Time seems to move much more slowly on the UAE's eastern coast, whose beaches are a popular getaway for nationals and expats keen to escape the daily razzmatazz. Although there are a few five-star resorts, the vibe is decidedly old school and low key. International tourism has suffered, as visitors prefer the glitzy resorts of Dubai or the new properties of up-and-coming neighbouring emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.
Facing the Indian Ocean (more specifically, the Gulf of Oman), the east coast belongs almost entirely to the emirate of Fujairah, interrupted only by the three small Sharjah enclaves of Dibba Al Hisn, Khor Fakkan and Kalba. While the businesslike capital, Fujairah, has a couple of heritage sites, tourism is concentrated further north, especially around Al Aqah, where the rugged Hajar Mountains dip down to long, sandy beaches with excellent swimming, snorkelling and diving.