Category Archives: Emirate of Fujairah

Running/walking/cycling tracks, outdoor exercise areas in the cities and walks away from the city

The number of places to walk and exercise outdoors is increasing all the time. There are many with great views too. This is not a complete list but there’s plenty choice to get you started. Other places and photos will most likely be added at later points.

Sharjah

Wasit – jogging track along the side of Wasit Wetlands – 1600m (?) with public gym (outdoor exercise equipment) halfway. Surface – rubber with narrow parallel paved track, view trees, residential area.

Wasit Wetlands – Round the lake with hides along the way. Requires signing of a disclaimer in the visitor centre and a visit first thing. (No guarantees, depends on weather conditions and how busy it is.) 6-7km Surface – firm sand, view – trees, bushes, lake, birds, gazelles.

Al Majaz Waterfront jogging track 400m, surface rubber with parallel paved track, view – park

Hamriyah Beach, long, beach sand or firm sand higher up. Barbecues, a few shades, no other facilities. View – beach/sea

Al Qarayen Walking/cycling tracks, rubberised walking track and paved cycling track, four public gym areas, behind Sharjah National Park, 2.2km, view – lanscaped verges, residential area.

Sharjah National Park, paved walkways, view – landscaped gardens, entrance 2dhs, facilities – toilets, mosques, shades, play area, kiosks. No cycling allowed on paths.

Heart of Sharjah – a gentle stroll through the old buildings of Sharjah which house museums and souqs, through quiet gardens and through to the Arts Area. Paved. On Sharjah Corniche.

Sharjah Corniche – paved walkway, view of the port, dhows and traditional buildings.

Buhairah Corniche – paved surface, goes right round the lake starting from near Crystal Plaza. Walk along the paved walkway or on the grass through palm groves to Noor Mosque, continue round through Majaz Waterfront along the waterside or through the gardens, continue further to the walkway left under the bridge to Al Qasba or continue straight around the lake to Al Khan Government Building Area or turn off before to Flag Island. If you take the Qasba, you can also continue on under the bridge turning left towards Mamzar or right towards Al Khan and up to Sharjah Aquarium. For walking probably want to choose a stretch but you could cycle the longer route. View – Buhairah Lagoon, palm gardens, landscaped gardens, Noor Island, Arabic architecture, beach, Flag Island.

Sharjah Beach

Al Khan Beach

University City – walk on the paved sidewalks or cycle on the road through University City. View – Arabic architecture, landscaped gardens.

Noor Island for a gentle stroll through different habitats. Entrance Adults 35 , children 20, under 2 free. View – Foliage, design elements, Buhairah Lagoon,

Green Belt Ladies Park, paved walkway, entrance with membership card which can be obtained with EID. View – landscaped gardens. Facilities – toilets, play areas.

Various neighbourhood parks around Sharjah

Ajman

Al Qurm Walk, jogging track 4.5km, surface: rubber, two narrow parallel paved tracks, firm sand either side and beach part of the way. Solar lighting currently being installed. View – creek, mangroves, variety of birds. See Al Zorah

Al Safiya Walk, Safiya Park – rubber jogging track with parallel paved cycling track, circles park, 1600m, small public gym at far end. View – creek, park. Connects to Qurm Walk above. Cycles available for rent and play area in park for small children. (See photos above.)

Al Zorah, paved walkway starting at Ajman Marina and continuing until around 100m before the roundabout on Ittihad rd (ca 6km?) View – mangroves, creek, birds, golf course, landscaped gardens.

Ajman Sports Park, rubber jogging track and parallel cycling track (bushes between) , 400m, large public gym, open 24hrs. Facilities – toilets, mosque, children’s play areas, five aside football, basketball and badminton grounds, cafes. View – park, landscaped gardens

Ajman Corniche paved, beach, cafes. View – sea.

Zorah Beach, Ajman – short walk, can walk round creek side also, beach sand and firm sand, fishing permitted with licence, no facilities. View – sea, creek. Bicycles can be hired at Quest for Adventure.

Al Tallah Camel Race Track – paved road circling the race track with a detour round the pavilion and sandy plain along the side. There is also a paved road on the inside of the track. Obviously you can’t use the camel track itself as this is also used for daily training, but the options are outside road with occasional cars, inside road with cars during races only, sandy area on the other side of the road, or inside green, sandy area. If you zoom in, you can see all these. Avoid Thursday mornings as camel races are held every other Thursday (not sure about weekend mornings). View – camel race track, camels, sandy plains, residential area on one side.

Masfoot – jogging and cycling track from dam to near fort. View – mountains, forts, gardens, stream at times. Walk around lake near the dam.

Umm al Quwain

Khor al Baida – Mangrove Forest – firm sand suitable for waking, running or cycling, probably not for scooters. No facilities. View – mangrove forests, salt flats, birds, sea, small beach, mangrove islands, (creek, port at southern end) The full length is around 6km so you could do up to 12 km end to end.

