Radisson Blu Fujairah

Where we stayed: Radisson Blu Resort, Fujairah

Radisson Blu Fujairah

The modest entrance at the end of the long, narrow driveway of Radisson Blu Resort Fujairah would not wow guests upon arrival. It actually looks mysterious and will get you asking, “What lies beyond that simple entrance?”

Well friends, after spending two nights here, we found out you shouldn’t judge a hotel by its outside appearance.

We were in Fujairah some days back for some rest and relaxation – left Dubai on a Thursday night after work and spent the weekend at this only Emirate facing the Gulf of Oman. We’ve explored the city of Fujairah before so we decided to stay at a beach property this time. Think 500 meters of beautiful private beach and all rooms facing the shore. Inviting, yes.

It’s hard not to fall in love with the idea of waking up to this.

rad blu room

*Photo taken from their Radisson Blu Resort Fujairah’s official website


Radisson Blu Fujairah is located in Dibba, Fujairah, about 90 minutes from Dubai if you take the Sharjah-Dibba Road. However, we didn’t take that road because we left at night and there’s a patch of that road where there is no center barrier and many trucks passing through. We took the new Dubai-Fujairah highway, the one that gets you to the rolling mountains of Fujairah in forty minutes, then went north to Dibba.

It was already late when we left Dubai, around 8 pm so we expected we’ll arrive at 10pm max. However, we encountered bumps along the way with the youngest passenger throwing up inside the car! Being a mother, I shouldn’t freak out with this scenario but I still freaked out. My clothes were soiled with sour smelling stuff so we had to stop at the nearest gas stand to clean up before proceeding to our journey.

The new road to Fujairah is relatively straight but after that, there were too many roundabouts, humps on the road (to slow down traffic) and congestion. It must have triggered Benjamin’s motion sickness.

We arrived at nearly midnight after that ordeal.


Check in was fast and smooth. We were really already very tired and it was late and the two staff at the reception did their best so we can go to our room as soon as possible. We were also asked to choose from a warm dinner menu. How kind! The warm dinner menu is offered to all package guests


We had two interconnecting rooms – one with king size bed and another with two semi-double beds. This is great for families staying with children. Spacious enough for the children to run around!

king bed room


We have a bed and pillows quality checker with us and she said, “nice!”

pristine in bed

Our warm in-room dinner arrived shortly. This is actually very timely because the kids got hungry after that long ride (and one kid got especially hungry after he emptied his stomach from that throwing up session in the car!).

dinner collage

We slept very comfortably and though we went to bed past midnight already, I woke up very early…because my body clock is cursed/blessed like that. I wake up at almost the same time, almost everyday, no matter where I am!

But it pays to wake up early at this side of town. I was rewarded with this view from our room balcony.


sunrise 2

I tiptoed into the balcony making no noise as much as I can so as not to wake Benjamin up. But of course that did not work. A few snaps of the beautiful sunrise later, he was awake and looking for me.

glass sunrise

ben gm

What a lovely morning we woke up to – there had been days of sandstorm/dust storm lately and the staff had told us they hoped the sun would shine the next day and the weather clear. Well, the staff’s prayers were answered!


breakfast view

Breakfast is served at Breeze all-day dining restaurant. The servers had a ready smile and were quick enough to serve coffee or tea and ask us of our needs. The breakfast buffet was not bad although some may expect more variety. One thing we also noticed is the lack of rice option in the buffet spread whether it’s breakfast or lunch. I guess that can be attributed to the main patrons of the hotel which are Russians and Germans (at least during our stay there)?

After breakfast, we walked to the beach to test the waters.

radisson blu fujairah

Many people had the same thing in mind. We love the feel of fine, white sand in our feet and the water was calm and very clean. The private beach stretch of the hotel makes this property really charming.


How was the water? “Can we swim mama?”, asked my toddler. Even if the sun was already warm (actually hot at midday), the sea water was still cold. Not many people went for a swim so we headed to the pool.

We’ve been eyeing the pool from our room balcony. The staff said it’s temperature controlled, so grateful for that!

Radisson Blu Fujairah Pool

Radisson Blu Fujairah Pool

p in pool

pool collage 2

What’s with kids and water? They never ever wanted to leave!

