Fujairah Area Guide 2024

Dictricts Fujairah Area Guide 2024
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~14 min
01/26/2024
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Introduction

Nestled on the Gulf of Oman, outside the Strait of Hormuz, the Emirate of Fujairah stands as a distinctive gem among the various Emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). What sets Fujairah apart is not only its breathtaking landscapes but also its strategic positioning along the Gulf of Oman, boasting approximately 90 kilometers of pristine beaches. This unique geographical location lends Fujairah a pivotal significance, making it a key player in the region.

History of Fujairah

The history of the Emirate of Fujairah is a tale woven with the threads of strategic trade routes, tribal dynamics, and diplomatic maneuvers. Dominated by the Sharqiyin tribe, Fujairah's significance stems from its location at the mouth of the vital trade route, the Wadi Ham, guarded by the formidable Sharqiyin Al Bithnah Fort. This route weaves through the mountains to the interior and the Persian Gulf Coast, creating a pivotal position for the emirate.

Known as the Shamaliyah, the east coast of the present-day UAE was historically under the influence of Muscat until 1850. In a significant agreement between Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi and the Sultan of Muscat, the region was annexed by Al Qasimi of Sharjah. Governed by Al-Qasimi Wali at Kalba, the Shamaliyah faced periods of secession, culminating in 1901 when Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Sharqi, chief of the Sharqiyin, declared independence from Sharjah. This move was acknowledged by some Trucial Sheikhs and Muscat, though it drew skepticism from the British.

In 1952, a pivotal chapter unfolded as the Emirate of Fujairah entered into treaty relations with Britain, marking its belated inclusion in the Trucial States. The British government, driven by the needs of the oil exploration company Petroleum Concessions Limited (PCL), granted recognition to Fujairah after over fifty years of withholding it. This diplomatic move was instrumental in facilitating a concession agreement with a recognized ruler.

Finally, on 2 December 1971, the Emirate of Fujairah became an integral part of the newly formed United Arab Emirates, joining hands with fellow emirates to shape the modern landscape of the nation. The historical narrative of Fujairah reflects a journey of resilience, diplomacy, and the convergence of diverse influences that have shaped its unique identity within the UAE.

Geography and Environment

The Emirate of Fujairah, encompassing an area of approximately 1,166 km2 (450 sq mi), stands as the fifth-largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), contributing about 1.5% to the total landmass of the country.

Geographically, Fujairah boasts a diverse landscape, characterized by its seasonal weather patterns. While warmth prevails throughout the majority of the year, the months from December to March mark a cooler period, with daytime temperatures averaging around 25 °C (77 °F) and rarely surpassing 30 °C (86 °F). In contrast, the summer months witness a considerable increase in temperatures, soaring to over 40 °C (104 °F). The Emirate experiences its rainy season during the winter months, particularly from December to March, coinciding with the cooler temperatures. Although precipitation during this period is not guaranteed, Fujairah receives a higher amount of rainfall compared to the rest of the UAE.

Subdivisions

The Emirate of Fujairah is administratively divided into two municipalities, each with its distinct character and administrative responsibilities:

  1. Fujairah Municipality is the primary administrative division overseeing various aspects of urban development, infrastructure, and public services within the city of Fujairah. It plays a crucial role in managing the growth and sustainability of the urban landscape, ensuring the well-being of its residents and fostering a conducive environment for economic activities.

  2. Dibba Al-Fujairah Municipality, on the other hand, is responsible for the governance and development of the area known as Dibba Al-Fujairah. Dibba Al-Fujairah is a coastal region situated on the Gulf of Oman and is known for its picturesque landscapes and maritime activities. The municipality oversees the planning and implementation of infrastructure projects, environmental conservation efforts, and public services catering to the unique needs of this coastal community.

Key Attractions

  1. Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Located in the heart of Fujairah city, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a magnificent architectural marvel that showcases the grandeur of Islamic design. Visitors can explore the intricate details of the mosque's construction and experience the serenity of its surroundings.

  2. Al Bidya Mosque. Renowned as the oldest mosque in the UAE, Al Bidya Mosque stands as a testament to the rich history of Fujairah. Its distinctive architecture and historical significance make it a must-visit for those interested in the cultural heritage of the region.

  3. Fujairah Historic Fort. Perched atop a hill, the Fujairah Historic Fort offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains. This well-preserved fort provides insight into the emirate's history and strategic importance.

  4. Al Hayl Castle. Al Hayl Castle is an architectural gem nestled in the Hajar Mountains. Its commanding presence and historical importance make it a fascinating attraction for history enthusiasts and those seeking a glimpse into Fujairah's past.

  5. Fujairah Museum. For a deeper understanding of Fujairah's heritage, the Fujairah Museum is a treasure trove of artifacts and exhibits. It offers a comprehensive journey through the emirate's history, showcasing its cultural and archaeological heritage.