UAQ Beach – long stretch of beach and corniche (could possibly walk all the way to Sharjah Waterfront, Hamriyah on the beach but I’ve not tested that) View – sea. Public gym not far from Kite Beach. Beach cafe at Kite Beach.

UAQ Coast – between the mangrove forest and Ras al Khaimah, there are lots of areas to walk between the roads and the sea which are pretty green at the moment. Looks like a great place if you have a dog. Some parts have low grassy sand dunes.

Ras al Khaimah

Al Hamra Beach – add in a walk around the old abandoned village. View – sea, traditional buildings.

Ras al Khaimah Corniche

Rams Corniche (follow by climb up to Dhaya Fort) View – sea, harbour, mountains, plains.

Wadi Ghalilah – walks through fields, on road or firm sand, short (and long hikes). Views – mountains, old villages and buildings, foliage.

East Coast and Central Region

Beaches – Kalba, Fujairah, Loulou’a, Zobara, Dibba. Views – sea, mountains

Wadi Shees – climb up I’m guessing around 100 steps but you can also start at the other end with fewer steps then a gentle incline) to and walk through Old Residential Village. View – trees, farms, mountains, old houses

Al Rabi Tower Hike, Khor Fakkan, hike from the tower to the highest mountain in the town of Khor Fakkan. Requires sensible shoes, water, etc.

Al Rufaisah – The Walk, a relatively gentle incline down to Wadi Shie. You can continue into Wadi Shie and Al Miqsar Village. View – mountains, foliage, old village and fort.

Khor Fakkan Corniche – jogging track and paved, view – sea, mountains, gardens.

Dibba al Hisn, round the long Corniche of Hisn Island. View – sea, mountains, Dibba (Oman) bay.

Dibba al Hisn Canal – jogging track and parallel paved way along the canal, small public gym at either end of the Corniche. (Can continue along to Dibba al Hisn beach.) View – sea, mountains, canal, gardens.

Kalba Corniche Walk, along Kalba Lake, paved. View – lake, mangroves, mountains, gardens. (This is further south than Kalba beach)

Buhais Geology Outdoor Trail, near Madam. View – mountains, plains, Bronze Age tombs. 10 dhs entry 12 and over.

Discover Maleiha trail around archeological sites. View – mountains, desert, plains, caves.

Fujairah Skate Park

Places to visit during school breaks

Some parents have been asking for ideas for what to do with their children during the upcoming school break and so I have compiled a list and sorted it into categories and a lot of them are educational. Some are repeated as they fit in more than one category. Those that I have written blog posts about include a link. Please remember I don’t cover anywhere in Dubai or Abu Dhabi as they tend to get enough coverage already. Also as this is a general list, there are some busier places you may want to avoid at this current time.

(The prices were correct at my last visit. If you find them to be different, please let me know. )

Science-related

Transport-related

Archeology/history-related

Nature/plant-related

  • Botanical Museum, Sharjah Desert Park 15dhs for all museums/centres in park, under 12 free, closed Tuesday
  • Islamic Gardens, Sharjah Desert Park 15dhs for all museums/centres in park, under 12 free, closed Tuesday
  • Mangrove forests, Ajman, UAQ, RAK
  • Noor Island adults 35, child 20, butterfly house 15 dhs extra (combined ticket 2 for 1 in Entertainer)
  • Walk through Old Residential Village, Wadi Shees

Geology/natural history-related

  • Buhais Geology Park, closed Tuesday
  • Natural History Museum, Sharjah Desert Park, 5dhs for all museums/centres in park, under 12 free, closed Tuesday
  • Discover Mleiha – Children’s workshops on fossils, paleontology – book in advance

Art

  • Sharjah Art Museum, free
  • Sharjah Art Foundation
  • Bait al Naboodah, free
  • Calligraphy Museum, Heart of Sharjah
  • The Rain Room art installation Adults 25dhs Children 6-12 15dhs, under 5s go free.
  • Arabic Architecture – Sharjah government buildings in Al Khan, Government House Roundabout, Quran Roundabout, University City, Sharjah, Sharjah Municipality Building, Sharjah Mosque.

Just for fun!

  • Al Rafisah Dam – lake, play areas, picnic areas, nature, ducks, pedalos, kayaks, etc starting from 30 dhs.
  • Khor Fakkan Corniche
  • Kalba Corniche Park
  • Kayaking – Ajman Marina, RAK, KIte Beach UAQ, Khor Kalba
  • Al Majaz Waterfront – restaurants and cafes, more happening 4pm onwards – mini golf, splash park, boats, car rides (pretend old style cars), multiple play areas, jogging track, park
  • Al Qasba Canal – restaurants and cafes, paid play areas, occasional festivals
  • Ajman Marina – play areas, boat rides, restaurants and cafes, beach, caravan site, birdwatching, golf
  • Al Suwaidi Pearl Farm with boat trip, Al Rams, Ras al Khaimah 300 dhs, children 200 (?) dhs
  • Discover Mleiha – dune-bashing, horse-riding, UniMog tour, workshops, stargazing and more (all need to be booked in advance)

Don’t forget, if you enjoy my page, please follow me on here, Facebook or Instagram and share with your friends!