SPRUNCH = Spa + Lunch

Friday brunch at Breeze restaurant was a lavish affair with international dishes and a huge array of desserts. But because this is the first photo I took of the Friday brunch spread does not mean this is the only thing I love (heh).

I love brunches that has special dedicated sections for kids. Because, you know, with a toddler around, it is difficult to even hold a one minute conversation with your spouse.

kids area brunch

Radisson Blu Fujairah brunch

We were introduced to the concept of “sprunch” or spa + lunch package at Raddison Blu Fujairah. That’s free 15 minutes of neck or shoulder massage at the O2 spa. Also, the sprunch deal entitles you to 15% off any spa service. Sounds like your thing? I know, I love massages too!

The husband and I booked our short spa session after our filling lunch so guess what happened next? We were all knocked out and had a 3 hour nap!!


We had two options for dinner: one at the beach side (romantic dinner under the stars, sand on your feet) and another was the barbecue buffet dinner at the pool side. There were plenty of this:


We are not really fan of seafood because the two kids and I are allergic to it, except for fish but they really looked fresh and tasted good according to the husband. You can choose whatever you like from the array of fresh shrimps, fish, mussels, crabs and lobsters and the chef will grill it for you. Beef, mutton and chicken are also available along with salads and dessert.

Then there’s a live band that plays all sorts of songs. You can even request a song. Any song, no judging!


seafood collage

The kids loved the dinner setting and the weather was just perfect for eating outside at night.


After dinner, we went up to our room thinking how to cope up with the fact that we will be leaving this wonderful place the next day.

Radisson Blu Resort Fujairah’s entrance may be modest but the experience is stellar. Prices are reasonable, all the staff from towel boys to cleaners to restaurant and reception are very helpful and courteous make staying in this hotel very worth your time.

sun loungers 1

sun loungers 2

To learn more about Radisson Blu Resort Fujairah and their special offers, check out their main website as well as connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We were guests at Radisson Blu Resort Fujairah but all opinions are my own, as always.

Khor Fakkan roadside beach, Fujairah

We saw the coast of Khor Fakkan at the top of the hill at Al Bidyah Mosque and the children have spoken: beach next!! Our very kind driver from Novotel Hotel Fujairah, where we stayed during our trip to Fujairah happily obliged.

“Are you married?”, I asked him.

“Do you have kids?”

“No, madame I don’t have kids but I know kids. Let’s go to the beach before we go back to the hotel.”

Awww. So sweet.

So we made a quick turn and stopped at a roadside beach. Our driver parked the car and immediately the kids got down and ran.

I chased them, the husband chased me and took a photo of me chasing the kids. I finally caught up with them.

kids at Khor Fakkan beach

You can see the Port of Khor Fakkan ahead. Khor Fakkan is a town located along the Gulf of Oman on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates. The town, the second largest on the east coast after Fujairah, is set on the picturesque bay of Khor Fakkan, which means “Creek of Two Jaws”. Khor Fakkan belongs to the emirate of Sharjah but is geographically surrounded by the emirate of Fujairah. Source.

Once near the water, they immediately took their slippers off and attempted dip their little feet in the water. During the month of February when the desert sun just starts to pierce through our skin on mid-day, the waters off the beaches are still cold to the touch. I couldn’t imagine swimming in it.

We did not bring any swimming costumes as I already assumed the water would still be cold. Benjamin started with the rolled pants style but eventually, we went back to the hotel with only his underwear!

We were approached by some men who offered boat rides to nearby islands. It was difficult to say no but we had to go back to the hotel for lunch. I hear a collected sigh. Getting on a boat had been an adventure the day before when we went out to explore the coast of Fujairah on a small motorboat from the Fujairah International Marine Club.

beach fujairah khor fakkan

“Island trip and back. 150 dirhams madame, for all, including the little people.” Definitely next time!

beach fujairah khor fakkan

It was a lovely side trip and wish we could have stayed longer, lay down a mat, open the picnic basket and have lunch under one of those trees looking up at the cloudless blue skies above and the blue sea ahead, feeling the cool sea air on our face, you know, just forget about the passing of time even just for a while.

mountains in Fujairah

A trip to Al Bidyah Mosque, oldest mosque in the UAE

mountains in Fujairah

When you live in Dubai, it’s easy to miss things as natural as rain or trees (other than date palm) or the sight of mountains. It was our second day in Fujairah and after exploring the coast by boat courtesy of Fujairah International Marine Club, we wanted to look around and show the kids some things they won’t see in Dubai (mountains!) and visit the Al Bidyah Mosque, (sometimes written as Al Bidiyah or Al Badiyah) reputed to be the oldest mosque in the country.

