Fancy a family getaway to Fujairah? An affordable family offering
Nestled between the Hajar Mountains and the Gulf of Oman is the simply serene soft sands of Al Aqah Beach, home to the Fujairah Rotana Resort and Spa.
A grand Palazzo-style resort, all rooms overlook the beautiful lush gardens – some with the bonus of mountain and ocean views! It has the feeling of being more in the tropics than the desert but makes the perfect tranquil haven for those looking to escape the big smoke and desert plains.
Ideal not just for family groups but romantic getaways or grab your girlfriends for a spa weekend, there’s something for everyone here just a mere 2-hour drive from Dubai or 3 hours from Abu Dhabi.
Will it suit you and your family? Let’s take a look.
This post is part of our Family Accommodation Review series – Come and see our other worldwide family-friendly hotel recommendations
Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa – The Rooms
250 rooms and suites are spread over one main hotel building and eight smaller pool and ocean side buildings. A buggy will help you on arrival and check out with your luggage, but the walking distances are not vast once you are inside.
Rooms are decorated in a colonial style with quality linen, dark wood furnishing and a distinctly seaside feel. All rooms come with a stocked mini-bar (can be locked by request) as well as beautiful touches like towel art for the children and fresh fruit for arrival.
Other amenities are plentiful as you’d expect of a luxury hotel from toiletries through to ironing and laundry services, in-room safe and room service.
We stayed in a Premium Ocean Front Suite. At 68sqm this provided more than enough space to sleep our family of 5 with a queen-sized bed, two rollaway beds and a sofa bed and we still had adequate room to move about, including a dining table and balcony table.
Larger families or groups can also opt for the two-bedroom option with an interconnecting double bedroom and suite. Smaller groups or those just requiring a cot or extra bed could try a classic twin or king. The hotel inventory has a great variety which provides you with a huge amount of flexibility for families. Adding extra beds and cots seemed to cause no issue.
Meal times at Fujairah Rotana
As our stay was during the Holy Month of Ramadan, our experience was a little different to the usual. Ramadan – particularly the element of day timing fasting IS observed – but as a hotel, they are able to serve food and drinks in screened off areas. (If you have not visited a Muslim country before during Ramadan this guide is essential reading).
Mozaique is the all-day dining option – offering buffet meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We thought the breakfast selection was good, but the lunch options could have used a little more variety. I suspect given the time of year they were catering for much lower numbers than usual. It was all very beautifully presented though and I loved the option of having several healthy, lighter salads and the kids had a separate buffet – again limited but perfectly adequate for their fussy pallets.
There are plenty of other dining choices if you are looking for a break from the buffet, but bear in mind these are limited during the Ramadan daytime, all restaurants and bars reopen at sunset.
Waves Beach Restaurant was the stunning setting for our first night dining out, feeling the ocean breeze and friendly service. Our kids were fed promptly from a separate kids menu and we had the most amazing steaks. Unfortunately, the kids were too tired from our long drive to stay out for dessert – story of our lives!
The only establishment currently completely closed is the Tropicana Pool Bar which is being renovated over Ramadan.
Drinks can still be purchased at Waves which is curtained for Ramadan and Sharkey’s Bar on the beachfront after sunset. Sharkey’s also offers a shisha service in the evening.
The Al Falaj Lobby Café is open in the evenings but over summer the outdoor terrace is closed. Bar Muda also in the main hotel building is serving cafe-style food from inside during Ramadan and both are open as usual in the evenings.
Another great feature that really sets a luxury resort apart for families is the option of 24-hour room service. We know after a long drive the thought of dragging the kids to dinner can be tough or for those times you simply want a break in your room its wonderful to have that meal time flexibility.
The Pool & Resort Facilities
Without a doubt, the centrepiece of any beach resort is the pool and at Fujairah Rotana, this is no exception. There are three pools, one slightly deeper, though it does have a shallow end where you can wade in, a shallower children’s pool with slide and a toddler pool.
The toddler pool is the only one shaded otherwise the other two are quite exposed. Only at the very peak of the weekend did it feel a little crowded but still enjoyable, a lovely 28c in the water. Of course, the highlight for the kids is the slide, open 10 am to 4 pm and fully supervised, while the main pool areas are open 9 am until sunset.
Flippers Kids Club
Flippers is open daily for your 4 to 12-year-olds (younger children welcome but they will need a minder or paid babysitting service), open from 9am to 7pm The room had enough varied activities to keep our 8, 6 and 4-year-olds entertained.
They run a daily program though it is fairly loose and applied to the needs and wishes of the children there on the day. Colouring was a favourite, they also have an indoor trampoline, foosball table, plenty of reading books and games on the shelves. Older children can enjoy the electronics room too.
Babysitting for the evenings is possible with an appointment at extra charge. Separate to the kids club on the other side of the resort you will find the outside children’s playground. A bit too hot for daytime use in May but perfect for early mornings and for winding up your day from the pool or beach.
