A weekend in Fujairah indeed ticks all the right boxes you would need for a complete R ‘n’ R away from the city. No wonder it’s such a favourite with Dubaiites looking for a quick getaway. The winding roads, the chocolate –coloured landscape and the jagged lines of the Hajar Mountain range promise a break like none other in the UAE, especially in this wonderfully pleasant weather. And to experience the beauty of Fujairah to its fullest, a stay at the 15-year old Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort would just be what the travel gods ordered. Beach access, pool-side fun, water-sports, good food, restaurants offering multiple cuisines, family activities… you name it and you can find it here. A refreshing drive through the aforementioned route with views of the mountains leads to the pyramid like façade of the 15-year-old resort that has still retained its charm.
When I stepped into my designated suite, I felt that involuntary jaw-drop as a soft ‘wow’ escaped my mouth. All of the 218 rooms here offer floor-to-ceiling windows with sea view but this one was special. Soft muted tones and minimalistic décor embellished the kitchenette and the living room that had a huge window overlooking the garden and pools below and the beach and sea beyond. Another door led to a large private terrace that faced both, the stunning Hajar mountains on one side and the Indian Ocean, on the other. Just the thought of lying on the sunbed with a book in one hand and a drink on the other, feeling the breeze from the mountains and lapping up the sounds of the waves, was thrilling. The plush bedroom had a door opening to a balcony that gave uninterrupted views of the sea. I was tempted to plonk myself on the soft mattress and laze for hours, watching TV or indulging in a luxurious bath but that would have meant less time to explore the beach and enjoy all the fun on the anvil. Besides, adventure was beckoning!
Fujairah is known for its water-sports; you can’t visit here and not participate in at least one! Al Aqah thankfully has enough arrangements to satisfy the adventure enthusiast. The scuba diving courses at Al Boom Diving Centre are especially tempting but it requires time so I signed up for a rather safe para sailing session (Dhs 300). Harnessed safely to a motorboat handled by the experts at the centre, it’s an exhilarating (and ‘uplifting’) feeling to rise high above the shore with nothing than the deep sea blow and blue sky above. And relax, it’s totally safe as the anchor is attached firmly the boat with the riders manoeuvring it expertly in the sea.
Another experience that should not be missed is a dinner at Gonu Bar & Grill (yes, that’s a funny sounding name!). Located right on the beach, it reminds of those shacks in Goa where you can relax with a drink and some good selection of steaks, kebabs and grills. Quite ideal for a romantic date as well, especially when it comes alive in the evenings with music and the sound of the rough Indian Ocean waves. For more variety in cuisine though, there are other options – be it Swad that serves up Indian cuisine, Sapore, specialising in Italian or the multi-cuisine Views, aside from the beach and pool bars.
While Fujairah works for both, the adventure-seeker and the lazy staycationer, it’s quite apt for a family holiday too as there are activities galore for the young ones at the Kids Club. As for the adults, the choices are aplenty – whether you want to lose yourself in the stillness of the beach or spend long hours staring into nothingness or want a fun, action and sports packed weekend with a bunch of pals, this is your one-stop address. As we said, one visit is not enough.