The thoroughly modern city of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates is also home to some of the most important historical buildings in the region. Visitors to Fujairah will find that they can explore ancient mosques, Iron Age tombs, magnificent forts and castles near the Arabian Sea.
With castles set in rugged mountains, forts overlooking the sea, and sites of religious significance, Fujairah is a great place to explore the local history. The unforgettable Radisson Blu Resort Fujairah makes a relaxing base for an adventure into Fujairah’s past.
Al Bidyah Mosque
Fujairah is home to the Al Bidyah Mosque, the oldest known mosque in the United Arab Emirates, making it the most important historic monument in Fujairah.
The exact building date of the Al Bidyah Mosque is unknown, but it is thought to date back as early as the 15th century. It was built in the Islamic architecture of the Ottoman period, and the whitewashed walls house four domes supported by just one internal pillar.
The site of the mosque is thought to have been inhabited for thousands of years, with excavations revealing artefacts dating back 3,000 years and an Iron Age tomb.
Al Bidyah Mosque is a popular tourist attraction in Fujairah, and an active place of worship. When visiting, we recommend that women bring a scarf, so you can cover your head and shoulders when you enter the religious site.
The oldest fort in the United Arab Emirates, Fujairah Fort, was built in 1670. For centuries it was the only stone building on the Fujairah coast, and was used as a home for the ruling family and for defence.
Fujairah Fort was damaged in a British attack in the early 20th century, but has recently been fully renovated and is now a popular historic monument for visitors.
The impressive fort offers spectacular views of the nearby area, and visitors will be able to see right out to modern Fujairah.
While you’re at Fujairah Fort you can also visit a Heritage Village, complete with restored traditional houses, exhibitions and displays about the people of the area’s history.
Al-Hayl Castle is a short drive from Fujairah, and was once an important building for the ruling family. This historic monument in Fujairah is small but a delight to explore, and will make for a memorable afternoon out.
Small tours are often offered by the castle caretaker, making it a more intimate experience than the larger tourist attractions in Fujairah. Al-Hayl Castle is set in the mountains, and offers particularly spectacular views of the area.
On the main road from Fujairah city lies a modest but important historic monument, Bithna Fort. The mudbrick fort itself is thought to have been built sometime between the 1700s and 1800s, and was an important place for defense in the region.
As well as Bithna Fort, the area is the site of an important archaeological find. A tomb dating back over 3,000 years was found, and pottery and vessels found on site showed it had been used for many years by humans.
What’s the most impressive historical site you’ve ever visited? Let us know below.