Head east to Fu­jairah

The National - News - - ARTS & LIFESTYLE -

The moun­tain­ous east coast area of Fu­jairah is one of the coun­try’s most-loved stay­ca­tion spots, not least be­cause tem­per­a­tures here tend to be cooler than the rest of the coun­try due to higher al­ti­tudes and in­creased rain­fall. Home to the UAE’s old­est house of wor­ship, the 400-year-old Al Bidya mosque, the emi­rate is also famed for its fan­tas­tic marine life. Snoopy Is­land (named af­ter the car­toon dog it semi-re­sem­bles), is an easy swim from the coast­line and is a favourite with snorkellers and divers, thanks to its easy ac­ces­si­bil­ity. The re­cently opened In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Fu­jairah (in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal.com/Fu­jairah) on Al Aqah Beach is a great stay­ca­tion choice for dive en­thu­si­asts, be­ing just a few min­utes from Snoopy Is­land’s ac­cess point. Drive a lit­tle fur­ther south to Kalba. Fringed by a net­work of wa­ter­ways and sur­rounded by man­groves, this spot is great for ex­plor­ing by ca­noe. Mul­ti­ple com­pa­nies can sup­ply guides and equip­ment; try Desert Rangers (www.de­ser­trangers.com). Spot crabs, white-col­lared king­fish­ers, herons and tur­tles, and soak in the sun at one of the area’s se­cluded coves. Else­where, the Fair­mont Fu­jairah Beach Re­sort (www. fair­mont.com/fu­jairah) opened last year and is putting the fi­nal touches to its Lava Beach Club. With hy­dro-jets in sub­merged Jacuzzis, a sunken bar and am­phithe­atre-style loungers, Fu­jairah’s first lux­ury beach club will be worth a visit. Inside, the ho­tel is an art-in­spired haven where you can hap­pily spend a week­end, with the Ha­jar Moun­tains as an im­pres­sive back­drop. A hand­ful of good-qual­ity eater­ies will en­sure you’re well-fed – Arteasan Lounge makes for a good pause for thought venue, while Cop­per Lob­ster’s lo­cally sourced seafood is of high qual­ity. Un­wind by the pool as the waves crash onto the rocks or visit Wil­low Stream Spa for a wellness treat­ment. There’s also hik­ing ex­cur­sions and wa­ter sports, and all rooms of­fer sun­downer-per­fect bal­conies with sea, ma­rina or moun­tain views. Over Na­tional Day week­end, room-only rates at the Fair­mont Fu­jairah from Dh2,160 per night, in­clud­ing taxes. Across the rest of De­cem­ber, the ho­tel’s win­ter pro­mo­tion has room rates from Dh624, in­clud­ing taxes and Dh100 din­ing credit per room per night

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