When I first moved to the UAE in 2017, people who were living here for a while kept saying that I MUST go to Fujairah. At the time, I didn’t think much of it but now that I finally got the chance to go, I can actually understand the fuss.
When you live in the UAE your scenery mostly consists of sand, skyscrapers, construction and maybe some manmade beach (if you’re lucky). Marine life & mountains are a special treat. This is what makes Fujairah a unique getaway because it feels like you have left the UAE but you haven’t! The marine life around the coral reefs by Snoopy Island are definitely worth the 2-3 hour drive!
How to get there:
Most resorts are based around the Dibba/Khorfakkan area. This is a 2 hour drive from Dubai and a 3 hour drive from Abu Dhabi.
You can take the E700 bus from the Abu Dhabi Bus Terminal or from the Union Square Bus Station in Dubai. Once you’re at the Fujairah bus terminal, you will need to take a taxi to your accommodation. Buses usually depart every hour but you’ll need to check Google for updated information on the day you want to depart. It costs around 25AED.
The easier way (which I did) is to drive. It’s a smooth drive but beware of traffic near the Dubai-Sharjah border if you are travelling between peak hours on a weekday.
Where to stay:
There are so many resorts in the area that you can really have your pick. Ones I recommend are:
It all depends on your budget and preferences. But all of these are pretty close to the snorkeling sites with Sandy Beach being the closest.
You could also camp on the beach if you are very adventurous!
First of all once you pass through Sharjah, the tall buildings fade away, you really get the essence of what the UAE is about- small towns with few English signs, red desert dunes, camels wandering the side of the road and the small mountains of RAK. If all you ever see is skyscrapers and dancing fountains, you’ll already feel calmer just by leaving the big cities behind. (The further north you go, the crazier the drivers become so do beware).
Fujairah itself shares its coastline with Oman so instead of the sea, you are treated to the Indian Ocean. This means waves and marine life! The highlight of staying in the Dibba area is the emphasis on water activities so if you are a beach baby, this is the place for you.
We hired a private boat with driver and snorkel guide from our hotel (Radisson Blu) for 250AED per person. If you want a cheaper option you can hire an external company and join a tour but you’ll probably be on a bigger boat with more people. You definitely don’t need equipment though because the boat operators provide that for you. You can try Al Boom Diving if you want to book in advance or do a diving trip.
We opted for two hours of snorkeling and off we went. We had a wonderful time and I have to say that as a non-strong swimmer, I didn’t feel unsafe or worried during my experience. We were given the option to use life jackets (which I did) and the guide was nearby at all times. If you want to see exactly what the scenery is underwater then have a look at this video:
Note: You will need to be ok with travelling at high speeds on the boat (usually in choppy water) and you will need a certain level of strength to get in & out of a swaying boat.
While we did not, you can also opt for banana boats, jet skiing and other family friendly watersports which all the resorts offer.
Where to eat:
Othmani Turkish Restaurant
I discovered this restaurant through a quick Google search and it was probably one of my better Google finds! The restaurant was actually quite luxurious-looking and the food was so tasty. Plus it was cheap!
Located in the east along the Arabian Gulf, and boasting beautiful mountains and plenty of attractions, the emirate of Fujairah is a popular place to visit during the holidays for residents of the UAE, especially Eid and the National Day holidays.
If you live in the UAE, or have no idea what to do on your holiday here, why not do something different and explore the beaches of Fujairah?