by two towers to the ruins of the old settlement of Fujairah and observe this toy-like fort, which sprawls on a rocky hillside. Built in the 16th century in clay, gravel, wood and plaster, it is a small structure of round and square towers that helped defend the city.

Address: Fujairah Fort – Fujairah – UAE

Opening hours: 24 hours a day.

Entrance: free.

Fujairah Museum

Fujairah Museum

Fujairah Museum.

This history and local history museum houses in its two richly decorated halls with baroque ceilings and suspended lights many important archaeological artefacts from the nearby Bidiya, Dibba and Kidfa. Particularly impressive are the soft stone vessels dating from the Bronze Age and the pot lids decorated with intricate geometric patterns.

An ethnographic exhibit, literally squeezed into two crumbly rooms, showcases fine Bedouin jewelry and a variety of dioramas depicting traditional market stalls and scenes from the lives of Fujairah fishermen.

Address: Fujairah Museum – El Fujairah – UAE.

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Opening hours: Sun – Thu: 8:00 – 18:30, Fri: 14:00 – 18:30.

Admission: adults – 5 Dhs, children – 1 Dhs.

Wadi Vuraia

Wadi Wuraya

Wadi Wuraya | Photo: Peachland Joe / Flickr

Hidden in the Hajar Mountains between Dibba, Khor Fakkan and Masafi, Wadi Wuraya Park (Wuraya Canyon) is a true natural treasure, one of the main natural attractions of the emirate of Fujairah, which in 2018 was designated a biosphere reserve by the UN.

Due to serious erosion processes, the entire wadi has been closed to the public for the past few years, but was due to reopen at the end of 2018, when all measures were organized to ensure the protection of the fragile ecosystem. Check back locally for news on the state of the park.

The 127-square-kilometer area boasts an extraordinary diversity of fauna, including such endemic mammals as the mountain gazelle, caracal, and Blanford fox. The park is home to 81 bird species, including the Omani owl.

Wadi is one of the few places in the country where there is a freshwater spring; under the shade of the forest are the ruins of structures dating as far back as 300 B.C. This is the first national park in the UAE to be designated a ‘protected mountain area’ by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2009.

The address is Wadi Wurayah – El Fujairah – UAE.

El Hefeyah Wildlife Conservation Center

Al Hefeya Wildlife Conservation Center

El Hefaya Wildlife Conservation Center.

In this small wildlife center, opened in 2016, you can see thirty species of mountain animals, including Arabian leopards and gazelles. A shuttle will take you past the open aviaries, providing convenient viewing, and information booths will tell you about the biodiversity of the mountain environment and the fauna and flora of these regions.

Address: Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Centre – Al Fujairah – UAE.

Al Heyl Castle

Al Heyl Castle

Al Heyl Castle | Photo: Stephen Colebourne / Flickr.

Built around 1830, this small, well-preserved castle is situated between the spurs of the Hajar Mountains near the village of El Heyl, some 13 kilometres southwest of Fujairah. Built of mud brick and plaster, the structure is an example of traditional architecture.

The inside is not so interesting, but the surrounding views of palm-fringed valleys surrounded by mountains (best seen when the sun is low) are worth a visit. There is usually a clerk on site who will give you a short tour.

To get there (usually possible even without a four-wheel drive car), turn south off the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayd highway near the Fujairah Mall and follow the signs.

Address: Al Hayl Castle – Al Fujairah – UAE.

Sheikh Zayd Mosque

Sheikh Zayd Mosque

Sheikh Zayd Mosque.

The main mosque in Fujairah is the second largest in the UAE after the Abu Dhabi Mosque. The white granite and marble building, adorned with six minarets 100 meters high, can accommodate up to 28,000 worshippers. It is closed to non-Muslims, but just the view outside is worth seeing, especially at night, when the mosque is illuminated.

Address: Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Fujairah – Fujairah – UAE.

El-Bitna Fort.

El-Bitna Fort

El-Bitna Fort.

Just outside of Fujairah, 13 km along the main highway, is Fort Al-Bitna. It once served as an observation point from which to monitor the strategic trade routes crossing the Hajar Mountains through Wadi Ham.

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Built in 1735, the fort was vital to the defense of the eastern borders of the United Arab Emirates. Thick walls of golden stone and a chunky round clock tower make this squat structure particularly photogenic, and the views from the ramparts to a rural pastoral setting among palm groves and the jagged chain of mountains behind them are spectacular.

Address: Al-Bithnah Fort – El Fujairah – UAE.

Masafi

Masafi

Masafi.

Masafi Village is located in the foothills of the Hajar Mountains near Fujairah. It was originally a trading post and gas station before modern highways were built in the region in the 1970s. Masafi is located on the border of two emirates: most of the settlement is located in Fujairah and the smaller one belongs to the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah.

Masafi is famous in the United Arab Emirates for its natural springs, and very nearby is the leading producer of mineral water in the region (named after the city). On the Dubai-Fujairah road, as you arrive in Masafi, there is a colourful local market – the best place to haggle for carpets, ceramics, antiques and local handicrafts.

Address: Masafi – Ras al Khaimah – UAE

Beaches

Umbrella Beach

Umbrella Beach.

Fujairah is the only emirate in the UAE whose shores do not face the Persian Gulf. Located along the eastern border of the United Arab Emirates, the beaches of Fujairah face the Gulf of Oman. Some of the best snorkelling and diving around the country are close to the shore, making this a must-visit for any scuba diving enthusiasts.

For less active guests, the beaches provide plenty of opportunities to bask in the sun. Most beaches have everything you need for a day trip, including umbrellas, sun loungers, cafes and restaurants.

Wadi

Wadi | Photo: Peachland Joe / Flickr.

Because of the topography of the region, the area around Fujairah is known for its wadis. In Arabic, “wadi” is essentially a dry riverbed (where water can appear after a heavy rain), but the term can also refer to any oasis.

Wadi bashing (driving or hiking along wadis in four-wheel-drive vehicles) is one of the main activities one can do on a trip to Fujairah. Some of the most beautiful wadis in the region are Wadi Siji, Wadi Saham and Wadi Meydak. Wadi Ham is the longest valley and Wadi El Teywan is also a beautiful mountain trail that takes you to the wadis.

Bullfighting

Bullfights

Bullfighting | Shazaan Hyder / Flickr

Bullfighting was introduced to the United Arab Emirates by Portuguese colonists. In Fujairah, the fights take place every Friday and are considered a popular entertainment for the whole family. It all starts with 20 bulls fighting each other. Their number slowly decreases and the winners advance to the next round.

The prize for the winning bull is an increase in value. There is an additional danger for tourists in the competition: despite the fact that the bulls are restrained and escorted, at times they break free; they have been known to attack spectators.

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