If you’ve never been to Fujairah, November-March is a great time to visit thanks to the amazing weather. So what, you may wonder, can you find in Fujairah apart from the beach resorts?
Not being a beach resort kind of person myself, I explored a couple of interesting alternatives last weekend. The planned itinerary was one thing and what we ended up doing was slightly different, because that’s how we roll. :P
The first stop was Friday Market which is on the way to Fujairah. At the market you will find three main kinds of shops:
- Shops selling mostly loads of fresh home-grown fruits and vegetablesThis is my favourite part of Friday market. It’s not just about buying yummy fruits. You can also treat yourself to steaming hot corn on the cob, coconuts, chestnuts and tea while you’re roaming around. And the best part is that the salesmen are all pretty eager for you to taste their produce before you buy so you may well find yourself with a coconut in one hand, taking a bite of a lusciously sweet honey dew melon, all while asking the salesman to pack some custard apple for you while you go find some cotton candy for the drive. What’s not to love? <3
- Plant nurseriesWhether you’re looking for tiny cacti for your office desk, flowers for your flower pots in your balcony, or orange and pomegranate trees to plant in your backyard, you’ll probably find what you’re looking for at the nurseries here.
- Shops selling carpetsIt’s more fun shopping for carpets here because there’s a lot of variety and it helps that the salesman can speak lots of different languages. Looking for a Russian speaking Pathan? Look no further! ^^
- And then of course you have your pre-requisite tea vendors because someone has to cater to you when you have a sudden craving for karak and the customary paratha egg rolls for breakfast.
Once you’ve finally pulled yourself away from the Friday market, you can actually continue on your way to Fujairah. We headed first to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque (do not mistake this for THE Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi). This mosque, however, is just as exquisite, with its spectacular Turkish architecture. The mosque opening for Eid prayers this year but is not yet open for regular prayers since they’re still doing landscaping (as of Oct 2015). Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful structure and definitely worth a visit. I’m not sure yet if it will be open to the public for tours like the one in AD is, we’ll have to wait and see.
Fujairah also has, of course, it’s own City Centre which is nice and roomy and is rather like Ajman City Centre, in that it’s spread out over one floor. It has all everything you need including Carrefour in case you forgot to pack anything. The nicest thing about the mall though is the entrance, which is covered in green.
After Friday prayers we headed to lunch at Dolci Paris. We were really impressed by all the pictures of Instagram that left us drooling and decided to forego the food court in the mall and head there instead. The restaurant is decorated really nicely, the menu is gorgeous and all the food was a visual delight. Overall, it’s a tad on the expensive side considering it’s a cafe and I think next time we’ll settle for a filling Lebanese lunch at Al Meshwar instead.
Post lunch, we had planned on going to watch… wait for it… bull fighting which only takes in place in Fujairah every Friday at about 4.30pm on the beach. We were all a bit tires so we decided we’d just drive around and see what else we could discover instead. We drove past the Fujairah Fort and made for the Ain Al Madhab Hot Spring Park and Heritage Village. (Just a note, there was a sign that said take a right turn to head to the park, which we did, but ended up on a private access road -__- . We had to actually take the second right! So much for signs eh? ) If you’re expecting the park will look something like the hot springs in Al Ain, unfortunately, it doesn’t. It’s rather small and the hot springs are not directly accessible, as far as we could tell, being diverted to two pools, male and female where you can go for a dip. Entrance is only AED 2 person so if you’re still interested in taking a plunge into the sulphur pool, it’s not like it’ll put a dent in your pocket. The Heritage Village was closed so we didn’t get a chance to look in.
After the 10 minute park excursion, we headed to the beach. I’ve lived in UAE all my life, and I naturally assumed that all beaches would look pretty much the same. I was wrong. We had stumbled upon a black sand beach in Fujairah! And that really, should be enough to convince you to drive down to Fujairah. ^^
We left Fujairah, in the shade of the clouds, got caught in the downpour just after Friday Market and decided that we’d have to take another drive down here soon. :)