Novotel Hotel, the budget and family friendly hotel in Fujairah where we spent our short out of the city getaway offers tours to the city and nearby historic spots.

Our driver and guide picked us up after breakfast and we went straight to Al Bidyah Mosque. It was a longer ride from Fujairah city proper where Novotel is located but the sights along the way has something we do not see everyday. There were no bored souls inside the car.

al bidiyah mosque poster

Al Bidyah mosque is located 8 km north of Khor Fakkan in the mountainous coastal region of the emirate of Fujairah. The mosque is a charming earth-coloured structure of stone, mud brick and gypsum built between 1446 and 1668. The mosque is unique to the UAE but not the region. It was built about the same time as similar mosques in Yemen, Oman and Qatar.

Al Bidiyah Mosque

I have been to this mosque before but that was way back in 2007 with my mother and if I remember, we weren’t allowed to go inside. Now, visitors can take a peek inside as it now functions mainly as a tourist attraction. Non-Muslims may enter if they are appropriately dressed and have taken off their shoes, but women must cover their heads.

abaya in mosque

Its structure has been kept true to its past. Apart from the welcome introduction of two air-conditioning units and four fluorescent lights, and some restoration work a decade ago, the mosque of mud and bricks remains much as it did in the mid-15th century.

inside al bidyah mosque benjamin

Here, my 3 year old son is looking at a wall that existed centuries and centuries before him. It’s heartbreaking though to see all the vandalized walls on this old, small building near the mosque.

inside mosque

al bidiya mosque

Locals says that they don’t know who built this mosque. There were no books or historical studies on who built it. There’s some sort of fort at the top of the hill behind the mosque. And there’s a pathway to it.

Al Bidya Mosque Fujairah

Way back in 2007 when we first visited, we did not have much time to explore around the area. Now that we didn’t have to rush back to Dubai and the weather was really great, we asked the kids if they wanted to go up.

Fujairah mosque fort

I guess you know what they said next. The older one was too excited to show the place to her little brother as if she owns it, as if she has been there a hundred times. Those mountain silhouettes in the horizon, aren’t they beautiful?

fort 2

The climb to the top wasn’t too much of a struggle but I guess for the little one, it was quite an effort. He loved it though and looked forward to reaching the top.

p and b to the fort 1

“Those mountains…where do they start and where do they end, mama?” I get overwhelmed by the questions Pristine asks during our travels because sometimes, the answers to those questions I can’t find in Google.

at fort looking out

fort 1

I am proud of my (little) young travellers. We’ve taken them everywhere we wanted to them to see and not once they complained or threw a tantrum (no jinx!). If at all, they are so eager to see more and always the reason why we need to linger more at a certain spot.

at the fort

From the watch tower above the mosque you can view more of the magnificent scenery of the coast. If you’re thinking of doing something different on a weekend, you can drive to Fujairah from Dubai via the new road, stay a couple of nights at a city hotel (there are a lot of affordable hotel options!)  and experience this piece of history and natural beauty in a country so focused on moving forward, with most buildings not older than cheese. Sorry for the mention of cheese, I am getting hungry.


Seriously, Fujairah is a must visit and you’d be more enticed to do so in my next post. We had a short stop at the beach on our way back to our hotel!

coast of Fujairah

Touring Fujairah: Day 1, from the sea

coast of Fujairah

The color of the water off Fujairah is different. And it makes sense. The coast of Fujairah, unlike the other Emirates is in the Gulf of Oman (the others are in Arabian Gulf).

After a restful night at Novotel Fujairah Hotel, our wonderful budget and family friendly accommodation in Fujairah, we woke up early for breakfast and headed to the Fujairah International Marine Club. Though lately it has become a bit warm in desert land, the weather is still very nice to spend time outdoors and today, we will be doing something different: explore the coast of Fujairah by boat!

