UAE & Oman Trip: Day 5 Fujairah – Musandam

Saturday morning.

It should have been the perfect day of doing nothing. As opposed to that, however, I was busy packing and rearranging the precious space in my car. We’re ready to go to Musandam.

After a quick delightful breakfast in Hilton’s Neptunia Resturant, three of us took different courses, two families went for swimming (again) and me and my families went for a brief driving around Fujairah and to Khor Kalba.

First, we managed to visit Ain Al Madhab Garden (unfortunately still closed when we’re there at 9 AM), for we’re curious missed it yesterday. Ain al Madhab Gardens, also called the National Park, is a mineral spa with chalet accommodation on the western edge of the town. It is an extensive park with playground and a heritage village around the ruins of an old fort.

Ain Al Madhab Hot Spring coordinate: 25 08’26.41″N 56 18’59.01″E

Ain Al Madhab Sulpheric Springs Park
Ain Al Madhab Sulpheric Springs Park

We were then measuring Fujairah corniche street up to Khor Kalba roundabout where we stopped for a while for ripped date picking and photo stop. Along the way, old fish market, small fort, old mosque, fishing village, beautiful datepalm-fringed corniche, and mangrove captured in our Sony Handycam XR-500E. it is said that on Friday afternoons during winter, crowds gather between the Hilton Hotel and the Khor Kalba area to watch ‘bull butting’.

 

Corniche Street from Fujairan to Kalba
Corniche Street from Fujairan to Kalba
A mosque in Kalba
A mosque in Kalba

 Kalba mosque (see picture above) coordinate: 25 03’27.91″N 56 21’38.87″E

Mangrove at Khor Kalba
Mangrove at Khor Kalba

Entrance to Mangrove area coordinate: 25 00’53.73″N 56 21’37.83″E 

Other nearby town is Masafi, which we have passed on the arriving day from Al Ain. Masafi (Arabic for “pure water” ) is famous of its weather as the highest living area in the UAE also famous of its mango trees and various citruses. The village is known for its natural springs and  the name of the Persian Gulf’s leading water producer.

At about 11 AM all three families of us started driving northwardly to Musandam, Norway of the Arabia. First closest town is Khor Fakkan.

Jakcom Families at Hilton Fujairah before set off to Musandam (Courtesy of Taufiq)
Jakcom Families at Hilton Fujairah before set off to Musandam (Courtesy of Taufiq)

Khor Fakkan

Khor Fakkan is part of the emirate of Sharjah and is situated at halfway down the east coast between Dibba and Fujairah the foot of the Hajar Mountains. It is a popular and charming town, set in a bay and flanked on either side by two headlands, hence its alternative name ‘Creek of the Two Jaws’ (source: Weekendbreak Oman & UAE). It is a preferred place for weekend breaks and day trips and has attractive dive and fishing sites, waterfront and beach. The iconic 70s-style Oceanic Hotel is a popular pick, and and above it the Ruler of Sharjah’s Palace is noticeable high up on the hilltop.

Oceanic Hotel coordinate: 25 22’17.48″N 56 20’55.88″E

Enclave within Exclave – Nahwa

Before reaching Khor Fakkan, you might want to take a short detour to Nahwa. (we did not do it though). Nahwa is an enclave within the Omani territory of Madha, itself an exclave of Oman. To reach the village of Nahwa, take the northernmost road into the Madha enclave south of Khor Fakkan and follow the signs to New Madha. From New Madha there is a paved but winding road (about 5 km) leading to Nahwa.

Wadi Al Wurayya Waterfall

Wadi Al Wurayya Waterfall coordinate: 25 23’44.95″N 56 16’10.12″E (approximate area)

Drive about 5km pass Khor Fakkan Beach and turn left for Wadi Wurayyah Waterfall. It is said that 4×4 vehicle is required. Drive about 10 km from turn off. Wurraya has a main pool [3 to 4m deep] and the 2.5m high waterfall that feeds it, that full of fresh water all year round. However, it is reported that the area was in an awful condition with a disappointing amount of litter and graffiti covering the rocks all around the pool.

Sandy Beach & Snoopy Island

Coordinates: 25 29’20.73″N 56 21’36.71E (Sandy Beach), 25 29’32.09″N 56 21’50.33″E (Snoopy Island)

Not far from Bidiya Mosque to the north is Sandy Beach Hotel and nearby Snoopy Island. A reference says that you can swim to reach the island and have a great snorkeling there. These sites are located at the town of Aqah, also home to up class hotels such as Le Meridien, Miramar, and Fujairah Rotana.

Sandy Beach and Snoopy Island
Sandy Beach and Snoopy Island

Dibba

Dibba is located 60 km from Fujairah at the northeastern tip of the UAE/Oman peninsula on the Gulf of Oman.  Dibba, is sometimes spelled Diba or Daba. You might be surprised that Dibba is actually divided into three parts. One division for Oman and two divisions for UAE: Dibba Al-Fujairah, ruled by the Emirate of Fujairah, UAE , Dibba Al-Hisn, ruled by the Emirate of Sharjah, UAE , and Dibba Al-Baya, ruled by the Governorate of Musandam, Oman.

Fujairah - DIbba Road. A dualc arriageway ismingled to a single carriageway. This is a road near sandy beach/snoopy island
Fujairah - Dibba Road. A dual carriageway is mingled to a single carriageway. This is a road near sandy beach/snoopy island

Dibba would be a good choice for sea goers, where you can enjoy the sunny beaches (considered on of the best of UAE) or water sports activities. Even more you can make a boat trip to one of many islands that lay in the Gulf of Oman for fishing or diving.