  6. LuLu Mall provides a modern and vibrant shopping experience in Fujairah. With a diverse range of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, it caters to both locals and tourists looking for a contemporary retail experience.

Tips for visiting include

  1. Respect Local Customs. Adhere to the local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Women are often required to cover their shoulders and knees.

  2. Photography Guidelines. Respect any photography restrictions in religious and cultural sites. Some places may prohibit or restrict photography, particularly in sensitive areas.

  3. Check Opening Hours. Confirm the opening hours of the attractions you plan to visit, as they may vary. This ensures you make the most of your time exploring Fujairah's key sites.

Culture and Lifestyle

The culture of Fujairah is steeped in its Islamic heritage, with residents proudly preserving traditional values alongside modern influences. Common customs include the observance of Islamic traditions, the wearing of traditional dress (kandura for men, abaya for women), and a strong emphasis on hospitality. Fujairah's history in pearl diving is celebrated, and traditional arts and crafts continue to thrive. Family values are paramount, contributing to a close-knit community. The local cuisine, influenced by Arabian and Persian flavors, highlights dishes like biryani, and traditional coffee, known as "gahwa," is shared during social gatherings. Fujairah's culture seamlessly weaves together tradition and modernity.

Education

  1. Our Own English High School, Fujairah. Located in the Al Faseel area, Our Own English High School is a prominent educational institution providing the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). It is committed to delivering a high standard of education in a multicultural environment.

  2. St. Mary's Catholic High School, Fujairah. Situated in the Sakamkam area, St. Mary's Catholic High School is known for offering the General Certificate of Education (GCE) A levels. The school emphasizes academic excellence within the framework of a nurturing and supportive learning environment.

  3. Diyar International Private School, Fujairah and Dibba Branch. Serving both Fujairah and Dibba, Diyar International Private School is located in Sakamkam. It provides a comprehensive educational experience and caters to the academic needs of students in both areas.

  4. Indian School Fujairah. Located in the Al Faseel area, the Indian School Fujairah is a hub of educational excellence for the Indian expatriate community. The school is dedicated to providing a quality education while maintaining cultural connections.

  5. Fujairah Private Academy. Fujairah Private Academy stands out for its comprehensive curriculum, offering International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), A level, and AS Level programs. The academy is committed to nurturing well-rounded individuals through a holistic approach to education.

Medical Facilities

  1. Al Sharq Hospital stands as a leading healthcare institution in Fujairah, providing comprehensive medical services. With state-of-the-art facilities and a skilled medical team, Al Sharq Hospital is committed to delivering quality healthcare to the community.

  2. Thumbay Hospital is another prominent healthcare facility in Fujairah, offering a range of medical services. With a focus on patient-centered care, Thumbay Hospital contributes significantly to the healthcare landscape of the emirate.

  3. Dibba Hospital serves the healthcare needs of the Dibba region in Fujairah. As a vital healthcare center, it plays a crucial role in providing medical services and ensuring the well-being of the local population.

  4. Emirates Hospital, with a presence in Fujairah, is part of a network known for delivering high-quality healthcare services. The hospital is equipped with modern amenities and a team of skilled healthcare professionals, offering a comprehensive range of medical treatments.

  5. Fujairah Hospital is a key healthcare institution in the emirate, providing a wide array of medical services to the community. With a commitment to excellence, Fujairah Hospital contributes to the overall healthcare infrastructure of the region.

Transportation

The Emirate of Fujairah is well-connected to other emirates through the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Highway, a 45-kilometer-long road that facilitates a convenient 30-minute drive to and from Dubai and Sharjah. This highway, starting at the entrance of Fujairah, traverses key localities, valleys, and ends at Maleeha Road in Sharjah, enhancing regional accessibility.

While public transportation options are limited within Fujairah, the emirate operates a single bus service, providing local connectivity, and another service connecting to Dubai. Additionally, the Emirate of Fujairah Transport Corporation (FTC) manages a fleet of taxis, offering a reliable and government-regulated mode of transportation for residents and visitors.

Tips for navigating the area include:

  1. Private Transport. Given the limited public transport, relying on private transport, such as rental cars or personal vehicles, provides flexibility and convenience for exploring Fujairah and its surroundings.

  2. Taxi Services. Opt for government-operated taxis provided by the Emirate of Fujairah Transport Corporation for a regulated and accessible mode of transportation within the emirate.

  3. Airport Services. Fujairah International Airport, while primarily offering commercial service to Abu Dhabi, serves as a transportation hub. Consider alternative options for air travel and explore transportation links to other destinations.

Special Events

  1. Fujairah Monodrama Festival. Organized by the Fujairah Culture and Media Authority, the Fujairah International Monodrama Festival is a biennial celebration that elevates the art of monodrama, where a single person enacts a drama.

