the majestic fujeira – as one website described the place. it gave me a chuckle after reading it as there is nothing majestic about it whatsoever. yes, sure it’s mountainous but the mountains of the place lacks the fundamental part of being a mountain – trees. to me, it just looks like a big pile of dirt hardened by the rainfall the place is getting which is higher than the average rainfall in the rest of UAE.
How to get there: you can take a cab if you’re feeling rich (it will cost you about AED250 for the Dubai to Fujaira trip and AED200 for Fujaira to Dubai trip – Dubai cabs loot you more than the Fujaira ones). however, if you’re poor like yours truly – there’s always the bus service which you can get from Union Station (yes, the metro station) in Deira. The first trip is 6am from Dubai and leaves every hour which drops you off at the Fujaira bus station which is a few meters away from the Fujaira town proper. Normally, cabs will be lined up from the bus station which will take you to the town proper itself (of course for an extra 5 dirhams) or possibly to the resort where you will be staying at.
The Resorts: there are lots of resorts to choose from this place. their geography being near to the indian ocean is what makes this place a hit to locals and tourists alike who wants to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. i have personally never stayed in any of the hotels but sure, i’ve been in each and every resort practically for dining and drinks. so well, i may not be able to tell you the hotel facilities/amenities and services but i think i am the right person to talk to about the restaurants these resorts have to offer.
Le Meridien Al Aqah: this, i think is the best among all of the resorts in Fujaira. the facade is really nice though the choices of restaurants are very minimal. we usually eat at gonu bar and grill located near the shorelines. there is minimal food choices though, the menu is just 2 pages with a size 14 font, double spaced serving seafood and grilled steak (their t-bone steak is heavenly). but what i like about this restaurant is that they have a live, acoustic band serenading you. it’s a unique touch amongst all the restaurants in fujaira and adds up to the romantic ambience of the place. the band can perform just about any songs you request them to sing – arabic, indian, filipino, english and even greek! another restaurant inside the hotel is sapore, an italian restaurant just opposite gonu. though they don’t have the benefit of a shoreline view but they do have a better service compared to gonu. the only downside is it’s a bit too chic and posh for me. they have a wide array of menu to select from with really huge servings but the taste isn’t that good. between sapore and gonu, i’d alway go for the latter. for drinks, we usually go to Baywatch Beach Bar, which is also near the shoreline and where the beach volleyball court is situated. they serve shisha and have the best frozen, lemon margarita i’ve ever had. the service usually takes a lifetime though to get your drinks. there are many other restaurants inside the hotel but we never really get the chance to try those because it’s either we don’t like the food being served or the place too chic for the lowly people like we are. :p
JAL Fujaira Resort: next to Le Meridien, I think this resort is coming next as my favorite in my Fujaira resort list. It’s 15km away from the Al Aqah chain of hotels but it’s worth the additional minutes of driving. It has, amongst all of the resorts in Fujaira, the most number of restaurants that you can choose from (plus I get a staff discount in all of these restaurants :p). We normally eat at Breeze – the Italian restaurant at the first floor overlooking the pool and the ocean. They have an enormous list of food to choose from and so far, the pizzas and pastas we’ve tried are all good. There is also an Asian fusion restaurant on the same floor called Marco Polo, which serves Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Indian cuisine. so just imagine how long will the menu be. The peking duck wasn’t as good as how I was expecting it to be though. For drinks, we usually go to Grand Bleu which serves the best mojito.
Hilton Fujairah Resort: the only resort that we will go to in the opposite direction of the Al Aqah resorts. Facade is ok, not as good as JAL or Le Meridien and they have the smallest pool amongst all the resorts. We have never eaten anywhere but the Sailor’s Restaurant, which is again facing the ocean. It has Italian and Asian cuisine so there’s a lot of food to choose from. There’s a bar inside the resort called Fez. Everytime we go there, the live band playing is called “Star Trek Band” – we never dared ourselves to get inside the confines of that bar as we don’t know what’s in store for us. It sounds scary as the name of the bar and the band playing.
Fujaira Rotana Resort: We’ve been to the Waves restaurant only and it’s not at all bad. The food is not priced reasonable though, it’s too expensive for the taste. (or maybe we’re just a bunch of cheap asses :p) I just don’t like the resort and the restaurant that much but it’s relatively – ok. :p
Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort: I would say this is the worst resort that you can ever go to in the Al Aqah chain of hotels. Le Meridien Al Aqah is just a stone’s throw away and I would suggest for you to take that 5 more minutes drive to Le Meridien. Sure the interior is nice but the exterior is by par the worst i’ve seen in all of Al Aqah (but comparing with Hilton Fujaira, I think Miramar has got an edge). We only ate once at the Italian restaurant near the pool which served the worst drinks ever (the capirinha tasted like cough syrup or even worst) but the margherita pizza and carbonara were both good. I would not reccommend this resort to anyone since the price is almost the same as the other resorts, so it’s not going to be a real value for your money.
All in all, Fujaira is I would say the best place to go to for a weekend break here in the UAE (as there’s really limited options here in the UAE anyway). But the underwater life that they are boasting is non-existent though, I went diving once and never really liked what I saw since the life under the sea is practically rare to none. (well maybe because I came from the Philippines with a really rich underwater life). Other than diving, there are lots of other water activities that you can choose from in practically all the resorts. To sum it up, the place is a good break from the busy life of Dubai – eat, drink and be fat.