Saturday, July 2, 2011

Off to Dibba Al Fujairah

June 29th was an Islamic holiday called Isra & Mi'raj. Isra is the night journey the prophet Mohammed made from Mecca to Jerusalem and back on the same night and Mi'raj refers to his assent to heaven and journey back to earth on the same night. It's said that during this trip, Mohammed met with the prophets Abraham, Moses, and Jesus and also had a meeting with God where he received the instructions that Muslims are to pray five times per day. (On wikipedia it says Mohammed was originally told that they needed to pray 50 times per day, but that Moses convinced Mohammed to bargain for something more reasonable and they agreed on five.) I didn't hear much about special celebrations relating to this holiday, but the UAE gov't did declare a public holiday on June 30th so we had a three day weekend!

SIDE NOTE: During all Islamic holidays, no one is allowed to serve alcohol. We found this out by accident when we went out for a drink on Thursday night and couldn't be served until 7:30pm after the liquor ban had expired for the holiday.

We decided to take advantage of the long weekend and check out one of the other of the United Arab Emirates, this time, Fujairah. It was a relatively easy decision to make as Fujairah has some of the only scuba diving in the UAE. I'll follow up with another post later this week and talk specifically about the diving, which was pretty good.

Dibba Al Fujairah is the town we headed toward as this is where the Dhow Harbour and diving boats leave from. I've added a map below to give you a sense of where we were. From Abu Dhabi, it was about a 3.5 hour drive and kind of pretty in a desert-sand kind of way. We saw quite a few camels, but unfortunately, my camera was in the trunk on the way there (I know, stupid!) and on the way home it was really hazy and I only got one photo, which isn't very good. In any case, the pictures will give you a sense of the landscape (really flat and sand dunes for most of the way and then rocky "mountains" as you get closer to the coast).

You can see Al Fujayrah on this map in the upper-right corner.
Here are a few photos from the trip back.
This is a section of the beach not far from where we stayed. The photo looks terrible because of the haze that day, but it was a pretty beach. I could just kick myself for not having my camera on that first day!

This gives you a sense of the terrain in the mountains. 
My only camel photo. :(
Every so often we'd pass a small oasis in the desert. 

Notice the differences in the color of the sand in these three photos. We were amazed to notice how the color of the sand was different as we made our way to the opposite coast and back. ... Hey! Cut us some slack, there's just not a whole lot to see out here, so we've got to notice the little things! :)

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