The children were ecstatic!


Photo credit: Fujairah in Focus

The Fujairah International Marine Club is a non profit organization that was established in 1999 to host and organize some of the world’s best maritime sports such as the Class One, The Formula One, Formula 2, and X-Cat World Powerboat Series. It also organizes national and local events such as UAE Jet Ski Championship, rowing races, and fishing competitions.

The first race for the 2015 X-Cat World Powerboat Series will be held at the Fujairah Internatioanal Marine Club on 25-27 February 2015.

Fujairah International Marine Club

There is a Biker’s Cafe at the Marine Club which serves light snacks and refreshments. Other dining outlets include licensed Harbour Club and a Chinese restaurant.

bikers cafe

The Harbour Club is a trendy, relaxed bar restaurant, offering five star international cuisine and an extensive range of beverages. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available, with a shisha terrace and outdoor bar overlooking the marina. There’s also the  Zhonghua Huiguan restaurant serving authentic Chinese and International dishes. The dining facilities are open to all, not just members of the marine club.

The Harbour Club

We did not get to try any of the dining outlets so I can’t say anything about the food or service but would love to try them out once we’re back to Fujairah, soon.

It was time to head out to sea. The weather was perfect, not too cold and very moderate wind. I’ve always loved sailing but never get to do it as often as I like. There’s something about the sea and the quote: “The cure to everything is salt water: tears, sweat and the sea” is so true. Just being near the sea, looking at it and smelling the salt water air is very therapeutic, at least for me.

salt water therapy

The other members of the family loved the experience too, except for the littlest one who became very quiet. He is usually very bubbly and tend to move around, now he is stuck in his father’s lap!

in boat

We move away from the coast and here we see the some buildings in the city and the Hajjar mountains in the background. Living in Dubai does funny things to you – you’d be actually happy to see mounds of earth!

fujairah from a distance

Fujairah trip

Fujairah port and Khor Fakkan port are nearby so there were many ships stopped in the middle of the sea. So, so big ships!

big ship in coast of Fujairah

We got closer.

big ship in coast of Fujairah

And closer.

big ship in coast of Fujairah

Then we turned around to see another ship alongside this big one.

big ship in coast of Fujairah

I’ve been asked by the little humans, “how do these things float, mama?” These boats have tons of weight and they float. WHY? I cannot tell them to Google that time so I used big words like law of bouyancy, etc. They looked at me like I’m crazy. They’re not convinced with my answers.


These boats can accommodate people for fishing trips as well, in fact, there are fishing rods in it. Pristine was waiting for any fish to bite the bait but unfortunately, the fishes were on a weekend break, maybe went on a trip to Dubai. LOL.

fujairah from a distance 2

family on board 2

family on board

A trip to Fujairah is worth it because it gives you one of the most scenic natural environment in the UAE.The Hajjar mountains and the Gulf of Oman make for a wonderful combination and offer plenty of year-round options for recreational activities.

pristine in boat

The Fujairah International Marine Club organizes to hire a small boat for the family or a traditional dhow for a group of friends.There are plenty of activities for families; a nice relaxing trip on the dhow, take a fishing or diving trip on one of our boats or enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants inside the club.

We loved our day trip out to sea in Fujairah. It’s so easy to say, this won’t ever be the last.

Novotel Hotel Fujairah

Where we stayed: Novotel Hotel Fujairah

Novotel Hotel Fujairah

We spent a lovely two days at Fujairah over the weekend to relax and unwind from the busy and hectic (and sometimes exhausting) life in Dubai. Fujairah is the only emirate among the seven emirates of the UAE that do not lie in the Arabian Gulf. Its coast line is at the Gulf of Oman. The last time we visited Fujairah was already five long years ago so this trip was long overdue.

There are so many hotels in Fujairah, from beach hotels to city hotels. We stayed for two nights at Novotel Hotel Fujairah. And here’s my review of this hotel.

Novotel Hotel Fujairah is located at Hamad Bin Abdullah Road, Fujairah, very close to the city center, just off the new E84 road.