  2. Fujairah International Arts Festival. Launched in 2016, the Fujairah International Arts Festival is a multi-disciplinary event encompassing music, performing arts, theatre, and traditional art. Artists from around the globe participate, showcasing cultural diversity. The festival, held annually in February, aims to introduce Arab Emirati culture to the world. The latest edition took place from the 14th to the 23rd of February 2023.

  3. Maktoum Championship. Named after Sheikh Maktoum bin Hamad Al Sharqi, the Maktoum Championship honors his passion for sports. Featuring a wide array of sports events, the championship includes activities like tug of war, beach volleyball, beach football, women’s basketball, cricket, modified car shows, motorcycle racing, interactive games, and special needs games.

  4. International Heritage Day. Celebrated on the 18th of April, International Heritage Day in Fujairah is a tribute to the rich heritage of the emirate. Held at the Heritage Village, established by the Department of Archaeology, the day showcases traditional professions, customs, and folklore.

  5. Fujairah Arabian Horse Beauty Championship. An annual event held at the Fujairah archaeological castle under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Sharqi, the Fujairah Arabian Horse Beauty Championship provides breeders with a platform to showcase their prized Arabian horses.

Practical Information

  • Currency. The official currency in Fujairah is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED).

  • Language. Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken, especially in urban areas and tourist destinations.

  • Time Zone. Fujairah operates on Gulf Standard Time (GST), which is UTC+4.

  • Transportation. Private transport is commonly used, and rental cars are available. Taxis operated by the Emirate of Fujairah Transport Corporation provide regulated transportation.

  • Local Customs and Etiquette. Respect local customs and traditions, especially in public spaces and religious sites. Modest dress is appreciated, particularly in more conservative areas. Public displays of affection should be avoided.

  • Cultural Sensitivity. Be aware of local cultural norms and practices. Seek permission before photographing people, especially in more private or religious settings.

  • Electricity. The standard electricity supply is 230V, with a frequency of 50Hz. Type G sockets are commonly used.

Safety considerations and emergency contact information

  • Weather and Clothing. Fujairah has a warm climate; light and breathable clothing is advisable. Sunscreen and hydration are essential, especially during the hotter months.

  • Health and Safety. The tap water is generally safe to drink, but bottled water is widely available. Emergency services can be reached by dialing 999 for police, ambulance, or fire services.

  • Emergency Contact Information:

    • Police: 999

    • Ambulance: 999

    • Fire Services: 999

  • Medical Facilities. Medical facilities like Al Sharq Hospital and Thumbay Hospital provide healthcare services. Ensure you have travel insurance covering medical emergencies.

Conclusion

Fujairah stands out among the emirates of the United Arab Emirates, offering a distinctive blend of historical richness, natural beauty, and modern amenities. With its strategic location on the Gulf of Oman and the presence of iconic landmarks like Fujairah Fort, Al Badiyah Mosque, and Snoopy Island, the emirate provides a unique glimpse into the cultural and architectural heritage of the region. Fujairah's commitment to preserving its history is evident in the well-curated Heritage Village, where visitors can explore traditional customs and artifacts.

Furthermore, the emirate has embraced contemporary developments with infrastructure such as Fujairah International Airport, Royal Beach Hotel & Resort, and a growing array of accommodations, catering to both tourists and business travelers. The diverse cultural events, including the Fujairah International Arts Festival and the Monodrama Festival, showcase the emirate's commitment to fostering arts and cultural exchange. Fujairah, as the only emirate situated on the UAE's east coast, invites visitors to explore its pristine beaches, engage with local industries, and experience the warm hospitality that characterizes this unique destination on the shores of the Indian Ocean.

FAQ

  • 1.

    Is Fujairah part of Dubai?

    No, Fujairah is not part of Dubai. Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Each emirate, including Fujairah, operates as a separate entity with its own local government and ruler.

  • 2.

    How is Fujairah different from other emirates?

    Fujairah is the only emirate in the UAE located entirely on the east side of the Musandam Peninsula. Its coastline faces the Gulf of Oman, rather than the Persian Gulf. This unique positioning gives Fujairah a distinct geography compared to other emirates like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, which are situated along the Persian Gulf.

  • 3.

    How long is Fujairah to Dubai?

    The distance between Fujairah and Dubai is approximately 121 kilometers via the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Highway. The travel time by car typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions.

  • 4.

    What is the largest city of Fujairah Emirate?

    The largest city in the Emirate of Fujairah is Fujairah City. Fujairah City serves as the capital and primary urban center of the emirate. It is the central hub for administrative, commercial, and cultural activities in Fujairah. The city is located on the east coast of the UAE, along the Gulf of Oman, and it plays a key role in the economic development and tourism initiatives of the emirate.

  • 5.

    What is the population of Fujairah?

    As of 2022, the population of the Emirate of Fujairah is reported to be approximately 316,790. It's important to note that population figures can change over time due to factors such as migration, birth rates, and other demographic factors.

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Creation date:
Update date: 02/20/2024