Al Tawyeen Heritage Village

Al Tawyeen Heritage Village in northwest Fujairah is a nice little stop on the way to or from Dibba if you’re taking Shohada Rd. It has several small buildings of different olden styles and small play areas.

One of the buildings houses a collection of artefacts and more recent items like old telephones, televisionss and radios.

Entrance is free and is from 8 to 8.

What else to do around Tawyeen

If you take the road to the right of the heritage village, you will find remains of a number of old buildings along the way.

If you have an interest in rock formations, on the other side of Shohada Rd, there are some great ones there. Click here to see more.

Visit Dibba al Hisn

Al Hayl Fort and Square

Nestled in the Hajar mountains, al Hayl is often missed by tourists and residents alike. The fortified courtyard house was originally built in the time of Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah al Sharqi, who ruled Fujairah from 1876 to 1936. Chemical analysis shows it was built around 1930. It was renovated by Fujairah Department of Heritage and Archaeology in 2006-2008.

The buildings on al Hayl Square were built for Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamdan al Sharqi. The main building has two floors, with bedrooms, bathrooms, sitting rooms, a kitchen and stores.

IMG_7390
IMG_7345

One separate room in the corner of the courtyard (see photo above) was used as a shop and it sold items such as rice, sugar, sorghum, coffee, clothes, perfumes, rose water and jasmine oil. (Ziolowski and al Sharqi). It also contained a madbasa, a place for pressing dates to collect the syrup.

The madbasa (see below) was where dates where piled up and stones placed on top of them so that the syrup would be pressed out. It would trickle into the hole from where it would be collected. Date syrup is called dhibs.

Madbasa - date press
.

Outside there was a mosque (still in use) and a majlis. The external watchtower on the hill was built at the same time as the main house. The watchtower was used as a residence for some time by the sheikh’s younger brother. It contains a fireplace, washing area and a madbasa (which was added later.)

There were other stores, houses and animal pens, tobacco drying rooms, and a yanoor, a room for drying henna and threshing sorghum completing the village (Ziolowski and al Sharqi). Most of these, but not all, are still standing and there has been some restoration. On the other side, you will see a walled graveyard.

Further down the road stand the remains of an abandoned village and hillfort, which has been carbon-dated to a time between 1470 and 1705 AD. Remnants of pottery have also been discovered in this area dated back to the first and second millennia BC and the Bronze and Iron Ages. The hillfort dates back to somewhere between 1470 and 1705 AD (Ziolowski and al Sharqi). Notice the walled terraces in the second photo.

Wadi al Hayl is also home to many petroglyphs which you might be lucky enough to see. Here you can see an example.

(Credit: uaeinteract.com)

Read more about the petroglyphs here. Race Against Time to Save Rock Art (The National)

Although the last villager left in the late 1970s, there are still many working farms in the area and old stone fences can still be seen in the terraces down in the valley.

IMG_4449

To get there, take either the Kalba or Fujairah (Sheikh Khalifa Highway) from the west or drive down the east coast from the north-east and look at for signs once you near Fujairah. Once you come off the main road, there is a paved road most of the way although some parts have been destroyed by rainfall. It does turn to a narrow road further up at the edge of the mountain but only the very faint-hearted  might need to look the other way.  On the way up, you’ll pass through a small village and then al Hayl Dam which is also a great picnic spot and a farming area. Watch out for the donkeys on the way.

You don’t really need a 4WD to get to the fort but if you have one, you can venture further into the valleys but make sure you’re prepared as there will be no phone signal further down. (The road to Al Hayl is paved but it has been damaged in a couple of short stretches and is just very small rocks.)

Al Hayl is definitely a place not to be missed for those interested in the history of the region.

References:

The Governor’s Palace, Masafi

A little known treasure in Masafi is the Governor’s Palace not far from the fort. It lies within the Fujairah territory of Masafi and was home to Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad al Sharqi although it was more of a stopover when travelling to other parts and, like the fort, was of strategic importance.

It has been restored and is open to the public. Its setting amongst the mountains makes it a beautiful place to stop off en route to the cities, beaches or desert and the gardens at the front provide a perfect place to just sit on one of the benches and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Location: 25.3040719, 56.1625868

Entrance: free

Rock formations around Taween

If you are mesmerised by rock formations like me, head out to Taween on the Dibba Rd E87. Take the turn off to Taween on the side of the road coming from Dibba.

(If you enter 25.5307729,56.1166536, it will take you roughly to the start of the road.)

You can follow the road round to take you back out onto the E87.

The rocks here are all part of the Dibba Zone and if you’re interested in geology, you can read more here.