Khor al Fakkan

An ultra-conservative emirate 
A superb and lovely bay
The Fujairah Fort

Find Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman Cruises

Khor al Fakkan/Al Fujayrah

Rigour and elegance under starry skies

From an MSC ship on the Gulf of Oman, you can see the sizeable town of Khor Fakkan (or Khawr Fakkan) sprawling round a superb bay, one of the loveliest in the United Arab Emirates. The port where your cruise ship lies at anchor is part of the booze-free and ultra-conservative Sharjah emirate, and hasn’t enjoyed the tourist boom its location would otherwise suggest.
It’s a pleasant spot for a brief cruise excursion though, with a fine seafront corniche complete with fish market, a tempting stretch of beach (although, this being Sharjah, modest beachwear is advised) and views of a popular diving spot, Sharq Island, sometimes mistranslated as the rather alarming “Shark Island”, although sharq is in fact simply the Arabic for “east”.

When you are in Khor Fakkan consider an excursion to Fujairah, which has recently enjoyed something of a minor boom, mainly on the back of economic developments in neighbouring emirates, especially Dubai. The focus of much of this is the city’s massive oil-refuelling port – the world’s third largest after Singapore and Rotterdam – at the southern end of town, which is where most of the United Arab Emirates’ oil is exported from, as its east coast location saves shipping from making a two-day dog-leg around the tip of the Arabian peninsula.

 There’s usually a line of tankers several kilometres long offshore waiting for their turn at the pumps. The main sight in town is the photogenic Fujairah Fort, off Madhab Road on the northern edge of the city centre. Dating back to the sixteenth century, this is the most picture-perfect of the United Arab Emirates’s many forts, set atop a large plinth and with high, bare walls rising to a pretty cluster of towers and battlements, dramatically framed by an outcrop of the Hajar Mountains.

Must see places in Khor al Fakkan

  • Fujairah Sheraton beach

    Fujairah Sheraton beach

  • Fujairah Heritage Village

    Fujairah Heritage Village

  • Oasis of Wadi Shawkah

    Oasis of Wadi Shawkah

Discover our excursions

4 results found

  • Discover the desert in a 4X4

    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level

    • Duration
      5 h

    • Adults125Price per person

    • Children115Price per person


    Discover the desert and wadi watercourses of the UAE from the modern comfort of a four-wheel drive. The tour takes you on a 1.5-hour ride along a modern motor-road to the scenic Masafi Mountains, continues over the ever-changing dunes of the desert and also includes the region’s typical wadis – seasonal watercourses – en route to the oasis of Wadi Shawkah. Further highlights of the tour include a photo stop at the Fossil Rock, famed for fossils dating back some 80 million years, and Camel Rock, an eponymously shaped outcrop in the middle of the desert sand. This exciting experience will be one you remember fondly for a long time to come. Please note: due to the marked differences between outside temperatures and those found in the places visited as well as the air-conditioned tour vehicles, it is recommended that you take a light cotton jumper or cardigan for your comfort. Please wear casual clothing and comfortable walking shoes. As this tour involves travelling over rough and bumpy terrain, it is unsuitable for guests with mobility problems, with neck/back problems, for pregnant women and for guests who use a wheelchair. Children aged 4 years old can take part in the tour. This excursion is subject to weather conditions.

    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level

    • Duration
      5 h

    • Adults62Price per person

    • Children49Price per person


    Enjoy spectacular views of unspoiled beaches and rugged mountains along the east coast of Fujairah and Khor Fakkan on the shores of the Gulf of Oman. The first item on the tour itinerary is a visit to the Fujairah Museum and its fascinating collection of local archaeological artefacts, including exhibits of coins used in Fujairah before the UAE was formed in 1971. The tour continues with a photo stop at the 300-year-old Fujairah Fort before stopping off at the Khor Fakkan Heritage Village. This special exhibition village is designed to let you take a step back in time and get a taste of the lives led by the former residents, including characteristics such as work tools, typical irrigation systems and the kind of work carried out many years ago. You will enjoy a folk show and taste local tea. Next stop will be at the Fish and Vegetable market before travelling along the coastal road and stop at Al Badiya (outside), the oldest mosque in the UAE. Two Portuguese watchtowers that date back to 1498 overlook both the mosque and the oasis village of Al Badiya. Please note: guides for languages other than English are limited. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. Due to the marked differences between outside temperatures and those found in the places visited as well as the air-conditioned tour vehicles, we recommend taking a light cotton jumper or cardigan for your comfort. Guests using a wheelchair are advised that they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the coach and that wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since the coach has neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made.
  • Leisure at the beach

    SEA & SUN
    • Drink included

    • No guide available

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level

    • Duration
      5 h

    • Adults75Price per person

    • Children59Price per person


    Situated on the shores of the Gulf of Oman lies the town of Khor Fakkan, which belongs the emirate of Al-Sharjah, but is surrounded by Fujairah, and the nearby Khor Fakkan Beach - your sun-blessed destination on this half-day outing. Not only a beautiful stretch of golden sands and the inviting blue of the water await you at the luxury resort, but also glorious views of the majestic Al Hajar Mountains rising in the background. You'll have plenty of time to check out the resort, use the pool, work on your tan or explore the area for a while before your return to the ship brings this beach-centric outing to a close.Please note: due to the marked difference between outside temperatures and air-conditioned inside temperatures, guests are recommended to take a light cotton jumper or cardigan. 1 sun chair and 1 sun umbrella for every 2 guests are included in the price of the tour. The tour is considered to be unsuitable for guests using a wheelchair.
  • MEET THE LOCALS approx. 3 hours

    • No guide available

    • Snack included

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level

    • Duration
      3 h

    • Adults92Price per person

    • Children69Price per person


    A visit to a foreign country cannot be complete without a close encounter with local inhabitants. This enjoyable excursions will give you the chance to meet with a local family and learn more about the customs and traditions of this area of the Emirates. A short coach drive will take you to a local house where you will be welcome by a family and you will introduced in their daily activities. Enjoy a typical Arabic coffee and taste some home-made sweets and dates. After this immersion in the local culture, you will continue to Bidiya Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in the Emirates. After a photo stop your coach will drive you back to the port. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair as there are a few steps at the local house. Guests shall not show any public affection and shall not take any picture without permission.

The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Cruises guests with an idea of the different tours which can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
Shore excursions programmes and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

United Arab Emirates

Diamonds shining in the desert
Diamonds shining in the desert

Dubai is actually just one of the seven statelets which collectively form the United Arab Emirates, or UAE, a loose confederation founded in 1971 following the departure of the British from the Gulf.

Technically the seven emirates are considered equal, and preserve a considerable measure of legislative autonomy, rather like the various states of the USA – which explains, for instance, why local laws in Dubai are so different from those in neighbouring Sharjah.

In practice, however, as a cruise to the Emirates can show you, a clear pecking order applies. Abu Dhabi, easily the largest and wealthiest of the emirates, serves as the capital (even if Abu Dhabi city is barely half the size of Dubai) and wields the greatest influence over national policy, as well as providing the UAE with its president.

Dubai ranks second, followed by Sharjah and then the other emirates of Umm al Quwain, Ras al Khaimah, Ajman and Fujairah, which remain relatively undeveloped and even surprisingly impoverished in places.

The fact that the union has survived despite the sometimes considerable differences of opinion between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is a glowing tribute to local diplomacy, even though it is has also created the anomaly whereby Dubai, with its headline international standing, isn’t even the capital of its own low-key country.