Fort Hayl

Fort Hail (Fort Hayl or Al Hayl Castle) is located deep in its eponymous Wadi, in the heart of the Al Hajar Mountains - far from civilization, in a breathtaking panorama, it's a real shot of heart and a historic site that is worth seeing.

View of Fort Hail, in the Emirate of Fujairah ©Odyfolio

History of the fort

According to sources, the fort was erected around 1830, perhaps on Portuguese bases. What is certain is that he held the keys of the wadi Al Hail rich in waters and cultures.

At the beginning of the 20th century, it was the summer residence of the reigning family of Fujairah Al Sharqi who enjoyed the fresh air of the mountains and the palm groves during the hot season.

The fort was then abandoned before being restored between 2006 and 2008 by the authorities.

Al Hail Castle Towers, in the Emirate of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

Fort visit

The fort is a fortified enclosure housing multi-level dwellings and a square tower, at the top of which it is possible to climb by climbing a ladder of wood. The compound has rooms, food storage areas and a prayer room.

The visit is quite fast since the rooms are not furnished. We will therefore be satisfied with the beautiful views at the top of towers and ramparts. On a rocky promontory upstream, another fortified tower accessible after a short climb.

Vue intérieure du fort Hail dans l'émirat de Fujaïrah ©Odyfolio

Around the fort

On the road leading to the fort, as well as around the fort, one can observe below the wadi bed with many cultures. Fueled by water and enjoying the coolness of the mountains, the valley is an excellent site for agriculture. It is possible to continue on the track while walking or with an all-terrain vehicle, to immerse yourself deeper in the mountains, although there is nothing significant to find in this direction, except the solitude.

Cultures en contrebas des monts Al Hajar, autour de Fort Hail, dans l'émirat de Fujairah ©Odyfolio

The petroglyphs

Starting from the fort on your right you will see a small rectangular grid area. Stop for a moment to observe drawings carved in stone (petroglyphs) probably dating back several millennia.

Petroglyphs near Fort Hail, Emirate of Fujairah ©Odyfolio

Useful information

The fort is open almost all day time, except perhaps on Friday morning. The entrance is free, and if you meet the keeper of the fort, it will be required for a guided tour. It will be advisable to leave him a small tip to thank him.

For tips for nearby hotels, check out our article on Fujairah city.

Access map

The fort is easily accessible in 20 minutes from downtown Fujairah and quite well reported. At the roundabout of the Carrefour shopping center, follow the direction of Al Hayl and continue straight on. You will cross the old village of Al Hayl, then continue on the road. The fort is accessible by an asphalt road and it is not necessary to have an all-terrain vehicle. At one point, in a hairpin bend, the road seems to stop with many screes on the roadway. Continue for a hundred meters on the track and you will find an asphalt road. Continue on the same road through the dam. At the end of the road along the wadi you will reach Fort Hail.

Location of Fort Hayl, in the Emirate of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates ©OpenStreetMap contributors

Access map to Fort Hayl, on the outskirts of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates ©OpenStreetMap contributors