Fujairah holds a unique position in the UAE. It is the only emirate that lies on the eastern side of the UAE, along the Gulf of Oman, while other six emirates are along the Arabian Gulf. The Emirate derives its name from a spring of water located beneath one of the mountains. The Hajar mountain range that divides the UAE in two, from Ras Al Khaimah to Al Ain has kept Fujairah separated from the rest of the country. The historical importance of Fujairah dates back to the period before the birth of Christ. It was known in the old ages as the land of sea giants. The main cities and villages in Fujairah are Dibba, Murbeh, Qidfa, Al Bidiyah, Masafi and Al-Siji.
The Emirates of Fujairah is rich in archeological treasures some of which date back to about five centuries ago including castles, forts, towers and mosques. These forts and castles were used for defensive purposes in repelling invaders and maintaining the soil of the homeland and its identity
Places to visit in Fujairah
Fujairah Museum boasts archaeological exhibits discovered during numerous excavations all over the emirate, with most finds in the last 15 years. The history period covered by the exhibits extend from sixth millennium B.C. to the end of the Islamic rule and beyond. Other exhibits showcase the traditional and cultural heritage of the local inhabitants of the East Coast over the last century. Perhaps, the most unique exhibit of the Fujairah Museum is an Ostrich egg dated at 2,500 years B.C. Other artifacts, such as spear heads, pottery and jewellery are also on display, recovered from a number of discovered sites such as the U-shaped tomb at Qidfa and the Bithna Temple.
The Fujairah Museum is located south of the Fort, opposite the Ruler's Palace. Local and foreign archeologists have uncovered items dating back to early Bronze Age, over 4,500 years ago. Exhibits at the Fujairah Museum include pieces made of bronze, steel, brass, silver and gold. Bronze and Iron Age weapons, painted pottery, carved soapstone vessels and pre-Islamic silver coins. The latest addition to the displays is Herbs and Folkloric Medicine.
Fujairah Fort, built in 1670, was badly damaged in the early 20-th century. Considered the oldest fort in the UAE, it has served as a defensive building and a home for the ruling family. The Fujairah Fort is a mud brick structure with three major sections, several halls, one square tower and two round towers. The fort has been renovated and restored to its former glory. For many centuries it was the only stone building along the Fujairah coast. Located on a hill at the edge of date gardens.
One of the milestones in the building's history was a two-year occupation by Wahabbists, from 1808 to 1810. They took possession of the fort, as well as others along the Eastern Coast, until local tribes won it back. The British bombarded the fort in 1925 during a confrontation wit the Ruler of Fujairah and the towers facing the sea were severely damaged. It was the last time when British gunboats opened fire in the Gulf of Oman.
Al Bithnah Fort
The Bithna Fort is near Fujairah on the main highway. The Bithna Fort once stood watch over the strategic route across the Hajar Mountains through Wadi Ham. Built in 1735, Bithna Fort was considered on the most important fortresses in the eastern part of the United Arab Emirates. Small parts of the wall are still standing showing the intricate decorative designs of the majlis walls.
The Heritage Village in Fujairah presents the traditional way of life for residents of the Emirates. Traditional houses, cooking utensils, farming tools and the Al Yazrah irrigation system, used for irrigating fields with a working bull are displayed. Heritage Village contains the Fujairah fortress and other ancient buildings, which were used by the Ruler's family. The Department of Archeology and Heritage in Fujairah has renovated the fortress, constructed a wall of mud around the area and built a theatre that can accommodate more than 3,000 spectators.
The village was built in the Mudhab tourist area at the beginning of 1996, covering an area of 6000 square meters. The visitor to the village would see the past replicated vividly before his yes with all its features and intricate details, demonstrating their way of life, their homes, tools and equipment to show how inhabitants of this area lived in the past before the new riches and the resultant modern and luxurious living style of today.
Bull fighting began in Portugal between the 16-th and 17-th centuries. The Portuguese who colonized the area brought the sport to the United Arab Emirates.
In Fujairah, bull butting is a family event. Every Friday, local families and tourists gather at an open field to watch the bulls' battle it out. The day begins with 20 bulls and winners move on the next round. The prize for the winner is to have his value increased. After many hundreds of years in an open area the bull butting contests will take place behind a fence. Even though the bulls are tied up and handled by attendants, they sometimes take to charging spectators - especially those in red.
Articles about bull fighting
In Fujairah, bulls fight for honour, not money or blood - Gulf News
Al Bidyah Mosque
Al Bidyah Mosque is the oldest in the United Arab Emirates. The engineering features are a major accomplishment for the period of construction. The mosque was named for the historical town that embraced it for so many centuries. It is also known as the Ottoman Mosque, for the man who built it.
Al Bidyah Mosque, north of Fujairah, consists of a prayer hall with a prayer niche or Mihrab, pulpit, arches and openings. A central pillar divides the internal space in to four squares of similar dimensions. The pillar supports all four domes that can bee seen from the exterior. The internal decoration of the mosque combines stone carvings, openings for ventilation and light with special shelves to house the Holy Quran.