We heard of this new road linking Dubai to Fujairah that promises shorter time and smoother travel. The last time we’ve been to Fujairah, all I remember was long travel and a pretty dangerous one because there’s a highway strip that has no barrier in the center – it can be scary if only a thin white line separates opposite traffic.

Now with the new E84 road known as Sheikh Khalifah Bin Zayed Road, it only took us an hour and 15 minutes from our house in Al Qusais to the hotel. The new road linking Dubai to Fujairah has motorists living the dream. Imagine there are people commuting from Dubai to Fujairah on a daily basis because of this road!

It’s impossible to miss Novotel Fujairah when you enter the city center of the Emirate. It’s that tall building with neon blue lights (if you’re arriving at night).

Being a new hotel (just a year old!), I am impressed by the warm and welcoming service we received from the time we got off our car when we arrived until the moment we left. The staff at the hotel and the restaurants were attentive to our needs and always went out of their way to serve us and the other customers in the best way they can.

The staff were so sweet to remember our names too, including the children! I know they instantly felt like superstars on the time we checked out.

I must admit, when I hear Novotel or Ibis (of the Accor group of hotels), I used to think – ah, business hotel. I seriously thought we would be the only family staying there and Benjamin could disturb the tired business men sleeping in the rooms (Benjamin has a habit of singing loudly in the hallways!). However, when we arrived, we were surprised with the number of families with children staying in the hotel, too!

We stayed in a suite room because it is caters more to our family size. And yep, we loved the space!

suite room bedroom

The suite room was perfect for us (2 adults and 2 children) as it had a separate receiving room and bedroom, that meant more space to move around. The hotel also provided an extra bed for our 11 year old daughter and even then, the room did not feel cramped. Also, I must mention that the bed was so nice and comfortable (which honestly I did not expect).

This is when you first enter the hotel room.

Novotel Fujairah suite room

I can’t get a proper shot without a little human getting in the way. There is a mini bar and a small receiving area with sofa.

The room had the basic amenities; the suite room had a separate shower and bathtub which we really like, especially with a toddler who loves to take long baths in the tub. One of my favorite amenities is the WiFi (is WiFi called an amenity? It is now.). All the rooms have fast and free wireless internet (YAY!) which makes it easier for guests on business or pleasure to what they needed to do. Mine would be to update my social media platforms of what we’ve been up to!

If you have not brought your laptop and need to work on something with a bigger screen than your smart phone, you can always go to the lobby.

Hotel Novotel Fujairah

Another thing to be happy about when staying as a family was the pool. Another unexpected treat – it was big! There were many children in the pool even if the weather was a bit chilly when we got there. The water is temperature controlled but the wind was strong during our stay so we didn’t get to swim at all. Hopefully, next time, we can!

Novotel Hotel Fujairah pool

Breakfast is served at Flavours restaurant, the all dining restaurant at the ground floor. Ample selection, we couldn’t complain of anything. Thursday night dinner was at Il Centro at adjacent Ibis Hotel for Mexican night. Staple Mexican food (guacamole however was missing). Live cooking station also available.

Friday night was Indian night at Flavours when the restaurant turns to a bustling place of Indian food lovers. The scent of the spices will let you know Indian night is full on and it’s time to forget about diet.

Indian nights

There are lots of Indian food available on the buffet but I just chose a few for my first plate.

indian food

My favorite Indian sweets on parade: kaju katli, burfi, etc.

indian sweets

Friday was international brunch at Il Centro with DJ spinning some good music. Live cooking station also available.

il centro

We loved the food at Il Centro and wish it was closer. It’s definitely cheaper in Fujairah (or should I say, the prices in Dubai is just too inflated!). If you’re driving to Fujairah and get hungry, a stop over at Il Centro is worth the time and money.

Overall we had a very good stay. We had a very peaceful short family getaway away from the big city. The kids thoroughly loved the space of the suite room (highly recommended for families) and because this is not Dubai, you don’t have to be intimidated by the word “suite”. The location is near to everything from supermarkets to pharmacies. The beach is near too. We visited the Fujairah International Marine Club which is a short drive from the hotel and explored the coast of Fujairah (more about it in the next post!).


