Friday, 8 May 2009

Fujairah – a weekend away!

I have neglected this blog of mine of late.  We have been supremely busy with me collapsing on the sofa at the end of each day.  I will do better!

We recently headed out of the Dubai Emirate for a weekend break.  Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE and is situated on the Eastern side of the peninsula overlooking the Gulf of Oman, rather than the Persian Gulf.

It takes nearly 2 hours to drive there, through the mountains and is a really very lovely drive.  Easy roads, once you negotiate the typical bad driving which is inevitable on the roads out here!

What was really interesting is the country when you get outside Dubai.  I don’t mean the scenery, I mean the way of life.  Everyone thinks that the UAE (with Dubai and Abu Dhabi) is this glitzy modern place, but that is so wrong – once you get outside the city, you find dusty little desert towns, with old men on bicycles and little markets selling – well, anything!

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This particular shop sold loads of inflatables (why and to whom?) and fruit!  Other sold carpets and this one had some beautiful plants in it (which I will remember when it’s time to plant things in the garden).  No glitzy stuff here.

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But for the most part, the countryside is just desolate and harsh and gets more mountainous the further north and east you go.

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We were heading for a place called Dibba, a coastal town and we spent a good hour surrounded by this beautiful scenery – the start of the Hajjar Mountains which continue into Oman.  (Hajjar Mountain means stone mountain in Arabic.)

 

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About 1 hour 45 minutes from Dubai, we arrived at our destination, the JAL Hotel.  Very nice indeed.  Rooms were nice and spacious with plenty of space for the 2 children’s beds, but why waste time indoors – the sun was shining so we hit the beach!

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We’d gone with some friends, so the children ran off to play in the freezing cold swimming pool.  Why they hadn’t heated it I really don’t know, but apparently in a month it will be beautifully warm (ironically before it gets far too warm to swim in, when summer hits)!

We had a great night – sitting around with a gorgeous barbecue – as always, we ate too much.  But with great weather, food and great company, it’s hard not to!  There was a band, which the kids jigged along to, up on stage!

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One of the fun things about this hotel is that they have inflatables in the sea – inflatable slides, trampolines – great fun.  Good old-fashioned pedalo’s were also available – the children loved those – but probably because the grown ups did all the hard work!

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There was enough for the children to do and frankly, if the children are happy, then so are we!  The children spent hours playing fooz-ball!  But even if you don’t have children, it’s a very nice place to go for a cheapish weekend out of Dubai!

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