Zen the Spa at Rotana
I won’t deny this was absolutely the weekend highlight for me and Mr Globetrotter. Now that our children are all big enough to be checked in to kids club together this is an absolute game-changer for the weekend staycation, we can truly take a few hours off and relax!
The spa is deceptively large inside and beautifully appointed. Enjoy the wet rooms before your treatment and post-treatment relaxation room. The staff were not pushy to buy extra products (the upsell is my pet hate at spas! ) and allowed us to enjoy everything at our own pace.
The beach and beach sports
Whilst the air temperature and pool temperature in May were just perfect, I won’t deny that the sand was seriously scorching, even with flip flops on the tiniest grains of sand penetrate into the souls of your feet!
Early morning or evening at the beach, it was just beautiful – but seriously with small kids don’t attempt it in the middle of the day in May, there will be screaming no matter how quick you run!
The sand on Al Aqah beach (when not scorching balls of lava) is incredibly soft underfoot. There are fish visible from the shore, or those who want to go out deeper can try the onsite adventure sports centre. You can walk along the whole strip of Al Aqah beach in front of neighbouring resorts Le Meridien and Miramar as well.
From the dive centre at the beach there’s a huge range of activities on offer, we saw everything from banana boats to parasailing and jet skis being enjoyed, as well as fishing and snorkelling trips can be arranged.
Fitness Centre & Tennis
For those who still like to strike the balance and keep fit while on their vacation, Bodylines Health Club in the main lobby building is open from 7am to 10pm, equipment looked to be extensive and there are classes you can join. There are also two floodlit tennis courts available and a ping pong table and foosball area.
More Staycation ideas in the UAE? See all our Top 10 Beach Resorts
What to do when visiting Fujairah
Fujairah, on the east coast of the UAE is truly unique from the rest of the UAE in that it is mostly mountainous. For me, it has much more of a feeling of being in Oman- hardly surprising given you are surrounded by Oman to the north and south!!
Most activities are water-based, though if you are interested in day-tripping and sightseeing you can explore into Fujairah city centre.
Fujairah Fort is one of the great archaeological sites in the region, believed to be the oldest of its kind in the UAE still standing today. It has been restored in recent years to its former glory and now has a history village as part of the site to teach about traditional life on the east coast of the country.
Nearby you will also find the Fujairah Museum, home to many artefacts dating back to the bronze and iron ages. Hidden in the mountains approximately 35kms north of Fujairah City (just south of Al Aqah), you will find, Al Badiyah Mosque, the oldest known mosque still standing in the UAE. Dated back to the 15th century, this mud and stone structure is still an active house of worship but draws visitors for this claim to fame.
We understand tourists may only visit after midday to leave worshippers in peace in the mornings. In Fujairah City, there is also the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the second largest in the country after the Shiekh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Equally as beautiful, it can hold up to 32,000 worshippers. Note it is not, however, open to tourists as a non-Muslim you may photograph the outside only.
The most popular activity though is to head out on a boat to explore the waters. Snorkelling day trips head to popular locations such as Snoopy Island, Dibba Rock and Martini Rock. You can expect to see turtles, reef sharks and if you’re lucky dolphins. Beware the jellyfish though.
Note if you are exploring any further north into the Musandam Peninsular, you will need a passport. You always need some form of ID when staycationing within the UAE but do need your actual passports if crossing into Oman, this can catch some road trippers out.
Escaping to Fujairah is the perfect getaway from Dubai and Abu Dhabi – the dramatic positioning of Al Aqah Beach between the mountains and the sea is the ideal setting.
Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa very much has a chilled out, family-friendly vibe and there are plentiful options on hand for all of your family group to enjoy. It struck a nice balance between fasting in Ramadan but remaining with respect during the day you could still eat out of sight.
There were plenty of little touches like the towel art for the kids that were thoughtful and we received lovely smiling service throughout. Not just for Staycations, if you have visited the UAE before and are seeking something different for your vacation in the sun, Al Aqah Beach might be the perfect answer. It’s our value pick on the Fujairah coast without compromising on quality, luxury and service.
Fast facts & booking Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa
Rooms: The resort consists of 250 rooms and suites
Price: Starting from $128USD + taxes for a 38sqm room per night (1 bed can be added) through to 68sqm suites from $400USD per night + taxes
Location: Based on the country’s east coast, your nearest international airport is DXB followed by approximately a 90-minute drive. There are some charter flights that also use Ras Al Khaimah International Airport.
Other Inclusions: Free parking, valet & wifi
Thanks to all the staff at Fujairah Rotana for their warmth and hospitality during our stay
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Disclosure: We were provided with complimentary accommodation at Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa for the purpose of conducting a fair and impartial review. All opinions as always remain our own. This article also contains affiliate links that may earn us a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase. Our full disclosures policy can be found here.
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