The UAE – United Arab Emirates is a federation of 7 Emirates (states), namely Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. On our 8th Anniversary, since we’re both super busy and have really no time to travel overseas that time, I decided to just do emirates-hopping. But because there’s only 5 days off that we can squeeze into our busy days then, we managed to visit only 3 emirates, apart of course to Dubai where we reside.
First stop was, Fujairah (Arabic: الفجيرة Al Fuǧaira). The only one of the seven emirates, that has a coastline solely on the Gulf of Oman and none on the Persian Gulf. It is also the only emirate of the UAE that is almost completely mountainous. Consequently, Fujairah boasts a higher than average yearly rainfall of the UAE, allowing farmers in the region to produce one crop every year.
We stayed at Fujairah, Rotana Resort and Spa. Because it was Ramadan, the hotel is almost empty. No music and no restaurants open during the day. Quite difficult when you wanted to laze around the pool while you sip a cold drink. 😉 The hotel itself is a bit old – well compared to others we’ve stayed in the other emirates. The pool and beach area is however, huge. There’s a big pool for children with slides and a small play area with swings. They also have a nice kid’s club within the hotel which my daughter enjoyed so much as she can play with the toys all by herself since there’s no other children there. 😉
The food was ok but I’m really not happy and just settled with it since it’s the only available then and the travel outside to look for other options is a bit far. Stayed here for 2 days, perfect to just relax in the pool and sleep. Nothing else to do.
Second stop was to Ras Al Khaimah (alternatively Ra’sal-Khaymah or Ras el-Kheima; Arabic: رأس الخيمة Raʾs al-Ḫaymah). Its name could be taken to mean “headland of the small huts”, which can be attributed to the indigenous buildings that existed along the coast. The emirate is in the northern part of the UAE, bordering Oman‘s exclave of Musandam.
One best thing when going on vacation during the summer is the low hotel rates. 😉 I manage to book at The Cove, Rotana at a very low price ;-). They say that it is the Santorini of UAE. I really like the resort, it’s not the typical hotel type but more of a single detach room where you have a very spacious living area, balcony and bathroom. You will need a bit of walk or use the golf buggy to roam around the area, visit the pool, the beach or the restaurant and main lobby.
The drive from Dubai is not that far either and there’s plenty of other restaurants near the resort should you opt to eat out. The resort breakfast has a good spread too. I like their infinity pool and of course the small kiddie pool for my little one. My only complain during our stay here was that it takes them time to collect the tray from the in-room dining. It took us 3 phone calls and 4-5 hours waiting time until there were ants climbing up the tray already since we left it outside our room.
The resort also offers a villa with a private pool. I want to try this one next time but maybe have to wait for summer when it’s off peak. 😉
Last emirates we visited and stayed at was Ajman, (Arabic: عجمان ‘Aǧmān) located along the Persian Gulf. The city has more than 90% of the population of the emirate. The urban area runs directly into the city of Sharjah along the coast to the south west, which in turn is adjacent to Dubai, forming a continuous urban area.
We stayed at Kempinski Hotel Ajman. The hotel has an Arabic theme (maybe during that time since it was Ramadan) and is huge. I think it’s quite new in the area too. They have the nicest beach and swimming pool. I really love it! 😉 As their website says, it’s your perfect getaway. And it really is! I love their kiddie pool, it’s covered with tent so little ones can enjoy even if it’s the peak of summer. The walk at the beach early morning is fantastic. The breakfast spread is ok, not as wide as others but good enough. They have ‘pork bacon’, let’s leave it at that! 😉
When I made the booking, I mentioned we were celebrating our anniversary. So during the day, we were given a tray of chocolates and fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate too, with a personalized handwritten greeting card. Such a sweet gesture. 😉
They also have a kids club which is what I always look for hotels so that my little kulet will not feel bored during our staycation. 😉 She had fun there and I heard it gets full during Friday brunch. They also have a bowling alley but it wasn’t open during the time of our stay.
The hotel is really clean. Add to that the very friendly and beautiful staff. I wish we stayed longer here rather than in Fujairah.
Credits to Wikipedia for each emirate intro. 😉