Cruise Ports

Cruise port focus: Fujairah, UAE

Fujairah is a picturesque port city on the east coast of the UAE. It is the only emirate in the UAE with an Indian Ocean coastline, and as such tends to get more rainfall than the rest of the country, making it a green oasis during the spring and summer months.

Fujairah-hotels

Key facts:

Cruise terminal: There is no cruise terminal in Fujairah, cruise ships dock in the city’s commercial port.

Shore excursions: The best shore excursions are those that go beyond the city into the mountains and down the beautiful coastline

Language: Arabic officially, but English widely spoken

Dress code: Shoulders and legs should be covered if visiting a mosque

Currency: The UAE dirham, but US dollar, British pound and euros all widely accepted in tourist areas

fujairah-beach

The beach at Diba.

After Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Fujairah is also the UAE’s most visited cruise port, with 39 cruise itineraries featuring stops in the city during 2019.

Fujairah is a city of contrasts, with the bright turquoise Indian Ocean washing up against wide, sandy beaches that are framed by the darker shades of the Haijar Mountains rising behind it. The city has become a popular weekend getaway destination for Dubai expats, and now its focusing on growing its cruise tourism as well.

There is significant investment in new hotels, beach resorts and shopping malls, but what cruise lines calling at Fujairah are most interested in are the sights and experiences beyond the main city centre.

Fujairah Fort, located just outside the city, has an adjacent Heritage Village and is a reminder of the ancient history of this area, which for centuries was marked by rivalry and violent flare-ups between competing tribes in an Arabian-style Game of Thrones.

fujairah-fort

Fujairah Fort.

For those seeking sun and sand, Diba (30km from Fujairah city) is a good choice. Here you can enjoy the sunny beaches and you can practice just about every water sports activity there is.

From Diba you can also take a boat trip to one of many islands that lie in the Gulf of Oman, whether for the fun of it or for fishing (Fujairah has some of the best sports fishing grounds in the region).

Also around 30 km north of Fujairah is the Al Badiyah mosque, the oldest mosque in the UAE, it is small, but worth a visit, especially if you combine it with a stop in Khor Fakkan on the way back.

Khor Fakkan has one of the most famous corniche areas in the country. You can travel to the mosque by bus for around 12 AED from LuLu Hypermarket in Fujairah centre or by taxi, which should be around 80-120 AED return.

The cruise terminal in Fujairah

There is no cruise terminal in Fujairah, cruise ships dock in the city’s commercial port and passengers are taken into the city or on various shore excursions by shuttle bus.

In the coming years there are plans to build a dedicated cruise terminal within the port, but no concrete action has been taken as yet, unlike in Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

Is Fujairah good for shopping?

Not as a location within its own right. You should save your main shopping time for your overnight port call in Dubai, but there may be one or two items to take your fancy in Fujairah.

There is a Two Dirham shop in Fujairah, similar to the UK’s Poundland, where various toys, sweets and other tat are available.

There is also a Fujairah Night Souq where more than 5,000 products are sold at trendy boutiques, store chains and local outlets where haggling is acceptable. The night souq is open until late and also has children’s entertainment facilities.

Currency and language in Fujairah

Fujairah is part of the UAE and as such uses the UAE dirham, the main language is Arabic, and unlike the UAE’s major cities (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) few locals speak good English. Independent exploring in Fujairah may therefore prove challenging.

How to behave in Fujairah

Fujairah is one of the more conservative emirates in the UAE. Unlike Dubai, it does not have a large expat resident population, but many expats travel to the city from Dubai.

At the beaches included in organised shore excursions, and at the beach resorts and hotels, swimwear such as bikinis, speedos etc are perfectly acceptable, but both men and women should cover up if exploring areas of the city near the beach. Shoulders and knees should not be visible.

Who cruises to Fujairah?

Fujairah is an emergent cruise destination, used by cruise line’s looking to offer a particular type of shore excursion (such as one focusing on history or beach fun), it isn’t a well-known cruise destination in its own right and therefore the number of cruise ships calling here is limited.

Just 50 cruise itineraries will visit the city in 2019, the vast majority of them will be Pullmantur Cruises’ ship Horizon.

Horizon, sailing her first ever Middle East cruise program during the coming 2018/19 cruise season, will cruise roundtrip from Dubai on a series of 7-night cruises, with Fujairah included as a port of call.

Later in the year, Fujairah will be featured as a port of call on the Dubai cruise departures of several cruise ships sailing from the Middle East.

These include Seven Seas Navigator, Silver Shadow, Nautica, Insignia, Silver Spirit and Seven Seas Voyager between April and May, and November and December.

Silversea Cruises – Silver Shadow and Silver Spirit

Silver Shadow will visit Fujairah when she cruises from Dubai to Piraeus (Athens) in Greece on April 26th, visiting Khasab, Sur and Salalah in Oman along the way on this 15-night voyage. Ports of call on this cruise also include Safaga in Egypt, Aqaba in Jordan, a transit of the Suez Canal and a visit to Rhodes before arriving in Piraeus.

Silver Spirit will visit Fujairah on her cruise from Dubai later in the year, departing on November 19th on a 9-night cruise from Dubai to Mumbai in India, visiting Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, and Muscat along the way. She’ll spend an overnight in Mumbai at the cruise terminal.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises – Seven Seas Navigator and Seven Seas Voyager

Regent Seven Seas Cruises will be cruising from Dubai with two cruise ships in 2019, Seven Seas Navigator and Seven Seas Voyager will both visit Fujairah on their itineraries.

On April 9th, 2019, Seven Seas Navigator will cruise from Dubai on a 20-night cruise to Civitavecchia (Rome) in Italy via the Suez Canal and Fujairah, Salalah and Safaga in Egypt, before entering the Mediterranean with its rich litany of historic ports.

On November 16th, 2019, Seven Seas Voyager will call in Dubai and then begin a new cruise itinerary from Dubai to Singapore, a 20-night cruise that visits all the major cruise destinations in India, Sir Lanka and Southeast Asia, as well as Fujairah.

Oceania Cruises – Nautica and Insignia

Oceana Nautica will call in Fujairah three times on her cruises to and from Dubai in 2019, while Oceana Insignia will cruise just once to the city, during a 22-night cruise from Dubai to Civitavecchia (Rome) in Italy, departing May 13th.

Oceana Nautica will cruise from Dubai on April 27th, 2019 bound for Barcelona. The 21-night cruise will be the first of her Dubai cruises during the year and will include Fujairah as a port call.

Nautica will return to the Middle East in December, cruising from Dubai to Cape Town on December 7th, 2019. The 30-night cruise is undertaken annually and visits all the major cruise destinations in the Indian Ocean and on the South African coast, as well as Fujairah in the UAE.

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