East coast comforts
Virtuozity heads to the Indian Ocean for the weekend and the delights of the Intercontinental Fujairah Resort
Of the seven Emirates that make up the UAE, Fujairah is far less known than the glitz and glam cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. And yet, just like Ras Al Khaimah, it’s managed to carve out its own niche as a regional holiday destination. It also has one thing all the other Emirates don’t; an Indian Ocean coastline.
Well, that’s not strictly true, as Khor Fakkan is actually in Sharjah, but that’s just splitting hairs. As far as most people are concerned, almost the entire UAE Eastern coastline is in the Emirate of Fujairah, giving it a distinctly different feel.
The city itself is all about business, but head 45 kilometres north and you’ll soon find yourself in the small town of Al Aqah, which houses not one, but four major hotels. One of which is the simply exquisite Intercontinental Fujairah Resort.
Set out over beautifully laid out and sculptured grounds, the Intercontinental is a low-rise development designed around a meandering wing, with a central building for the lobby, restaurants, and entertainment areas.
It boasts two large separate pools, as well as about two hundred metres of soft sandy beach, all lined with comfy sun loungers and watched over by a horde of very attentive hotel staff. You just need to decide which area to relax in.
The rooms vary from a classic room with a view of the gardens, through various sizes and sea views, right up to the Presidential Suite. The décor is a mix of contemporary with Arabic twists, whilst the soft furnishings all seem to be designed to entice you to simply do nothing and put your feet up. All the rooms have stunning bathrooms, with a separate rain shower and bathtub for really washing away the sea and sand after a hard day on the beach.
The balconies are spacious and have comfy furniture, making them the ideal spot to chill out and watch the waves breaking on the beach.
For food and entertainment Nama is the main restaurant, offering international fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is a buffet, but for lunch and dinner guests can pick from a selection of delicious dishes, plus an a la carte menu with a Levantine twist.
If that doesn’t take the guest’s fancy, there’s Drift seafood kitchen and bar down by the beach. It’s a great spot for socializing, especially around the three beach fire pits. The interior is beautifully designed with plenty of soft furnishings to lounge around on as you enjoy a delicious mix of prime cuts of meat and selected seafood, probably fished from the sea right in front of you.
Back in the main building is the Horizon lobby lounge and bar. Split into two Arabian-styled rooms, both with panoramic views over the resort and beach, this is a great place to unwind and have a bit of peace and quiet over a cool drink.
The hotel also has an excellent kids club, so is ideal for families, especially if the parents need some proper relaxation time, whilst the little ones run riot with the excellent childcare team. If relaxing is key aim, the Intercontinental also houses O Spa by L›occitane.
But if that all sounds a bit too quiet, there’s also the option of tennis or volleyball for active sorts, and stand-up paddle boarding, scuba diving and kite surfing for those who like to get wet.
The Intercontinental Fujairah Resort really does offer a full holiday experience, regardless of if you drive over from the UAE’s other cities or fly in for a full two-week break. Either way, it’s more than worth the travel. Style and sophistication have clearly arrived on the UAE’s popular east coast.