Emirati Town Once Encroached By the Portuguese Opens Up for Tourists

Khor Fakkan hardly used to feature in the tourist destination brochures. It was hardly known to the tourists. But now the industrialized deep-sea port is getting a facelift. Attempts are being made to add life to the town and renovate the historic buildings and primp its public areas.

An isle of Sharjah – tucked away on the Fujairah coast, will soon become easily accessible due to a crucial road project. The city used to be a 108-minute drive from Sharjah city. However, on Saturday, His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, will officially open five tunnels running through neighbouring mountains along the Sharjah-Khor Fakkan road that will reduce the journey time between the two cities to 45 minutes.

The 87km road consists of the longest covered tunnel in the Middle East, the 2.7km Al Sidra tunnel, along with the other tunnels: Al Saqab at 1.4km, Al Ghazeer at 0.9km, Al Rogh at 1.3km, and Al Sahah at 0.3km.

Work on the project to construct the road started in 2004.

Over 55% of the road is through the mountains and consist of five tunnels. Altogether there are 6.5km of tunnels stated Abu Suseelan, a transport adviser at the Sharjah Government’s town planning and survey department. To build the road, a lot of planning was needed.

The new road could help increase the numbers of tourists visiting the city, which has gone through a broad restoration project recently under the directive of Sheikh Sultan.

Khor Fakkan, home to many fishermen and port workers, offers some of the most affordable hotels in the nation, from about Dh160 a night, and a beachfront on the Indian Ocean.

Another site that had to be totally rebuilt was Khor Fakkan Fort, which was originally built in the 1940s but destroyed in 1985 to make way for the city’s expansion.