FUJAIRAH (الفجيرة)

We spent a day under the bare, rugged foothills of the Hajar Mountains in Fujairah City. The city’s line of mid-rises and office blocks rises from the arid plain. Its busy main street, Hamad Bin Abdullah Rd, is a muddle of worn strip malls and semi-flashier glass and steel running down to the sea, while vast fields of circular oil storage containers hem in the northern waterfront. It’s not the prettiest place in the world, but visiting the fort and the second-largest mosque in the UAE was worth a stop. First, we looked at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, adorned with six 100m-high minarets and a white granite and marble edifice, which can accommodate up to 28,000 worshippers.

After that, we entered the double-turret gate of the fort compound with its vestiges of Fujairah’s old village. Built from mud, gravel, wood, and gypsum in the 16th century, it’s a compact composition of circular and square towers that aided the town’s defense.

In the afternoon, we went to modern Umbrella Beach (🅿️first hour free, then 10 AED/hour), which features several dining options and fast-food eateries. It also offers various activities, including volleyball, walking trails, and a padel court. There are nice toilets and changing rooms with showers.