Sunday, April 13, 2008


On Friday morning, M, the kids, and I set out on a roughly four-hour drive to the northern emirate of Fujairah. Travelling north from Abu Dhabi through Dubai and into Sharjah, we then headed east, crossing the UAE to this mountainous and quieter emirate on the Gulf of Oman.

On the well-built highway (above), the Hajar Mountains in the distance reminded me of mountains of instant coffee because of their color and rocky surface. The mountain peaks stand layered, in rows, like bowling pins, becoming lighter in color the farther away they are.

Sitting in the front passenger seat beside M, with six kids behind us and mountains on every side, I realized I was becoming slightly claustrophobic. But just as nausea was about to set in, the sea was before us. All was right with the world: we arrived at the peaceful, deep blue sea and coastline of Fujairah.

It turned out to be a terrific overnight getaway - a great change from our city life in Abu Dhabi.

We enjoyed swimming in the Gulf of Oman. The beach was clean and uncrowded. In the picture above, the island on the left is known as "Snoopy Island" because of its resemblance to the profile of that famous Peanuts dog when he's lying down.

The hotel we stayed at was very beautiful and quite luxurious. We splurged this night because we haven't taken a family trip in a very long time. I particularly liked the Moroccan-style lounge (above).Posted by Picasa


rosh said...

I love Fujairah, it's so beautiful being there. The winters can be quite cold. A different world compared to Dubai.

I love those mountains and the desert espcially the ones in Hatta/Khorfakkan.

Hope you had fun, thanks for the pictures.

Frances Gunnison said...

I found Fujairah yet another reason to love the UAE...unfortunately it will make it that much harder to leave this summer.
I hope we can visit Hatta before we leave for the US. Any recommendations?

Anonymous said...

I visited Fujairah in September 2006. The last time I'd been there was September 2005. In that one year period I noticed that huge chunks of mountain close to the shore had disappeared (probably ending up anywhere in Dubai).

For an idea of how charming Fujairah used to be some 15 years ago, see Khor Fakkan. At least Sharjah appreciates the natural beauty of it's East-side port city.


Frances Gunnison said...

Funny you should say that about the huge chunks of mountain disappearing.
On our drive home from Fujairah, I noticed long, flatbed trucks carrying boulders and wondered where they came from and where they were going. Maybe you were right!
Yesterday I spoke with an acquaintance about the beauty of Fujairah, knowing she'd grown up there. She agreed it was very beau, and laughed at the fact that while growing up she didn't really notice the exquisite scenery - it just seemed too quiet for her as a teenager. She also said, in a more serious tone, that Fujairah is changing. Let's hope the powers-that-be strike a balance between development and preservation.

ilka said...

wow, beautiful pics. i absolutely love the sea. i usually dont get in the water but i just love sitting on the sand looking at it. ok, you sold me again on moving to the uae although my mind was already made up on my first visit.

The Blog Sheikh said...

Hope you enjoyed your trip. Fujairah is beautiful indeed and your pictures certainly captured its beauty.

I don't know much about Hatta, but if you are adventurous you should continue on into Oman - Oman is beautiful literally from North to South.

I also want to thank you for comments on my blog; I hope you enjoy reading it!

I have a post up with a link to your blog (just a small thank you for your kind words in the past).

linda said...

hi, i am an american living in dubai but I lived in abu dhabi last year. i stumbled across your blog and read most of your entries today. very interesting. you are doing a great job of helping others understand this interesting part of the world.


Frances Gunnison said...

Move to Abu Dhabi - you'll love it! But aren't there aspects of Cairo to love, too?
Blog Sheikh,
Thank you for citing my blog on your blog (United Blogging Emirates), which is a must-read if one wants to understand the UAE. I take your compliment as high praise.
How does living in Dubai compare to AD?

ilka said...

There are ppl who love Cairo but I am not one of them. It's too chaotic, polluted and dirty for me. I grew up in California and absolutely detest Los Angeles, so that should tell you something:).

So, when you move back home will you write a blog about living in New Hampshire;)?

Frances Gunnison said...

Maybe...for a short while I think I will write about the transition of moving home. Then, I don't know. Do you think anyone would want to read about life in New Hampshire? It's a wonderful place but I wouldn't say people are exactly curious about it. Certainly I will lose my Abu Dhabi readers, I expect. Ahhhh!

ilka said...

New Hampshire may not be as colorful and exotic as Abu Dhabi but reading about different places, expecially ones that I have never been to, is interesting. So, you will at least have one reader:). I also like the pretty pics:).