We unexpectedly loved our stay in Fujairah and highly recommend to anyone looking to get away from the fast paced life of Dubai and would love a change of scenery. Novotel Hotel Fujairah comes with my high recommendation for being a budget and family friendly hotel that delivers – nice, clean rooms with a comfy bed and WiFi connection, great location and customer oriented service staff.

To learn more about Novotel Hotel Fujairah and their special offers, check out their main website as well as connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We were guests at Novotel Hotel Fujairah but all opinions are my own, as always. You can see more photos of our Fujairah trip on my Instagram (@sandierpastures) with hashtag #GraceInFujairah.

Fujairah: a sneak peek


This was taken aboard a speed boat along the coast of Fujairah, the only Emirate among the seven with a coast line facing the Gulf of Oman and not in the Arabian Gulf.

I’m going to write about our two-day weekend getaway to this charming emirate including where we stayed, our trip to one of Fujairah’s historic spots and what my little travelers were up to. But first, real world work.

It’s Sunday and back to work again here in Dubai. I have a full inbox to tackle and lots of papers on my table. Hopefully, I can take a breather later on and write about our wonderful weekend. I can’t wait to share them with you. You can check my Instagram though for little snippets of the trip. 

the other side of the UAE

Last weekend, we went to Fujairah, one of the seven Emirates of the UAE. The UAE is composed of seven (7) Emirates namely: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah. Of these seven Emirates, only Fujairah is situated in the east coast, fronting the Indian Ocean so the color of the sea is different than in Dubai!

All the other Emirates are located on the west coast and are largely covered by desert but Fujairah is almost totally mountainous.

~ Hajar Mountain range in Fujairah ~

hajar mountains

~ tree less mountains ~

The road going to Fujairah looks like this:

hajar mountains

~ road less travelled ~

Just after crossing the border of the neighboring Emirate, the road is narrow with only one lane for each way making driving a bit scary. You know all those people who overtake without thinking and end up crashing with the car on the opposite side!

We stopped by to take photos with the Hajar Mountains on the background and to let other cars (the speedy ones) go ahead and not honk or flash their lights behind us.

It’s been almost a year and a half that I’ve not seen mountains!


~ can you believe I’m still smiling even if it’s 110F outside! ~

After almost two hours of driving from Dubai, we finally reached our destination:

Hotel JAL Fujairah Resort & Spa

~ Hotel JAL Fujairah Resort & Spa ~

The hotel is a resort type hotel with its own private beach:

Hotel JAL Fujairah Resort & Spa

and a very big pool:

Hotel JAL Fujairah Resort & Spa

The private beach view from above. At this time of the year, the sand becomes too hot it could scorch the soles of your feet. No kidding!!

Hotel JAL Fujairah Resort & Spa

On the way to Fujairah city proper, there are some interesting roundabouts:


~ a giant lamp ~


~ huge jars of clay ~


~ a traditional dhow and some dolphins ~

We also saw an old mosque along the road thought to be built around 500 years ago.


Explanation of the historical site and a well the people used for ablution before going inside the mosque for their prayers:

On the way home, we spotted a public beach and braved the hot, hot summer sun. Just like in the private beach at the hotel, the sand was scorching hot and if barefoot, unless you run like the road runner going to the water, chances are you will want to wear your slippers.

The public open beach in Fujairah is not well maintained as the ones in Dubai. Clearly, Dubai is exerting so much effort to keep it a tourist attractive city. There were no lifeguards, shower areas and picnic areas in Fujairah’s public beach. The grounds were also dirty of garbage from picnickers.

It was more than 110F at 2 pm. Even the beach babe did not dare swim.


We stayed on the beach for maximum 5 minutes and ran for shelter.



If anyone is interested in visiting Fujairah, I highly recommend the Hotel JAL Resort & Spa, that is, if you don’t mind the long drive from the city of Dubai. It’s a great value for money than other beach hotels in Dubai (read: it’s much, much cheaper!). It has its own private beach, pool, spa and diving center.

The Diving Center offers classes in diving and snorkeling and will take tourists to the nearby island for diving. The photos of the diving sessions are so enticing I would go if only I can swim.

I recommend checking into a resort hotel (there are plenty in the area) than going to a public beach because of reasons I wrote above.

We went there because of M’s work. He was invited to inspect the hotel and since it’s a weekend, we joined him.