Some roundabouts in Dibba - Lantern R/A, Dolphin R/A
Some roundabouts in Dibba - Lantern R/A, Dolphin R/A

 Jars Roundabout in Dibba: 25 36’06.66″N 56 18’23.15″E

Lantern Rounabout in Dibba: 25 35’16.80″N 56 16’10.12″E

Road to Musandam

Passing Dibba, we continued driving to Musandam, taking Road E87 to Ras Al Khaimah (turn right at cement factory 7.6km after Dibba’s Dolphin R/A ).The road is a dual carriageway. 30km later we made a right turn to Road E18. Please be aware that some road portions within E18 are not in good condition, owing to heavy big trucks traffic. We made a quick stop at Khatt Springs, 5 km off Road E18. Khatt Springs is a spa and hot natural springs with nearby Khatt Springs Hotel at the hilltop.

Dibba – Masafi (road E99, E87) intersection coordinate: 25 32’37.95″N 56 13’56.93″E

Khatt Springs coordinate: 25 32’37.95″N 56 13’56.93″E

Road in Ras Al Khaimah leading to Musandam
Road in Ras Al Khaimah leading to Musandam

On the Road E18, there is a right turn off (from Lantern R/A) to Wadi Bih. Wadi Bih is described as the UAE’s  answer to Grand Canyon. From Wadi Bih, one can access Khasab at Musandam Peninsula, passing through Jebel Harim, the highest peak of 2087m, via winding roads, hairpin bend, yet offering stunning views of rocky mountains and canyons. Unfortunately, there is a hearsay that the border posts are closed for foreigner. So better check that prior to departure.

14 km before Al Dara UAE Border Crossing
14 km before Al Dara UAE Border Crossing

Road E18 is ended at Shams, just 3.5km before UAE/Oman Border Checkpoints.  After this point, the road is a single carriageway all the way to Khasab, Musandam. The road is of surprising quality after the shocking paved road of Ras Al Khaimah. It is clean, new, and quiet. We feel as if it were built only for us. The road, that has only been built within the last ten years, snakes round the edge of the cliffs, carved out of the base of the mountains or built on reclaimed land, owing to absence of flat land. It is like long drive, despite only 40 km. We must have been driving slowly for  taking that distance in more than half an hour. Nevertheless, the drive is a breathtaking one with steep climb or surprising bends. I can’t help stealing my steering view for spectacular vistas.

UAE border at Al Dara coordinate: 26 02’52.84″N 56 05’13.29″E

Khasab Road is of excellent quality
Khasab Road is of excellent quality
Khasab Road snakes around rocky mountains. This is a view from a parking garden.
Khasab Road snakes around rocky mountains. This is a view from a parking garden.

 Parking garden (see above) coordinate: 26 14’10.28″N 56 11’43.68″E (about 13.5km from Golden Tulip Resort)

The road is built as if only for you. A quiet Khasab Road
The road is built as if only for you. A quiet Khasab Road
Stunning road view isn't it? Forget about how dirty is my windshield :)
Stunning road view isn't it? Forget about how dirty is my windshield 🙂

 

Blue water accompanies you driving on Khasab Road
Blue water accompanies you driving on Khasab Road

On the last 6 km to the Golden Tulip Hotel Resort we could see one. Yet, that only 1 km of direct distance must be travelled for 6km due to winding roads snaked around the cliffs above the bay.

A room with a view

Golden Tulip Hotel Resort is perched on the cliff face a few miles short of Khasab. It is quiet, and feels empty. However, as we explored Khasab later on we found that this hotel is above par than any available hotels downtown.

We had a quick check-in welcomed with humble smiles and services of Omani characters. Rushed into the room on the fourth floor, we examined to find it a good enough for stay. What’s more, as we opened the window and stepped out of the room to a private balcony, a chain of rugged rocky mountains plunged into the sea,  clear sea water and silvery sunrays merging into one bravura view right in front of my eyes. What a room with a view! Subhanallah!

View from Golden Tulip Resort - Seaview Room.
View from Golden Tulip Resort - Seaview Room.

Golden Tulip Resort coordinate: 26 12’48.69″N 56 14’01.59″E

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “UAE & Oman Trip: Day 5 Fujairah – Musandam”

  1. Wow… the details you have put up there are absolutely awesome and the GPS coordinates are SUPER highly appreciated.

    I’m looking on doing a day trip out to a few springs/waterfalls, and your info has REALLY helped! Great details and great accounts of your travels. Thanks so much for the effort… and PLEASE keep up the great reporting! 🙂

  2. i was wondering if it is possible to go from Fujairah to Khasab (Musandam) directly rather than going to Ras Al Khaimah first ?

    1. Hi, I haven’t been through that. Map shows that there is dirt road connecting DIbba al Baya to Khasab, Musandam. I believe it will take longer via this route than via RAK. Also I am not sure with Border/Immigration Checkpoint if they are open or not.

  3. Hi all of you! You seem to be very experienced, so maybe one of you has an answer to my question: I plan a trip coming from Khasab taking Jebel Harim road down to Rawdah. This part I know and it is very recommendable. Then I would like to continue to Dibba. It is said, that for foreigners this is only possible with a special permit. Does anybody know where and how I can get such a permit? Best regards, Martin Berg, Austria

  4. Great and well explained
    Just a question – The Khatt Spring Coordinates you have mentioned – is it the same hilltop hotel in Ras al Khaimah i.e. Khatt Spring Resort and Spa?

    1. Thanks Sham C. Yes the coordinate refers to hilltop resort but the spring and spa is located down hill.

  5. Thank you so much for the information .. its great and so detailed .. I have been here like ten years and I didnt know about most of these locations not mentioning seeing it.. Its great work you done here .. Thanking you .. I will pack and see them next weekend

Comments are closed.